Story telling and writing as arresting communication for business is mostly accepted marketing lore now. And yet . . . perhaps not so readily accepted is that story telling is a craft, a discipline, and reliant on all the ‘P’s.
If your story telling doesn’t emanate from a clear PURPOSE—why you do what you do—it’ll lack authenticity.
Without PRINCIPLES—the operating framework that delivers on your purpose—your stories cannot describe what differentiates how you do what you do.
If there is not a deep affinity with the PEOPLE your purpose serves, the stories will skim their surface not burrow into their heads.
When your PRODUCT is a manifestation of these ‘P’s, then every aspect of it is a relevant story, not an endless lists of benefits, features and guarantees.
When you know what you’re POSITIONING— yourself as the expert, your business brand or your industry niche— the right stories emerge to support and build the right PROFILE.
Drifting from these PILLARS, as in the temptation to be all things to all people, and your stories scatter, lost to your listener.
Get and keep clear on these five ‘P’s, and your story telling is more than mere marketing messages. It is a conduit to curiosity and truth seeking, elevating your leadership and cementing your domain expertise.
Interested in exploring the five ‘P’s of story telling with me? Let’s chat.
The changing stories this new year
Since the start of 2020, there’s been a literal pall on the refreshed energy one usually associates with New Year.
I’ve never been much one for New Year goal setting — many years in which the ebb and flow of business has taken over sometime by late January, leaving the shiny new goals to wither in its wake.
This year, it seemed a particularly trivial pursuit as the stories have been so bad — of unimaginable destruction Australia-wide from ferocious, unprecedented firestorms, dust and hail, of wanting leadership; as people everywhere in Australia face so much devastation, hardship and loss.
Still, it serves no one any good if we don’t continue to work toward flourishing. It’s almost as if those of us currently spared the peril of the fires are honour-bound to put our backs to the wheel.
With a difference. There is no business as usual in the face of this conflagration.
We need to change the stories. We need good news stories. Stories of ongoing crisis bring with them despair, fear and hopelessness, and foster powerlessness and inaction.
And despite the horror, sandwiched in between were the good news stories, of courage, community, and love.
Good news stories
A flotilla of trucks from southern Victoria bearing life-giving fodder for cattle in Gippsland where all their feed was burned.
A woman running into the embers to save a koala; firefighters from LA; an initiative of a business community DENT, to which I’m fortunate to belong, raising the money and ferrying food to 60 starving firefighters in an embattled high country village.
Changing stories alone cannot change that narrative, but they’re a powerful antidote to negativity, and an inspiration toward positive energy.
And action is what we need. We need to believe we can make a difference.
A band of firefighters know they cannot tackle the whole fire front, but without taking action as they can, where would we be?
So what if we were each to consider how we reframe ‘why we do what we do and for whom? It might be just a twist of the dial that’ll see us changing stories, and so our work reaches further toward doing good for others, animals, and the planet.
In my case, a shift in storytelling training from how to communicate better, to Changing Stories—how to change the narrative from despair to action.