Great stories captivate us, move us, and enliven us. Decent stories … not so much.
That’s why it is crucial that storytellers — especially association communicators — constantly hone their craft and work toward consistently great storytelling. At the upcoming AM&P Lunch & Learn session, participants will get the chance to hear ways to do that from two experienced and talented association editors.
On Sept. 25, Christina Folz, editor of HR Magazine for the Society for Human Resource Management, and Chris Blose, vice president of content for Imagination, will share insight, strategies, and examples of good storytelling.
We spoke with Blose to get a taste of what participants can expect.
For associations, what is the most important outcome of good storytelling?
That probably depends on your objectives, which always should come first. Are you trying to retain members, for example? Then your stories must illustrate the value you bring to them, with real-life examples taking the spotlight over institutional messages. Do you want to show how you’re representing your profession through advocacy? Then your stories need to go beyond the big legislative “win” and illustrate real-life benefits for your members.
The tactics will vary. But one common outcome to both of these examples is demonstrating value through authenticity and credibility.
What is the downside to thinking of storytelling only as a 3,000-word magazine feature?
Don’t get me wrong — I still spend an inordinate amount of time diving into deep, detailed, richly reported magazine features in my own reading. But if that’s the only thing that comes to mind when you think of narrative and storytelling, you’re missing a world of opportunities.
Engaging narrative can be just as important to the front and back of your book as to the feature well. “Show don’t tell” applies just as much to a how-to digital article as it does to a personality-driven podcast or video. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re adopting a beginning-middle-end approach to every piece, but it does mean you’re looking for the best anecdotes and narrative flair for everything you create.
What is one of the lessons or tools you hope people take away from the session?
The best lesson people can take away is to think in stories. Think anecdotes instead of exposition, moving pictures instead of talking heads, and action photography instead of headshots, for example. It’s a mindset that applies to all of the details — large and small — of content creation.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow and improve your craft.
The Power of Storytelling
12-2 p.m., Sept. 25, 2017
8515 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD
Go here for more information and to register.