I was one of the thousand professionals who got an opportunity to attend and learn from eminent speakers across the globe at SPECTRA 2021 held virtually in September this year. When I heard Anjana Menon, founder of the content strategy consultancy ‘Content Pixies and a founding team member of Mint speak at the opening session on Day 2 I was inspired. I was quite intrigued as I got a copy of her latest book which she has co-authored with two of her former colleagues from Bloomberg. I read it and review it for fellow PR professionals. This article summarises Anjana’s talk from the session and also the review of the book. The book is co-authored along with Adri Burckner and Marybeth Sandell.
If you are a seasoned professional or someone who is seeking knowledge to promote your start-up or an audience for your business, then What’s Your Story? is a perfect guide and will help you find answers or rather identify storytelling opportunities at whatever stage you or your business are in.
What does the book cover?
Let’s deep-dive into the content and structure of the book. The book is divided in three parts: Elements, Channels and Applications. Each part has multiple chapters. Each aspect is covered with real life examples and compelling stories which one can relate to. At the end of each chapter there is an exercise for one to try and see where they stand or one can also implement what they learnt from the chapter.
Consumers are spoilt for choice especially in the pandemic induced lockdown, hence it’s even more important that the stories are communicated innovatively with relevant data, images and well edited to make memorable and interesting for the audience. It’s vital for the marketing or communication teams to move away from the traditional form of storytelling and adapt to new forms to cater to the new generation of audience. Some key elements covered in the book – Focus on the mission and message, hyperlocal and targeted storytelling, Simple and effective headline, visually impactful to the audience, include data to make it believable, avoid jargon trap, humanise the content.
The author believes that there is a huge shift in how the available information is consumed on multiple platforms. And just by repeating the message in the noise and clutter will not really get through to the audience anymore. So it’s imperative that we choose the right platform from the plethora of mediums that are available to the consumers for effective storytelling. The channels include traditional and new medium like social media, Podcasts, Sponsored content etc
Once the messaging and platform is finalised application is the final task. Customise platforms basis the need of the business or the communication strategy. Putting them together and who will communicate the same is an equally important aspect of storytelling – The leadership, crisis communication, public speaking company reports are some applications discussed in the book in detail
Three takeways for me
- Keep it simple and easy for the audience to understand and interpret your content
- Before presenting the data ask questions such as – is it highlighting a single big number, is it memorable, does it show any trend…
- The future of storytelling will be shaped basis the advancement of the technology like AR and VR.
What’s in it for me?
I personally enjoyed attending Anjana’s session at SPECTRA 2021. Later, reading this book gave me a much better perspective on the subject. It definitely will be my go-to book when I get stuck while creating content or strategising for my clients.
This book has the all the secret ingredients for you to become a good storyteller. From a communication point of view I do recommend that fellow professionals, read this one – Certainly a comprehensive guide that one should own.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.