Recently Michael Hyatt – writer, speaker and Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers – wrote about the 3 Characteristics of Marketing: authenticity, generosity, and storytelling.
I latched on immediately, because of two words: authenticity and storytelling. (Generosity isn’t bad, either.)
These words go hand-in-hand. Why?
Because storytelling reflects authenticity. Together, they point toward a larger purpose: building relationships.
This is Hyatt’s point with the new way of marketing, as well. Rather than the rude and impersonal marketing that interrupts – Hyatt mentions a car commercial that is several decibels louder than a particular television program he is tuned into – the new marketing hinges on building relationships, on looking outward and considering others.
When was the last time you heard a good story? Where were you and what were you doing? Who was talking, and why was that person talking?
About six months ago I wrote a draft of an essay about being pregnant for a second time. The essay was raw and dang painful in some places because – I admit – pregnancy is not easy for me. I started to write in order to make sense of the myriad emotions cycling through me, and to somehow communicate those emotions to an audience larger than myself. I wanted to explore the complex themes of motherhood and identity, and perhaps figure out where in that wild mix I fit.
Writing is my way of telling stories. It is a way of reaching people on a deeper level and a way to be real with them. I don’t ever want to be some canned person who responds, “I’m good,” every time someone asks how I am doing. I want to connect on a deeper level. I want to be real.
We tell stories because they matter. We tell stories to preserve memories, etch a heritage, leave a legacy. Telling stories is a form of communication that goes deeper than the “How was your day” or “What’s the weather like” conversations. Real life stories dig beneath the surface to paint a picture of greater meaning, real emotion.
Good stories have staying power.