Storytelling is such a rich tradition here in Newfoundland and Labrador. Wherever you go in the province, it seems like there’s someone who can spin a great yarn. And whether you’re an artist, a business owner, or anything in between, some storytelling skills can come in handy from time to time. But what makes a compelling story? How do you bring out the story from within, and how do you hold your audience’s attention?
On November 6 at the Emera Innovation Exchange, Don-E Coady of award-winning marketing and communications company Dc Design House will lead an interactive session that will explore storytelling done right (so you can brand better for your team and customers). We recently chatted with Don-E to get some perspective on the power of storytelling in advance of his session.
Business & Arts NL: Storytelling is such a powerful thing, whether you’re an artist who’s sharing your own story through your work, or a businessperson who uses storytelling as a way to help strengthen their brand. What, in your opinion, are the elements of a great story?
Don-E Coady: The elements of a great story are age-old. The characters play their parts. The setting is where it all goes down. The plot thickens. The conflict comes to a boil – and in the end, we need resolution. Any public relations practitioner would be quick to add timeliness to the list. The rest is magic, really. We (read: customers and clients) lean into stories more than ever. I follow heroes like David Ogilvy in my work because of his commitment to driving home the importance of ideas and truth in the art of telling stories. Other thought leaders like Seth Godin continue to blow our minds apropos of famous lines like: marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. Preach!
Business & Arts NL: For those who may feel they have a great story to tell, but don’t know quite how to tell it, what can you suggest to them to help them get their story out and into the world?
DC: Life is always evolving – and so are the ways we feel about almost everything. So whether in black and white or up in lights, the idea of telling stories can feel overwhelming. As a co-writer of many brand stories for people and organizations of every kind, going all-in on the more uncomfortable or uncharted territories is where story magic lives. It takes guts to stand out on the corner of hope and who-cares; telling your truth is the turning point where noble motives and vulnerable moments add up to the thick threads that weave stories worth sharing. Once you can really taste the blood, sweat, and tears that led you to where you are, ‘getting it out there’ becomes easier. People become drawn to you. It’s incredible and rewarding being part of such an intimate and transformative experience.
Business & Arts NL: Sometimes it’s not telling the story that’s the hard part, but making ourselves heard. In our super-connected and tech-savvy world, how does one go about sharing their story in a way that will get noticed amongst all of the other stuff that’s floating around out there?
DC: Getting noticed isn’t the problem. Everyone who says or does anything will get noticed by the people around them, even if only for a second – it’s about attention; grabbing and holding onto it for long enough that you make an impact on someone – and the way you achieve it isn’t through the mind – it’s through the heart. And what’s the quickest way to the heart? Is it a wall of text in a blog? Could be. More likely though, it’s through a medium that’s already moving and shaking, and it’s called video. The milage our clients get from motion media (an animation or a video involving footage) is simply where it’s at in marcom when it comes to stories that best connect. Let me watch your story come to life before my eyes and I’ll give you way more of my time, and perhaps I’ll even grow to think about you later when I’m at that red light or standing in front of the office microwave. Bonus points if you learn to involve others in the stories you’re telling – the more ripples you can create on the ocean of digital channels, the farther any story will echo out. More support. More shared energy. More reach. We like more. More please.
Workshop: Why do we do what we do? Let’s get our stories together.
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 6 from 1-3pm
Location: Emera Innovation Exchange, Room B 1004
Price: Free for Business & Arts NL members, or $10 for non-members (includes a free 1-year Business & Arts NL artist membership)
Registration: Click here