Make it New

Make it New

Four strategies to inspire your base with original storytelling

According to author Christopher Booker, there have only ever been seven plot lines and we’ve heard them over and over again for thousands of years. How then it is possible to reach our members with a fresh, compelling story that engages and moves to action? This dilemma seems especially relevant given the onslaught of marketing messages that plague your audience daily (as many as 5,000 per day by some estimates).

Consider these strategies to craft original stories that get attention and encourage connectivity to your organization.

1. Exploit your available tools.

Storytelling tools have come a long way in 6000 years, and they continue to evolve rapidly today. Not only should you select the relevant format for your story; you should also allow your platform to influence what you say and how you say it.


2. Influence and be influenced by current events.

The current conversation surrounding your brand and your industry can guide future stores and even change how people view past stories. When Tony Morrison authored the book Beloved-a work of fiction that wove together real tales from American slavery-Morrison “reconceptualized history” according to some critics. Her work gave context and meaning to events that occurred over a hundred years before her book. Additionally, her book propelled a modern conversation about race in the U.S. Imagine how your stories might influence and change the conversation in your industry.


3. Be a masterful storyteller.

If we’re all using the same archetypes, then the power of our stories lies in how we tell them. What images represent your brand and no other? Which words best convey your organization’s mission and culture? How can you visually represent your brand in a way the reflects your story? Which tools are the best megaphones for your voice?


4. Be guided by your archetypes, not defined by them.

Think of your archetypes as mannequins you dress with a combination of the latest fashions and your brand’s personal style. The underlying shape is the same, but the outward expression is totally unique.

In the words of modernist poet Ezra Pound, “Make it new.” Take all that is great about our millennia-long storytelling tradition and give it life today. You will simultaneously harness universal structures of the past to connect with your audience and inspire them with the relevant conversations of today.

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