Struggling with your 2019 planning? Editor-in-Chief Rachael Bull explains how the techniques behind TV drama can give you the inspiration to get things right.
Like it or not, the planning round is an important time of year for everyone with an audience to engage. Expectations are high, and there’s that tantalising opportunity to finally make those messages stick. It’s the time between aspirations and spreadsheets, between the sublime and the frankly ridiculous. The thing is, planning isn’t the place to start.
Time to get creative
A big story is what you need: an unfolding drama that will grab the attention of the people who matter and give you a structure for everything you want to communicate. You want to weave a story that will cut through the noise. It’s time to fascinate and inspire your audience with a rich series of unfolding storylines. And TV drama should be your template.
Here’s six tips for engaging people with story…
1. What’s new, what’s different? Start with impact, something bold – inciting interest, creating momentum.
2. What’s in it for me? What’s at stake? That tension of possibility is what keeps people watching and listening, so make sure your story is about making something happen.
3. Show how the story affects people personally. There’s a reason that even epic disaster movies focus on the fate of individuals. A city saved from a giant storm vs a lover rescued from a cliff edge: which do we care about more?
4. Be honest about the challenges as well as the opportunities, and keep both sides of the story alive. No-one’s interested in one-track, good-news broadcasting.
5. Maintain a handful of individual storylines so that there’s always something going on.
6. The drama we watch on TV and in the cinema is judged on its results, and the same is true for your story. Build in measures to make sure you’re finding your audience and can respond when you need to.
Every story’s different
Is your organisation full of tradition like Downton Abbey, or full of action, like Sherlock? Steeped in history like ITV’s Vanity Fair, or packed with intrigue like Abi Morgan’s The Split?
Whatever the backdrop and the journey your organisation’s on, there’s a big story to tell. And there’s no better time than now to get started.
Is 2019 the year your story comes alive?
Write the Talk shapes investor stories for bold organisations across the world. Our unique story shaping approach turns cold hard facts into a living and breathing narrative, transforming the way you connect with the people that matter. Get in touch!