Effective Storytelling in a Digital World

April 10, 2014

by Bruce Nickson

Storytelling… It’s About the Hook

Part 1 of the recap of the March 27th Breakfast Speaker Series event focuses on Heron Hanuman, Principal, Double H Creative & Digital Director, NATIONAL Public Relations

A key component in storytelling: you need a good hook.

We’ve been telling stories since the caveman days. Which should remind us that stories are not about products, untitledthey’re about people. Good stories are emotional, short and truthful. “They take the listener on a voyage.”

Heron’s example comes from the world of charity/NGO (non-governmental organizations) marketing, and the ever-present compassion fatique. We all know there are serious Syrian refugee problems. However, unfortunately, most of us think “This … again?”.

How do you tell an oft-told tale tand make it fresh with emotional resonance and relevance? One possible solution is not to make the story about Syrian refugees, but about a little girl you may know:

With 29 million views and counting, you might say that this qualifies as sucessful storytelling.

And then there is the huge enabling factor of technology. Heron cites GoPro as the ubitquitous POV device we’re seeing all over the Internet (and beyond). GoPro is the holy grail of digital storytelling. “At the end of the day, they sell cameras by selling experience.” Like Red Bull. Their cameras allow storytellers to take their cameras to places they’ve never been before. How about a GoPro camera mounted on a drone, wirelessly controlled by your handheld device?

Heron offers GoPro as an example of the huge leap being made in the technology of storytelling. Importantly, the people who use the GoPro cameras become their brand ambassadors; apparently, every minute of the day, there is a GoPro upload.

So remember the hook, the technology, and emotion. That’s the takeaway.

Ed. note: A previous version of this story contained content deemed offensive by some readers, so it has been deleted. We apologize for any discomfort this may have caused.

The next BCAMA event: