By my previous posts, it is easy to see that I enjoy writing. Though I have mentioned it in passing, I have not fully explored my love of digital media marketing or how my two passions combine. Blogging is a part of what I do for a living, and no, this is not about to turn into a “how to be a better blogger” post. This post is to fully explore the connection between my job, my love of writing, my success in academics with my writing and my ability to keep an audience compelled during a speech. You see, it all comes down to one thing, my ability to tell a story. With my degrees in Communication Studies Rhetoric, I have basically been trained to be a polished speaker and writer, I even taught Public Speaking at the University level while in my Graduate program. I heard speech after speech after speech and though my students and peers were very good at following the templates that they were taught and could easily follow to pass the class. Problem with these template driven speeches? Even as the instructor it took every once of self discipline I had not to lose focus during all 75 of my students speeches. Mind you, I love listening to speeches that are done by famous politicians, writers etc… I rarely remember what the speaker says (besides maybe one or two key phrases that the speech is designed around) but I always remember that distinct feeling I have when I walk away from listening to a speech. Why is this? Why do I never fully remember what was said, but I remember how I felt and the feeling that I needed to take some kind of action. It is a very simple trick used by well practiced speakers, writers and even marketing professionals today. It is the simple art of storytelling.
Storytelling seems easy on the surface, you have a beginning a middle and an end. Simple right? Not so much when you realize that it is not just a simple story anymore. The princess can not just meet prince charming and run off into the sunset anymore. There needs to be drama and intrigue and mystery and action. There also needs to be imagery, metaphors and hyperboles. Without these things and much, much more a story is just a sequence of events that occurs. The dull transmission of information from one person to another is not very valuable anymore.
The ability to tell a story has taken me very far. In academics I was able to turn dull 25+ page papers into compelling, intriguing rhetorical analyses without even batting an eye. I passed through my speech classes, debate classes and argumentation classes on sheer ability to make my audience remember me with my story telling abilities. As this ability carried me through undergraduate and graduate school, I was also secretly working on my novel. My novel has become my hobby and passion now that I am out of school. It is probably the one thing that keeps me sane after I work a fourteen hour work day I always know I can go home and escape into the fantasy land of my story. As frustrating as it is that my story is still only about three-fifths of the way done, it keeps me going during a hard day knowing I have something enjoyable to go home to work on.
My blog has spent a great deal of time focusing on my writing endeavors and not much discussing my actual work. Marketing, specifically digital media marketing. Though I can do traditional public relations and communications work, I so much prefer the realm of digital media and especially content marketing. Content creation is the simply the act of writing copy for a multitude of mediums. I have done everything from running Facebook and Twitter accounts to creating, designing and creating the content for entire websites. I even blog for a lot of my clients. What does all this have in common with my novel, my academic writing and speeches? Simple, storytelling is again key in content marketing. Just like in academic and creative writings my content creating needs to tell a story. Whether it is about the brand I am writing for, a product or service they are selling or about one of the employees for that brand, it is essential for me to evoke my talent as a story teller to make sure anyone who reads what I write for that brand goes away with a definite (and hopefully positive) feeling about that brand. A feeling that will drive them to do business with that brand as well. If I simply convey information about the brand to its audience, it is does not have that great of an impact. I need to make the person reading my content feel a desperate need for the product or service of the brand it was written for/about.
I think my entire life has been leading up to being a digital media public relations professional. My speech background, my writing experience and my overall passion for storytelling have set me up for success in my chosen field. Being a storyteller expands beyond just books and speaking. It encompasses almost every aspect of every day life. Movies, music, TV shoes, commercials, advertisements, tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, newspapers and much more are all examples of how storytelling is used to entertain us on a daily basis and make us feel certain ways about the world around us. Stories are meant to have us sympathize or empathize with certain people, places and things. If you can master the art of story telling, you can really master the world.