Super Storytelling Makes Your Messages Stick

Can you tell me the plot of your five favorite movies? How about the storyline of your favorite books? Why are these so memorable?

It’s all about great storytelling. At Landis Communications Inc., we’ve refined a methodology of telling your brand’s story called Super Storytelling. Here’s how that happened.

A few years ago, we started what is now a now very successful working relationship with a new client. As part of our foundational work, we developed key messages and conducted media training sessions for spokespeople. The client also wanted us to refresh their brand architecture and apply the new messaging framework across all its communications channels.

But, after all of that work, the client felt something was still missing: they wanted everyone in their organization to communicate their mission. Essentially, they wanted everyone to understand WHY what they are saying is important enough to make people remember, care and take action. The client wanted us to create a customized training program that could be used for its entire staff and board of directors.

To accomplish this, we looked at many different storytelling methodologies and landed on one to leverage – the petal storytelling technique. This technique allows for many different ideas, projects or proposals to be woven together by one central theme – like petals connected to the center of a flower. In this case, the central theme is the brand’s mission statement and why the organization exists.

One of our objectives was to make the training fun and to provide usable, tangible tools for people to create their own stories. To do that, we found Post-it Notes in fun shapes similar to the petals metaphor, including entire flowers, leaves, petals and butterflies. Each shape represents interchangeable phrases, data points, personal anecdotes and compelling ideas.

During the training, team members used the Post-it Notes to gather these varied pieces of information and then arranged them in a way which worked for them. The versatility of the Post-it Notes allowed for easily changing the story flow and adding or taking away different elements. Most importantly, it helped people visualize how everything in their story tied back to the one central theme. The end result is that the organization is now better at communicating its mission to a wide range of audiences.

So, what is one of my favorite movies? “The Best Years of Our Lives.” It’s about three men, with very different backgrounds, returning from World War II. I can recite the entire plot and most of the scenes. That is super storytelling.

Now, tell me your story.

Do you need help with communicating your mission? Leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]

Blog written by Sean Dowdall.

6 thoughts on “Super Storytelling Makes Your Messages Stick

  1. “Who lives who dies who tells your story.” Even Hamilton agrees that storytelling is vital.

  2. Sean, terrific blog. At the heart of any successful PR campaign is successful storytelling. I love the petals approach and agree that it helps people tell their story with commonality and individuality. PS my favorite film might just be “La La Land.” Cheers, David

  3. Having a message is pointless without a mean of communicating it – great technique!

  4. This methodology is so engaging – we had everyone, across departments, fully engaged in thinking about how they tell the company story. It really works!

  5. Instructions that are visual always stick with me, so when you and Polly explained that petals method of storytelling, I was completely hooked! Nice job.

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