Storytelling: five year olds can do it, so can you


Writer and filmmaker Don Roff was attributed the quote: “Don't think about the writing process too much. Just do one thing: tell the motherfucking story.” I usually go with “First get it done, then get it right”, which is appropriate to all ages and sensitivities.

Many organisations tend of push all communications initiative to someone in the communications department, either citing lack of time but most often lack of talent to tell a story. They send Mary to talk to the press because she is the eloquent one. Or Jack to write the first draft of a text because he did do that storytelling course. Being uneasy with external communications is nothing to be ashamed of but, when we don’t dare to tell our story, we won’t have any story to tell.

A five year-old can tell what (s)he did in pre-school during the day using the basic principles of storytelling. Evidently, the communications tribe can help you find a relevant angle, narrative, language and channel to make that story interesting to the intended target group. They can (should, really) even be frank enough to tell you that this story lacks relevance or opens for associations in conflict with the brand strategy. But the raw material needs to come forward so that the communications team has something to work their magic with.

So “first get it done” (and tell your story internally), then let the specialists help you “get it right” when you go out with the story.

Sergio Guimaraes, Speaking of PR