COM0014 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

Creating great content is all about providing something of value to the reader. Resist the temptation to talk about yourself or your organization all the time. Is your content amusing? Informative? Educational? Inspiring? Is there a visual element? To remind us all about these concerns, I’ve created The Content Marketer’s Prayer.

Content Marketer's Prayer

Are you talking to ME?

Storytelling is all about entertainment. People love to be amused! Great stories draw readers in as they sit back and nod their heads in agreement. But this means you must get into the minds of your audience and give them what they want. Who are they? What are their dreams? Their fears? Do they share your opinions? Where do they live? A great deal of research needs to be done before you start creating. For example, I might not include the above graphic in a post to some audiences where there are few people with a Christian background. They might not appreciate the humour of a piece based on The Lord’s Prayer.

Conservative or casual?

Communication styles should be driven by your target audience and the circumstances. The CEO of a conservative company might write in a personal tone when addressing the audience.  People identify with people more than with organizations. On the other hand, even the most progressive organization has to communicate conservatively during a crisis, for example, the 2011 Lush website hack, when thousands of customers’ credit card details were at risk of being stolen.

A call to action

Communications styles may also be influenced by what you want your readers to do. Do you want them to recognize your name, brand or organization? Do you want them to engage, for example, register for a webinar or make a donation? To accomplish these actions, you must reach their hearts and minds. Then a simple question or a call to action may encourage your audience to engage.

Next time you’re surfing, think about your own engagement. What kinds of stories and articles make you comment, like and share on social media and why?

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 Sheila Gregory Social Media Marketing


COM0014: What I did on my vacation

Vacation? What vacation? Vacation is really just a frame of mind for me at this time because I’ve been unemployed since last November. Yes, I’ve applied to many positions.

working at the computer while in the driveway

I’ve also enjoyed spending my free time (aka 24 hours a day) doing all the writing, online communications, creative and social media thingies I can think of. So in a sense, I’m on vacation all the time.

Why waste this love of all things digital? Working vacations are commonplace, aren’t they? So I volunteer with Inn From The Cold in an advisory capacity in the area of communications and public relations.

A wintery day at Inn From The Cold

As you may have gathered from the name, it’s a winter shelter for the homeless, but that’s not all. It also offers employment and wellness programs. In addition, it supports its social enterprise called Eat Inn Catering.

Many of our volunteers will tell you, working with Inn From The Cold is the most rewarding experience they’ve ever had. I count myself a lucky volunteer too, since I can spend my “vacation” helping the Inn while doing exactly what I love doing.

So what sorts of things have I had fun with since my “vacation” started last fall? Here are just a few:

In between, I really am trying to find a paying job – honestly! 

A Real vacation in the Bahamas

But sometimes I feel like I should stay on this vacation as long as I like, as long as I’m helping Inn From The Cold.

How about you? Have you ever volunteered while on vacation?