It’s the Most Wonderful (and Noisy) Time of the Year


It’s the most wonderful time of the year… as long as you’re not in marketing.

Then it’s the most competitive. With December comes hopes for a White Christmas, or a glittery Hanukkah, and the feeling that you’re constantly competing for attention.

It IS hard to compete with stories of holidays past and hopes for Santa gifts present (see what I did there?), but today’s column looks at how to leverage storytelling best practices to captivate immediately - by knowing who your audience is and what they value.

You can do it in three sentences.

Great storytellers start by building rapport. They don’t start by saying, “Here’s what I’m here for,” or, “Here is what’s great about me and why you’re going to love this story.”

Instead, storytellers establish affinity by affirming the values they share with the audience in that moment.

To do this in a pitch, a conversation, or even an email, research your audience:

If you’re pitching a person directly:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Job title/role

  • Feelings

  • Goals

  • Values

If you’re pitching a brand/organization:

  • Function/what they do

  • Audience