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Content jam story science 2013

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Jill

Jill

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  • Each year the Content Marketing Institute issues a survey to understand the state of content marketing in all types of businesses. This is from their 2012 survey and I found it interesting that What Type of Content seemed to be the biggest challenge.How do you and your CM teams choose what to focus on?How can we make this process easier?
  • I think talking about stories is integral to any CM strategy. Not only because there is never a shortage of useful stories in the world. But also, because they work.The question for us is, why do they work?To answer that, we have to begin to understand how stories function and what they need to succeed.
  • The first thing to know is that happy equals bad story. With conflict, you have an anecdote, rather than a story. And Anecdotes are kind of boring.But wait, you say. We want people to have happy thoughts and good experiences around our product.Ah, yes, but you still need to find a source of tension. But remember, tension and conflict don’t necessarily have to be bad things.
  • GROUP EXERCISE: call out three stories we can tell from the picture. How do we get there? By asking questions...Pierre-August Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir remains the best known and most popular work of art at The Phillips Collection, just as Duncan Phillips imagined it would be when he bought it in 1923. The painting captures an idyllic atmosphere as Renoir's friends share food, wine, and conversation on a balcony overlooking the Seine at the MaisonFournaise restaurant in Chatou. Parisians flocked to the MaisonFournaise to rent rowing skiffs, eat a good meal, or stay the night.The painting also reflects the changing character of French society in the mid- to late 19th century. The restaurant welcomed customers of many classes, including businessmen, society women, artists, actresses, writers, critics, seamstresses, and shop girls. This diverse group embodied a new, modern Parisian society.Renoir seems to have composed this complicated scene without advance studies or underdrawing. He spent months making numerous changes to the canvas, painting the individual figures when his models were available, and adding the striped awning along the top edge. Nonetheless, Renoir retained the freshness of his vision, even as he revised, rearranged, and crafted an exquisite work of art.Who’s Who:Luncheon of the Boating Party includes youthful, idealized portraits of Renoir's friends and colleagues as they relax at the MaisonFournaise restaurant. Wearing a top hat, the amateur art historian, collector, and editor Charles Ephrussi (8) speaks with a younger man in a more casual brown coat and cap. He may be Ephrussi's personal secretary, Jules Laforgue (5), a poet and critic.At center, the actress Ellen Andrée (6) drinks from a glass. Across from her in a brown bowler hat is Baron Raoul Barbier (4), a bon vivant and former mayor of colonial Saigon. He is turned toward the smiling woman at the railing, thought to be AlphonsineFournaise (3), the proprietor's daughter. She and her brother, Alphonse Fournaise, Jr. (2), who handled the boat rentals, wear straw boaters. They are placed within, but at the edge of, the party. At the upper right, the artist Paul Lhote (12) and the bureaucrat Eugène Pierre Lestringuez (11) seem to be flirting with actress Jeanne Samary (13).In the foreground, Renoir included a youthful portrait of his fellow artist, close friend, and wealthy patron, GustaveCaillebotte (9), who sits backwards in his chair and is grouped with the actress Angèle (7) and the Italian journalist Maggiolo (10). Caillebotte, an avid boatman and sailor, wears a white boater's shirt and flat-topped boater. He gazes at a young woman cooing at her dog. She is AlineCharigot (1), a seamstress Renoir had recently met and would later marry.
  • This is from 1987. Why does it work, or doesn’t?He’s talking directly to you.He’s asking you a question at the beginning and at the end.It’s all imagery and we have to fill in the blanks as to how it relates to use personally.
  • Have just begun scientifically investigating how our brains interpret and use stories. There are a few often cited studies that explain quite a bit and corroborate what most storytellers have always known.
  • Language areas versus Story AreasIn a 2006 study published in the journal NeuroImage, researchers in Spain asked participants to read words with strong odor associations, along with neutral words, while their brains were being scanned by a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. When subjects looked at the Spanish words for “perfume” and “coffee,” their primary olfactory cortex lit up; when they saw the words that mean “chair” and “key,” this region remained dark. The way the brain handles metaphors has also received extensive study; some scientists have contended that figures of speech like “a rough day” are so familiar that they are treated simply as words and no more. Last month, however, a team of researchers from Emory University reported in Brain & Language that when subjects in their laboratory read a metaphor involving texture, the sensory cortex, responsible for perceiving texture through touch, became active. Metaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortex, while phrases matched for meaning, like “The singer had a pleasing voice” and “He had strong hands,” did not.If we’re reading it, we feel like we’re doing it:
  • Have just begun scientifically investigating how our brains interpret and use stories. There are a few often cited studies that explain quite a bit and corroborate what most storytellers have always known.
  • Our brains fill in concepts---make the reader do her work2. How brains process images---use language to create lasting impressions, teach with simile3. We interpret stories how we see them---make the content about the reader, give them useful information they can “interpret” into their daily lives4. Use details!!!!
  • Our brains fill in concepts---make the reader do her work2. How brains process images---use language to create lasting impressions, teach with simile3. We interpret stories how we see them---make the content about the reader, give them useful information they can “interpret” into their daily lives4. Use details!!!!
  • Not necessary in stories, but necessary in content marketing.These are most common calls to action. Can you develop a unique one?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Story Science: Engaging & Keeping Your Audience Jill Pollack ©2013 All Rights Reserved. StoryStudio Chicago Ltd.
    • 2. Biggest Challenge 41% said producing engaging content.
    • 3. How Stories Work
    • 4. Happy Lives Make Bad Stories
    • 5. Messy = Good Story
    • 6. Key Story Elements Details Images Tension/Confl ict Character(s) Voice Emotion
    • 7. Story Elements Details Images Tension/C onflict Character Voice Emotion
    • 8. Story Structure
    • 9. What’s Happening Here?
    • 10. Launch Your Own Party Write 3 ideas for stories about your: • • • • • Product or service Customers Employees Founders Office dog
    • 11. This Is Your Brain On....STORIES
    • 12. How We Digest a Story Stories are unassociated with logic or language centers in the brain. We got our own room!
    • 13. Stories and Biology Ancient wiring Fill in the blanks Make connections between concepts Feel it as if it were happening to us How we learn
    • 14. Our Brains on Stories: 1. We fill in the blanks 2. Images stay with us 3. We like having a little work to do
    • 15. Applied Science... It all starts with AUDIENCE Do your research to make sure you understand: • • • • • Who is the audience What is important to them What do they consider to be useful information What medium will they be using What do you want them to do
    • 16. Fill in the blanks Make the reader do some work in the conversation. • • • • Ask questions Use imagery Calls to action Relate to universal theme or experience
    • 17. As if it were happening to me Make it “real” for the reader: • • • • Be specific, use details Use sensory details Frame within time and space Engage emotions
    • 18. Make me laugh or cry or... Respect the power of emotion. Cold facts don’t move us to action. Stories do. • Choose the right stories to tell to the right audience • Don’t name the emotion, show it • Offer a call to action
    • 19. I want to learn Provide useful information: • Offer characters to teach us • Relate to real-word situation • Engage audience members to teach one another
    • 20. Manage attention spans Take advantage of the brain’s ability to digest more than words: • Use media, charts, photos, illustrations, etc. • Make us interpret the media • Leave a few blanks for us to fill in
    • 21. Don’t Be Boring! According to a 2012 study, Lunch Ladies Who Love Leftovers, 68% of students leave healthy food on their lunch trays. 68%
    • 22. Case Studies
    • 23. Putting it together Our brains fill in concepts ---make the reader do her work Our brains process images ---use language to create lasting impressions, teach with simile We interpret stories how we see them ---make the content about the reader, give them useful information they can “interpret” into their daily lives Good storytellers use details!!!!
    • 24. Putting it together Always tell a good story: • • • • • • Engage the audience with details, images, etc. Provide useful information to “teach” Structure the story Avoid cliché (and the boring brain rooms) Remember, be persuasive (it’s still marketing) Clear call to action
    • 25. Exercise—Ask Questions Write 3 tweets or blog post first lines asking a question. Examples: How many hours have you wasted trying to fix your html code? What are the three things your customers think about most? Have you ever worn purple socks?
    • 26. Exercise—Calls to Action Tell me what you want me to do. (This is persuasive communications after all.) Write 3 examples of calls to action to further engage your audience. Examples: • Make a comment • Register for event • Tweet this • Tell your story
    • 27. Footnotes For more the science of stories and medical studies: Gottschall, Jonathan. The Storytelling Animal. New York: Mariner Books, 2012. Murphy Paul, Anne. Your Brain on Fiction. New York Times, March 17, 2012. Widrich, Leo. The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brain. Lifehacker, December 5, 2012. Website: Why We Tell Stories. http://worldsciencefestival.com/webcasts/science_narrative
    • 28. Use Your Words Jill Pollack jill@storystudiochicago.com 773-477-7710 storystudiochicago.com ©2013 All Rights Reserved. StoryStudio Chicago Ltd.

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