Content Marketing, Guest Posts, Social Media Strategy, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Marketing

Audit Your Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories

Elizabeth009Web.JPG Audit Your Intellectual Capital   7 Ways to Find Your StoriesGuest post by Elizabeth Sosnow (@elizabethsosnow), Managing Director of BlissPR, a New York City based public relations firm. She develops and supervises strategic communications programs for major companies in professional and financial services, with a particular emphasis on the legal, consulting and insurance industries.

Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy slips on banana peel, temporarily loses girl, but ultimately gets girl back.

social media stories 300x236 Audit Your Intellectual Capital   7 Ways to Find Your StoriesMy college cinema professor Elliot Stout once observed that there really are only a few basic stories, but that your storytelling opportunity lies in the rich details you can add to each plot. For example, Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho” is ultimately about a very bad mother, but he gives us a huge narrative shock when we first see “her” in the infamous shower scene. Human beings love — and learn best — through stories.

We know that social media communities require an unending supply of stories to succeed. But the daily grind of coming up with those ideas can feel overwhelming. In our recent study of consulting firms, we found that many abandon blogs, probably because of bandwith and story fatigue.

It doesn’t have to be painful. Start with an audit of the intellectual capital or “thought leadership” you already have:

  • Review business plans, potential industry and product scenarios.
  • Consider your leaders’ past marketing output: their speeches, bylined articles, internal memos that codify an “ah-ha” moment for the company.
  • Develop an educated opinion on what your competitors have accomplished from both a business and marketing perspective.
  • Evaluate public research on audience, product and business development opportunities.
  • Listen to what your prospects, customers/clients, communities and competitors are already saying — about you and about what they need to be successful for themselves.

Now consider if your existing ideas lend themselves to a story framework. Here are 7 ways to identify the possible stories in your own organization:

  1. Once Upon A Time: Does your company or client have an instructive story from its history to share with others? Are there some “lessons learned” that could benefit your community?
  2. What if?: People are fascinated and terrified by the future. We crave stories that control that fear by predicting what might happen next. There’s no reason your organization can’t identify some potential scenarios for your own industry.
  3. David vs. Goliath: Are you the underdog? Tell your audience about the day-to-day struggle against the “giant.” And if you are Goliath, spend your time telling stories about how you help the “little guys.”
  4. Adam and Eve: Romantic stories hold tremendous appeal for all of us. And they do exist in business, from mergers & acquisitions to the passion of innovation to the steadfast commitment of an employee.
  5. Hannibal Lecters: In the book “Silence of the Lambs,” Clarice is much more interesting when she’s in a scene with Dr. Lecter. Simply put, your potential customers are intrigued by villains, so is there a “bad guy” you can use to your advantage?
  6. Heros or, better yet, Frodos: In Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings,” we are inspired by Frodo because he is not a typical hero. He’s far too small and quiet, though he ultimately succeeds where everyone else failed. When choosing your own leadership stories, the CEO may be the perfect choice. But don’t stop there. Search for the rising star or an unexpected voice.
  7. A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words: Sometimes words can’t do justice to a story. Think of the unforgettable picture of the lone protestor standing in front of the tank in Tiannemen Square. Businesses have their own pictures, too. It could be as simple as capturing the right moment with a customer or as insightful as a graphic from the masterful David Armano.

Starting a blog or building a content pipeline can feel intimidating. But if you begin your intellectual capital audit by looking for these kinds of stories, you’ll have a built-in head start.

Don’t forget the most important part of being a successful storyteller. Your primary job is to excite your audience.

What’s the best business story you’ve ever told?

(photo by Foxtongue)

Related
  • http://twitter.com/cpechayco/status/2872919234 Christine Pechayco

    RT @jaybaer Audit Your Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories http://ow.ly/hDfi Great stuff from @elizabethsosnow

  • http://twitter.com/damphoux/status/2877363209 Mike Damphousse

    great blogger link RT @jaybaer: Audit Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories http://ow.ly/hDfG Great stuff from @elizabethsosnow

  • http://twitter.com/motoole1/status/2877447278 Mike O’Toole

    Great ideas for finding/framing the stories in your company: blog by @elizabethsosnow http://ow.ly/hDfG

  • http://twitter.com/donordigital/status/2877610308 Donordigital

    RT @jaybaer: Audit Your Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories http://ow.ly/hDfG Great stuff from @elizabethsosnow

  • http://twitter.com/cristinagordet/status/2877619485 cristinagordet

    RT @motoole1: Great ideas for finding/framing the stories in your company: blog by @elizabethsosnow http://ow.ly/hDfG

  • Rob Berick

    RT @marielacastro: Don´t can your corp blog b/c you don´t have stories to tell. Find here 7 tips to develop stories: http://bit.ly/Vq2TG

  • http://twitter.com/DavidLeffler David Leffler

    Excellent and useful article. I couldn’t agree with you more about the power of a story to convey information better than any other method. I wrote an article just on that topic a few years ago for GPSOLO Magazine, published by the ABA, which you might find interesting:
    http://www.abanet.org/genpractice/magazine/2005/jul-aug/beingsolo.html
    .-= David Leffler´s last blog ..DavidLeffler: @nikiblack Post-partum depression is a seriously debilitating physical condition which which is not taken as seriously as it should be. =-.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidLeffler David Leffler

    Excellent and useful article. I couldn’t agree with you more about the power of a story to convey information better than any other method. I wrote an article just on that topic a few years ago for GPSOLO Magazine, published by the ABA, which you might find interesting:
    http://www.abanet.org/genpractice/magazine/2005/jul-aug/beingsolo.html
    .-= David Leffler´s last blog ..DavidLeffler: @nikiblack Post-partum depression is a seriously debilitating physical condition which which is not taken as seriously as it should be. =-.

  • http://twitter.com/rebeccadenison/status/3264591564 Rebecca Denison

    Use intellectual capital to find story: it’s in the details says @elizabethsosnow http://tinyurl.com/mdqbtw Bookmarked!

  • http://twitter.com/purpleraindance/status/6264627481 purpleraindance
  • http://twitter.com/creativedynamix/status/6265296656 Roisin Markham
  • http://twitter.com/PattiBreckenrdg/statuses/6280791412 PattiBreckenrdg (Patti Brecken

    Twitter Comment


    Useful tips on business storytelling – [link to post] – RT @timkastelle #communication #engagement #business #storytelling #stories – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/PattiBreckenrdg/statuses/6280791412 PattiBreckenrdg (Patti Breckenridge)

    Twitter Comment


    Useful tips on business storytelling – [link to post] – RT @timkastelle #communication #engagement #business #storytelling #stories

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/timkastelle/statuses/6279779655 timkastelle (timkastelle)

    Twitter Comment


    Business story-telling – useful tips [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/timkastelle/statuses/6279779655 timkastelle (timkastelle)

    Twitter Comment


    Business story-telling – useful tips [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/timkastelle/status/6279779655 Tim Kastelle

    Business story-telling – useful tips http://ow.ly/HWto

  • http://twitter.com/pattibreckenrdg/status/6280791412 Patti Breckenridge

    Useful tips on business storytelling – http://ow.ly/HWto – RT @timkastelle #communication #engagement #business #storytelling #stories

  • http://twitter.com/casuist/statuses/6473640096 casuist (g.v. wilkes iv)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @dhutson: 7 Ways to Find Your Stories [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/casuist/statuses/6473640096 casuist (g.v. wilkes iv)

    Twitter Comment


    RT @dhutson: 7 Ways to Find Your Stories [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/dhutson/statuses/6473559813 dhutson (Dan Hutson)

    Twitter Comment


    7 Ways to Find Your Stories [link to post] – Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/dhutson/statuses/6473559813 dhutson (Dan Hutson)

    Twitter Comment


    7 Ways to Find Your Stories [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/dhutson/status/6473559813 Dan Hutson

    7 Ways to Find Your Stories http://bit.ly/72wkJV

  • http://twitter.com/casuist/status/6473640096 g.v. wilkes iv

    RT @dhutson: 7 Ways to Find Your Stories http://bit.ly/72wkJV

  • http://twitter.com/storytellin/status/6474018929 AWooldridge (storyt)

    Audit Your Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories | Blogging and Content Creation | Social Media Consult… http://bit.ly/5xvC3

  • http://twitter.com/abraham6868appl/status/6476756370 Abraham Apple

    You may already have seen but if not this is great piece on finding your social capital http://bit.ly/Vq2TG :-)

  • http://twitter.com/richardfields/status/6876570334 Richard W Fields

    Audit Your Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories | | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://ow.ly/O2lG

  • http://twitter.com/shannonrjones/status/8870544874 Shannon Jones

    RT @jaybaer Audit Your Intellectual Capital – 7 Ways to Find Your Stories | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – C… http://bit.ly/oUbKw

  • http://twitter.com/AnikaMarketer/statuses/8906590664 AnikaMarketer (Anika at Projectline)

    Twitter Comment


    We are reading this and meeting together as a company to tell a 90 sec story about Projectline. [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  • http://twitter.com/AnikaMarketer/statuses/8906590664 AnikaMarketer (Anika at Projec

    Twitter Comment






    We are reading this and meeting together as a company to tell a 90 sec story about Projectline. [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

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