FutureLearn is an online education platform that offers free courses, delivered in partnership with a range of universities and academic programmes. A while ago a completed a course called “The Future of Branding” which looked at the theory and practice of creating and maintaining a successful brand. As I deliver a branding presentation to new hires as part of my job it was a great course to do and I have used elements of it in my presentation since.
I’m currently catching up with a new course called “Digital Storytelling”, looking at telling stories through digital mediums and how the internet and digital platforms have influenced how we engage with and deliver stories today. I’ve completed the first week of content, so here is a short summary of things to consider when writing or producing engaging stories. How you tell a story is almost as important as what it is – what makes your story worthy of sharing?
What makes a good story?
– Passion, what thrills you as a writer? what can you not bare to write about? The story must reflect the passion of the writer.
– Stimulates curiosity, does it make the reader care enough to stay tuned to the end?
– Does it tell the audience something that they’re glad to now know or learn about?
– Are universal values in the story that people can relate to? Is the story teaching the audience a lesson?
Despite all these considerations, the interpretation of the story will always vary between readers!
Think about your audience
– What is the TOP LINE? What is the story? the content or the issue?
– Whose story is it? What is going to happen? What will the anticipation or suspense?
– What is the BIG story question? Will there be success? What will be discovered?
– What is in it for the audience? What is the BIG theme? What values and richness can the audience relate to?
Attention – there is so much more content around than ever before, writers must design around patterns of attention which has changed dramatically in recent years. Will your audience consume the content on their commute? On their phone?
Behaviour – the digital world has changed our behaviours, we no longer consume content in the same way, and our behaviours with our mobile devices have become ingrained in our day to day lives
Circulation – the way we find content and where it is distributed is has changed, we no longer listen or watch live content as regularly but use catch up services to consume it. We follow feeds of content which showcases things that are relevant to our lives, Buzzfeed being a prime example of this.
These tips can be applied to all types of digital content, even in the workplace. It’s very important to keep the audience in mind throughout the content/story creation process and these areas highlight that very much. Do you have any principles you follow when creating content or telling stories? How was the digital world affected that?