Archive for November, 2014

Mal Warwick: Getting Started with Copy Writing

DATE: November 25th, 2014

Mal Warwick’s experience as a copy writer is a good place to start for foundational tips for copy writing from a fund raising perspective. Follow him here:

Telling your Story

DATE: November 21st, 2014

Brands as your best friends: Good-bye slogans and catchphrases.

Today you can’t sell without a story—and it better be authentic.

Whether it’s websites, tweets, or texts,

brands will use straightforward dialogue infused with honesty and emotion.

We’re talking plain, straightforward honesty in communications—

like Zipcar who has zoomed past the rental car competition

with an approachable voice that speaks like your best bud.

(Landor 2015 – the end of mass and the rise of the individual)

There are thousand lists of “how to write a great story.” Don’t get hung up on them.

Here is the critical list of storytelling:

  1. Think about the people you’re talking to – don’t waste their time.
  2. Your characters are human – we love the anti-hero – create someone everyone wants to cheer for.
  3. Edit. Every sentence you write has to reveal a character or advance the plot.
  4. Don’t shy away from need – your story has to have something needed and a solution to that need.
  5. Let the readers solve the problem before you do. Give them just enough information to do this.

Most importantly, learn from the best story tellers.

Applying this to your brand takes creative ingenuity. But here are some great brand stories to learn from.

Tom’s Shoes… they found an amazing way to make people remember they are the shoe people who care. Every product you buy benefits someone in need. They are a for-profit corp. that cares – really cares. And people love that about them.

It all begins with you – then just tell the story. Tell it truthfully, passionately and with confidence.

P.S. I’m leading a session on storytelling at AFP Congress on Tuesday — drop in!

House of Cards

DATE: November 3rd, 2014

“What audiences want is the remarkable, creative, multi-layered anti-hero.” Kevin Spacey, speaking to WIRED magazine suggested that we are on the cusp of the golden age of storytelling.

Gotta say House of Cards has, without question, captured viewers (Although Atlantic Monthly argues, perhaps not as many as NCIS.  February 2014). But here’s the thing… Downton Abby, House of Cards, Wired, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, The Flash, Game of Thrones…. And, well, I could go on… Each series built their success on one thing: Story.

Advertisers, take note, CONTENT MATTERS.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: the story of the young man who has ALS was the seed of the challenge. The story of people world-wide dumping buckets of ice over their heads in hundreds of thousands of creative ways developed online, creative the most successful “Make your own adventure” story of the year.

As your brand competes against hundreds of thousands of brands, know that story matters. Content that cuts through the clutter and starts a buzz. Because people share stories.

People have always shared stories, told their friends. But today, we have an additional story line to ensure – and that’s the story our customers and supporters tell. By the end of today 20,900 DAYS worth of video will have been posted to You Tube. That’s more than broadcasters produced in the past 60 years. With few exceptions the video includes selfies, kiddies and animals.

Spacey’s advice?

Listen to the creative and take the time to imagine a great story.