The power is in your story

If you want people to engage with your marketing, go where they connect with the promotional mix. It’s pretty clear where people seek information. They spend hours every day with traditional media, digital media and websites. The image above organizes the promotional mix like a magnet. It attracts on one side and repels on the other.

Meeting your market in these promotional channels requires a different approach than meeting them through salespeople and ads. Companies love the word-for-word control they have with ads and salespeople. It’s seductive. It feels good to them: All those features and benefits packaged neatly with contact information and a special offer if they act now. But language that feels good inside a company can rub your market the wrong way. That’s why they resist ads and self-serving salespeople.

One reason ads and salespeople turn off a market is they get to the point too quickly. They don’t spend enough time exploring the frustration their product is intended to solve. It’s like having someone watch only the end of The Wizard of Oz – the part where Dorothy realizes it was a dream – then expecting the viewer to have the same feeling as if they watched the entire movie.

Just like every movie and every book, the power is in the story. That’s what people love, love, love. The story, and then the ending.

If you are going to find success on the magnet side of the promotional mix, you need to think like the media and tell your story. And don’t make it too commercial. Why? Ask yourself why the media hates a story that is too commercial. Answer: because if the stories are too commercial, their audience leaves them. And they never come back. Ever.

Journalists know the key to audience loyalty is an interesting story. Period. And just like every good movie and every good book, the story is long and intriguing compared to the ending.

In many cases, there’s a great story in the frustration your product solves. And a great ending with the solution your product provides. When you tell your story, think heavy on the problem, light on the solution. After all, that’s what makes the media tick.

Over the 25 years we have been arranging media coverage, reporters have drilled this into us. If our publicists start off their pitch with the solution, they get shut down fast. We’ve learned to show the media we know the story first and the solution second.

When it comes to getting the media and Internet surfers to pay attention to your product, we have more tricks up our sleeves than problem/solution. But they all have to do with telling a story.

If you would like to talk directly to one of our publicists or social media writers and ask them what stories they would tell about the products you offer, give Heather Champine a call. Heather heads up our team of publicists and can be reached at 952-697-5269. These are the frontline folks who tell our clients’ stories every day. I’m always surprised by how many clients think their product doesn’t have a story. It’s fun to watch them light up as our staff begins to consider what their stories might be.


Written by Lonny Kocina

Lonny is a visionary who is passionate about marketing. He believes that to be a truly great agency, our professional advice and deliverables must be based on a solid marketing foundation. He has made it his mission to ensure that everyone on our team knows and understands the basic marketing concepts and the SAM 6 process. Lonny pioneered the concept of our nationally trademarked Pay Per Interview Publicity® business model which enables clients to purchase publicity by the story. “It’s a familiar concept. If you pay for a pizza, you get a pizza; if pay for a car, you get a car; and with us, if you pay for media coverage, you get media coverage,” he explains. “Clients come to us because they are tired of paying hourly retainers and getting little tangible return.” When the Internet was in its infancy, Lonny also had the business foresight to quickly reserve portal web addresses such as publicity, media relations and checkerboard, and advised clients to do the same. Nearly 30 years since launching this agency, Lonny’s still finds great joy thinking about, talking about and writing about product promotion. He thrives on expanding our ability to help clients tell their stories to the masses.

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