Monday, February 19, 2007

The 21 Storylines Even The Most Cynical Media Will Love (part three)

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP - International Business Speaker

What storylines do you use to hook the media to build your business and brand?

If your engagement with the media were a boat, what boat would you use to float your ideas?

Stories help build brands. Especially in a low trust world, so your stories must be both authentic and engaging.

Most brands don't rely on just one storyline. They use several depending on the audience they are trying to reach.

Here are the third (and final) seven of what I call The 21 Storylines Even The Most Cynical Media Will Love:

15. The Pure Archetype

"An archetype is a generic, idealized model of a person, object or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned or emulated. In psychology, an archetype is a model of a person, personality or behavior." (Source Wikipedia)

A selection of common archetypes from Wikipedia include:

"Superman (the Omnipotent) e.g. The Joker, Iago, Superman himself
The Hero, e.g. Siegfried, Batman, Beowulf, Doc Savage, Luke Skywalker and The Matrix's Neo. The Great Mother, either good or terrible, e.g. Devi (MahaDevi), the Great Goddess, Glinda the Good Witch of the North
The Wise Old Man, e.g. Merlin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gandalf, Albus Dumbledore, Mazer Rackham and Mr. Miyagi
The Trickster or Ape, e.g. Reynard, Robin Goodfellow, Br'er Rabbit, Bart Simpson, Bugs Bunny, Ferris Bueller, and Loki The Puer Aeternus (Latin for "eternal boy"), e.g. Peter Pan."

The media love to attach archetypes to people and present them to audiences in a certain way that matches these archetypes.

From Terminator to Conan The Barbarian to champion bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been the warrior archetype.

16. Revenge

Revenge is a strong motivator. The media love the inherent conflict in the revenge story. Sir Richard Branson of Virgin fame is my favourite revenge case study.

He took on the record companies, airlines, banks and now superannuation and fuel companies and won.

17. Needs To Prove Something

Proving you are up to a challenge is another strong motivator. Again the media love the inherent conflict in this story angle. Anita Roddick of the Body Shop fame is my favourite case study.

18. Risks All

Risking everything is full of conflict as futures sit on a knife edge. The gambler in all of us appeals to the human side of the media and audiences.

Everyone can relate to risk. Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump are two stand outs in terms of risking all for a goal and winning.

19. Pawn In A Game

Was Tom Cruise pushed or has he really lost his movie star appeal after getting sacked by movie studio Paramount? Who knows? He is just a pawn in the movie making game and his future is controlled by others.

The media love it when someone's fate is controlled by others. The Bali Nine drug couriers are another Australian example.

20. Outrageous Behaviour

Paris Hilton sets the benchmark in this category.

21. Tumbling From The Top

Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson, and Enron are US standouts. Henry Kay, AWB Limited, HIH and One Tel are classic case studies in Australia of how the media loves this storyline.

Note it is a negative one and best avoided.

I hope you have enjoyed the 21 storylines and can find several that match your marketing and communication goals.

(Source: Adapted from High Visibility Irving Rein, Philip Kotler et al (2006), 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, pages 128 - 130).

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