Human beings respond to stories, not theories.
That's why coverage of an environmental disaster, for example, often includes anecdotes about people who are directly affected by the event. "As a kid, Jane Smith spent nearly every summer weekend on this beach, playing in the water for hours and building sand castles with her little brother, but when she returned yesterday as a tourist, she was shocked to discover that the entire shoreline was declared off limits for the foreseeable future because of an oil spill just up the coast..."
While most articles also include basic facts, a discussion of the various viewpoints, and even statistics that buttress or undercut those opinions, it’s the specific stories that help readers grasp the issues in a more visceral way, and resonate long after they've turned the page or clicked through to the next piece.
This storytelling approach is common in journalism, fiction, and creative nonfiction, but it can easily be applied to other kinds of writing—like the annual report that touts your nonprofit's achievements, the on-label copy for your company's new product, an online fundraising campaign, your blog posts, or the brochure you hand out at industry conferences. It makes no difference whether your content reflects a generalist's view of the world or is aimed at a highly specialized audience. At the end of the day, all human beings are hard-wired to engage with a narrative. If you want your readers to understand and retain what you've communicated, you must tell them a story.
I've spent my entire career writing stories for just about every type of media and genre. Contact me for help crafting narratives that captivate your audience.
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