Do You REALLY Have a Story to Tell?
I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she was complaining about the endless stream of people wanting her to write press releases, create brochures or post something on the website. In addition to the volume of requests, she was frustrated by the fact most people had no idea the focus of the story or information they wanted to share.
Each time someone comes to her, she has to stop what she’s doing, sit down with them, and try and figure out what the heck they need. This takes time. Time away from the mountain of work on her desk. Time to meet with the person. Time to educate them on the different ways to communicate. And time to create and distribute the content.
What’s most annoying, is the majority of these interruptions end up being a lengthy discussion about what makes a story. She often ends up sending the person away to get more information or to better formulate their thoughts. Then the process starts all over again when they reappear at her desk thinking they have the story or communication need figured out. They usually don’t.
I told her she could save everyone a lot of time and herself some headaches by having people funnel their requests using a story submission form. She said she would be open to any suggestions to bring some order out of the chaos.
This conversation got me thinking, doesn’t everyone use a story submission form? I’m guessing not. I love how the simplest tools can save the most time, frustration and hair pulling.
Basically a story submission form walks people through the key elements of a story. They are asked to answer some simple questions. By answering these questions (before they show up at your desk) it makes them think a little deeper about the story they want to tell or information they want to share. And most importantly – figure out who will care. Truly care.
Here are some of the questions in the story submission form:
- Who is your target audience?
- What key information do they need to know?
- When and why do they need to know it?
- Where did they go to get information?
- What is the human story you trying to tell?
Having people fill out the form BEFORE they talk to you, is a great way to save yourself a little bit of time. And guess what? Some people may quickly realize they actually don’t have a story to tell, saving you both a lengthy and fruitless conversation.
I want you to try out this tool for FREE so you can see how simple it is to use. And how it will make your life a lot easier. Just go to story submission form, put it in your shopping cart and enter thiscoderocks at the checkout. You have until September 29, 2018 to download this form.
After you download this form, I want you to test it out. Have a colleague or friend use this form for their next project (or even your own project). See if it helps streamline the conversation so you both have a better idea of the story.
Then, shoot me an email and let me know how it works for you. Tell me how it helped create the story outline. And if it didn’t work, what didn’t you like?