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Newsletter: #947: The “Tell a Great Story” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Telling your company’s story can be tricky. Even if you have great stuff, a cool history, and a fantastic idea, you still need to tell your customers about it in an interesting and sharable way. So before you start typing paragraph after paragraph for an “About Us” section on your website, take a look at these three creative examples.

1. Entertain your fans
2. Remember your founders
3. Help them tell their friends
4. Check it out: Historical maps meet Google Maps

1. Entertain your fans

Sometimes the most compelling story you have is the one about your company philosophy. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy to tell in a portable way. So to illustrate their marketing strategy for social media, Mash+Studio wrote a children’s story for adults called “Jenny and the Chicken: A story about why your brand needs a content studio.” The story gets across a complicated idea in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-repeat, and charming way.

The lesson: The more entertaining you make your company’s story, the more likely your fans will tell other people about it.

Learn more: Mash+Studio

2. Remember your founders

A lot of companies have interesting founders that become mascots for their brand. For example, GE has a famous one: Thomas Edison. So to get more people talking about their connection to the famous inventor, they hijacked the viral joke of Ryan Gosling’s Hey Girl memes. To do it, GE posted photos of a young Edison with sayings like, “Hey girl, I heard you like music, so I invented the phonograph,” or “Hey girl, can I file a patent on your heart?”

The lesson: By showing their sense of humor and connecting their founder to something fun, GE got people talking about their history.

Learn more: Contently

3. Help them tell their friends

If he were still around today, Ernest Hemingway would have a Facebook profile worth following. At least, that’s what The Hemingway Foundation is banking on with their app, The Hemingway Hijacker. It lets the famous author take over your Facebook page for a day with status updates, photos, and check-ins. That’s a great way to make Hemingway’s life more relatable and more visible for a modern audience.

The lesson: This app makes it incredibly easy for Hemingway’s fans to share his story with all of their Facebook friends in an interesting, personal way.

4. Check it out: Historical maps meet Google Maps

See the past merge with the present in this interactive historical map collection selected by David Rumsey. Click the compass icon to see an old map overlaid onto its present site in Google Maps. Then, move the slider on the top right to make it more or less transparent.

Check it out: David Rumsey’s Historical Map Collection

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  1. Edwin August 1, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    The biggest challenge I have to overcome with my clients is “finding the story.” Although it can become apparent to me what their story is (Point #1), unless they see and appreciate their story that they can share, they never grasp the excitement or opportunity.

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