Creating a path for those to find your story

I have been thinking lately about how we get our stories to people…distribution points. The one thing that I consistently preach to my students and my clients:

  1. Audience – Who are the audience(s) you are trying to reach..list them ALL!
  2. Purpose – What is the sole reason you have something to say or tell.
  3. Delivery – What are you going to use to get that message to those audience(s).

These points create context…context for the message. As you notice…they are intertwined. Well, you may have a great story, but if you do not know how the audience can access the message…then you might be creating the best Super Bowl message for an audience who does not have a television. You might be creating the most unbelievable email marketing campaign, and your target audience does not open emails.

We have to think about distribution…yes, it comes down to delivering the message. Here is a list of distribution methods:

  1. Web
  2. Blogs
  3. Television
  4. Home Phone
  5. Mobile Phones
  6. PDA’s
  7. Text Messaging
  8. Twitter
  9. Facebook
  10. Fax
  11. Mail
  12. Brochures
  13. Business Cards
  14. White Papers
  15. Annual Reports
  16. Online Video
  17. Mobile Video
  18. Newspaper
  19. Radio
  20. Satellite Radio

Now let’s look at major “Anchor” tools where stories can be told, the beginning of the food chain:

  1. Web
  2. Blogs
  3. Newspapers
  4. Brochures
  5. White Papers
  6. Annual Reports
  7. Television
  8. Radio
  9. Satellite Radio

These places are where the stories are produced and created for audiences to eventually find themselves enjoying content. But, we have different distribution points to bring these audience back to the original source…teasing them with a hint of what’s to come:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Mail
  4. Fax
  5. Business Cards
  6. Radio
  7. Text Messaging
  8. Mobile Video
  9. Home Phones
  10. Mobile Phones

The point here is when we create stories, we can use these “Anchor” tools to place our stories and use the distribution points to bring audiences back to this place…to learn more, read more, or hear more. The new face of our organizations is our “Web Property”… our main website.
Organizations are learning that they must invest just as much time, effort, energy, resources, and money into shaping their main web property as the major distribution point of information. The organization internally must support this new media and begin using the distribution tools necessary to funnel audiences back to this portal.

Organizations are also learning to re-shape marketing budgets, pr budgets, and IT budgets to allow resources necessary to create, provide, and drive traffic to a web portal and IT providers are learning to build robust systems to support this audience base.

Organizations are also starting to learn that Social Media Technologies are just as efficient as other distribution tools to gain audiences attention with “Teasers” of content, finding new ways to tell stories in a distributive method. This distributive method is now the online community building technologies. Providing portals of conversation where people can engage and connect…and allowing the “Tribe” mentality to shape the community which becomes the online cheerleading section.

So now that ealier way to analyze context of a story is starting to take new shape:

  1. Audience(s) – Name all the audiences
  2. Purposes(s) – What is the purpose of the over-arching message and for each distribution points
  3. Delivery – What is the main point of delivery and what are the sub-distribution points that will tease audiences back to the mother ship.

To me…this is a game. How do we tell one story with multiple layers. Allow the audience to follow the “red-string” along the many paths of distribution points to ultimately get to the main story. What is your story, how are you telling that story, how are you reaching your audience(s), well…I am listening!