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In times like these, tell me a story

Ever have one of those driveway moments listening to the car radio and what you hear stops you from going inside the house?

Good stories trigger such a reaction.

While making a rare trip by car this week, I recognized a male voice on the radio who was with a regional furniture company. Normally, he advertises the latest sale or the fine craftsmanship that goes into the quality products they make. But in this 45-second spot, he reminisced about living through difficult times that more often connect people rather than keep them apart.

The account turned personal as he recalled a newly built shed on his family’s Midwest farm once demolished in a major storm. It happened one week after it was erected and his father had yet to insure the building. In the days to come, he and his brother worked with their dad to pull the most salvageable pieces from the wreckage and rebuild. In short time, neighbors and friends showed up and pitched in, piecing together the physical structure and offering much-needed healing to the family. Thirty-seven years later, the shed is still standing.

The radio spot never mentioned the COVID-19 virus or the devastation happening in the world. But it tapped into a universal feeling – tell me a story about how we’ve been through a time like this before and made it safely to the other side.

As our business world pivots, keep this in mind: stories are examples of content marketing that serve a valuable and worthwhile purpose. Right now, your clients are looking for trust and guidance at a time when there are more questions than answers. Find a good narrative and use it to uplift spirits, spread positivity and encourage hope.