So — do I have to listen?
The sentiments on the power of storytelling continue to emerge.
Point is, who cares to listen?
These days, dozens of friends, colleagues and client send along snippets to the power of the story, well told.
The image above comes from our friends at Voda Studios. We’d partnered with them on the digital alignment, management of brand assets & photographic content for our
union bay website strategy.
Girvin, P&G, the first brand | storytelling presentation, the 90’s
When we first wrote and presented the concept of brand and story to Procter & Gamble, in the 90s, at a P&G Brand Creative Summit in building one, one of a series of “lectures,” Cincinnati P&G HQ, downtown. Then, I was very nervous about the proposition — first time, GIRVIN | VIRGIN. Story and brand, then, were not synchronized, even theoretically. Presenting the subject to the team there, as a possible topic, the response was — “what?”
Our supposition is that a vital brand has a series of characters that evolve, intermingle and work together like a “plot.” They are a spinning [or better still, to the negative character of the word PR and “spin”] — spooling or reeling. They proceed in the beginning of the telling, the move through the life of the brand — which could be long, or short. In fact, our power reference to positioning stories syncs to relevance. Relevance, then resonance, in building relationships.
Key to attraction is how the story is told — what voice, and how pertinent is that voice to the experiencer.
I’d call the framing of listening to a story [and yes, this is a personal reveal to my own, and current, childhood]
that a story well told
is told in the voice, the hearing relevance of/to/for the listener. Will they, literally, lean in, list, to the hearing and the telling?
My teachers, Ms. Jones, or Ms. McCormick, at Hamblen Elementary [Spokane] — they aligned conceptions of “story time” with napping and reading — “go to the library and lie down, take a nap…and listen –or ‘put your head down on the table’. Listening, attuned to just that — first, the voice, then the mind and image building.”
Actually, there was something powerful to this “presenting format” — dreaming presentations — the idea of listening, then using your imagination to wholly visualize a story.
That technique builds a dramatic bridging between the semi-conscious, the listening and the imagination. That stringing was profound for me.
And unforgettable. In a manner, the notion of being alone, and drifting into the listening of story, voiced in the layering of plot, subplot, character, environment, friends and foes, good outcomes, hard outcomes, challenges and pleasant meanders —
these are all story weavings that can be:
imagined and dreamed
experienced and live sensed
visualized, transcribed and retold.
Again and again — the patterning renews itself, the rhythm flutters.
There is a yearning for story — it’s how we recount the moments of the metronomic ticks of the heart beats of our lives.
The ups, the downs, the rounds, the yes, the no, the maybe so — each steep, there is that question — “where will this take me to?”
Like strategy, these days, the gathering of the army, the best laid plans of humankind
hold no lock on the truth of what might be coming –
– it’s simply there, out there, coming next.
Every exhalation of the story, told, breathed — can murmur a new nuance on what lies before the path coming, the journey that lies before.
In all the strategic planning of every move — jags in the journey, the ways of discovery, will change things.
Nothing seems as expected, there are turnings in the road, the route well planned.
Go ahead, lean in, listen.
tim | the Old Queen Anne
Elementary School Studios | Girvin Queen Anne
Girvin Cloudmind | http://bit.ly/eToSYp
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