I invented the grab bag post as a forum to share three vignettes on business storytelling that otherwise couldn’t stand on their own.
And here’s the latest …
Serendipitous Nature of Social Media Breaks LeBron James News on My Twitter Feed
On Friday LeBron James officially announced that he is taking his talents back to Cleveland.
But my Twitter followers who have put up with my bad puns and periodic snark were rewarded on Thursday when Bud Shaw, sports journalist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, passed the following tweet my way.
Leaving nothing to interpretation — unless you think Lyndon Johnson’s grave is headed to Cleveland — we knew LeBron’s decision on Thursday.
Contrast as a Storytelling Technique
Journalists, the masters of business storytelling, depend on contrast as a staple in their writing.
Communicators would be wise to follow suit. No question, contrast is one of my favorite storytelling techniques.
Here’s one quick example from The Wall Street Journal and its coverage of the Mexico/The Netherlands World Cup match.
The contrast — simply put, more orange than green — tells a story of Dutch control.
Now, take a look at the graphic with only data on The Netherlands.
The storytelling disappears.
Contrast by definition must contain a frame, communicating the difference between point A and point B.
Most companies want to jump right to point B, especially if point A depicts any semblance of a negative light.
Visual Storytelling Meant to Guide Bathroom Behavior
Most of us in business communications come by way of words.
We recognize the increasing importance of visual storytelling, but making the shift can feel like asking Dairy Queen to offer healthy alternatives. Anyone up for a kale blizzard? Not exactly a natural transition.
The head of our Beijing office, Lucia Liu, passed on this example of visual storytelling posted on a Sina weibo account (Chinese micro blogging platform).
You don’t need to read Chinese to get the gist of these visuals or the levity.
I particularly liked the first image discouraging people from standing in the trash can while dropping the paper towel on the floor. I can see how that might be a problem.