Entries in philm (1)
There’s a story inside every one of us. That much we know already.
From the moment we began to control our infant worlds with speech and the movement of our hands across the page, the child within us innately understood the power of story to make sense of and bring meaning to the otherwise disconnected fragments of our lives.
Fast forward to the present day and some of this generation, people I’m glad to call my friends and colleagues, have become master storytellers. In contrast to those of us who were so easily distracted by other ‘stuff’, they have spent every waking moment refining their craft and clocking up the 10 000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell says is the sine qua non of true success.
Today, it is this small group people that controls the multinational brands that excerpt such a powerful influence over our lives, defining what we think and, critically, what we want. And these guys know, all too well, that branding is all about storytelling and that, through these stories, they can manage the associations we make with a particular product, company or organization.
It’s through stories that they can manage the emotional associations we make with that product, company or organization.
So let’s assume for a moment that the same is true for those of us who market schools. Our job is then simply to manage the stories people tell about us by managing the stories we tell about our school.
In truth, though, it’s not really that simple - especially if you are committed to keeping the story truthful, up-to-date, coherent and truly engaging for an unusually demanding audience.
The future, for those of us who work in this business, is certainly going to be challenging. We are being asked to put away the traditional tools of our storytelling trade (paper and words) and can no longer expect that people will have the time or inclination to visit our websites, however good our stories may be. And then there is the fact that, with the advent of social media, we can no longer control the story in the way we once thought we could (it was always a myth anyway).
Personally, I’m not sure where this will take us. I am happy, though, to say that rather than cling hopelessly to the past or give up altogether, I’m lucky enough to work with a team of individuals who are trying to think through what the new storytelling tools for schools may be.
The ISB Experience Stick, presented below, may not be the end of the story. For some of us though, it at least helps us think through what the next chapter might look like.