Want Your Messages to Stick? Storytelling Can Help

One Upon a Time

© Marek Uliasz | Dreamstime.com

Since the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs, many have analyzed his contributions and noted his lasting place in history.

But it is the personal stories of his life that truly illustrate his unique combination of creative genius, business leadership and vision. These gifts allowed Jobs to develop a company with a $337 billion market cap today, while improving the lives of countless consumers who use Apple products. 

Walt Mossberg, a technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal, frequently interviewed Apple’s chief. In a moving tribute to Jobs, he relates several stories. One in particular resonated for me because it shows the extraordinary focus, discipline and determination Jobs had — necessary qualities for his phenomenal success as an entrepreneur and business leader.

The story
While Jobs was recuperating from his liver transplant, Mossberg visited him at home. During their conversation, Jobs suggested a walk to a nearby park. Given the recent surgery, Mossberg is understandably nervous. When Job stops on the way, Mossberg writes: “I begged him to return to the house, noting that I didn’t know CPR and could visualize the headline: ‘Helpless reporter lets Steve Jobs die on the sidewalk.’”

Despite the need to pause, Jobs reaches the park, accomplishing the milestone he set for himself that day. Mossberg tells the story in this video.

Through anecdote, the reporter harnesses the emotional power of narrative to illustrate the remarkable aspects of Jobs’ personality that allowed him to achieve so much.

Do you use the power of story to make your messages stick?

You might also enjoy executive and storyteller Peter Guber’s tips in Can a Secret Sauce Craft a Win for Your Brand?

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About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at mycreativeconsiderations@gmail.com.
This entry was posted in Public Relations, Storytelling and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Want Your Messages to Stick? Storytelling Can Help

  1. lbstrang says:

    My take: Most communications and marketing professionals recognize the power of sharing customers’ stories to make messages stick — but in some cases, privacy concerns enter into the picture.

    • That’s a very valid concern. Walt Mossberg’s story was not shared until after Steve Jobs’ death. What do you think of the advice Peter Gubar gives in his book to use stories from history, books and movies to make messages stick?

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