For many, Christmastime and the Holiday Season are the ultimate storytelling experiences. How is it that the same story can inspire joy, hope and happiness among society year after year? Santa is certainly on to something. Here are a few storytelling tips for Public Relations and Marketing Pros from Saint Nick himself:
“He makes a list, and checks it twice” –It only took one nice little boy with coal in his stocking for Santa to recognize the value of double-checking. Being thorough and consistent are just a few of the reasons he’s a branding guru. Just like Santa your story and brand need to be consistent time and again. When telling a story, it can be easy to leave things out or to overlook certain elements entirely if we don’t take the time to check it twice. Putting all of the pieces together and paying attention to detail are essential to making a story worth spreading.
He’s one of a kind – There may only be one Santa, but to each of his believers he represents something distinctly different. He is able to adapt his brand to each individual market, without losing his unique point of view: dreams can come true with a little magic, faith and Christmas cheer. Every person and company has a different perspective, so we have to learn how to communicate the same core message to different audiences while keeping the different countries, mediums, etc. in mind.
He has perfect delivery – Practice makes perfect, and with hundreds of years of squeezing down narrow chimneys, Santa delivers presents “like magic”. Fortunately for the rest of us, effective message delivery can be accomplished magic and soot-free. Part of conveying the perfect message is creating a strong foundation, or Master Narrative, and building upon it. The perfect story requires more than characters and setting, rising and falling action; it requires time, practice and fine-tuning for the perfect delivery.
He’s engaging – Who else do we know that can convince the children of the world to go to bed early? With Santa’s jolly demeanor and lovable consistency, he not only entertains the world, he grabs its attention with his compelling story. In turn, Santa-lovers everywhere spread his messages of inspiration and joy. In PR and Marketing, the trick to making your story worth telling is to convince others not only to believe and buy, but to advocate to others. Santa accomplishes this each and every time.
He knows when you’ve been bad or good – Santa’s uncanny ability to sniff out lies, deceit and misconduct should be a lesson for all. He’s not alone. The public and media might take a little longer, but they too will catch wind of any crisis or scandal. Santa is proof that trying to hide from your mistakes is useless, so don’t spend 2012 ignoring a problem, take the reins and regain control of the narrative.
Branding Gurus: How has Santa’s legendary brand inspired your strategy? How have you made your story worth spreading?