Unless you’ve been in a cave for the last week you’ve read about one of the largest media deals in history – Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal from GE. And while those three may read simply as the names of corporate behemoths separately, in this instance they may as well be the leading characters in a story.
Because while everyone from CNBC to the Chattanooga Times Free Press speculated on the business viability and the consumer impact of the deal, The New York Times focused on the story behind it. In a great piece, the Times shared the rich detail, including the attire and the attitudes, of GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Comcast patriarch Ralph Roberts, of a secretive July meeting in Sun Valley that saved the deal.
Reading the piece you felt as if you were there. You got a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the negotiations between two of the country’s most successful executives as they put together one of the most significant business deals in recent memory.
The piece demonstrated the power these two businessmen wield, but it also demonstrated the power of story. Stories are one of the oldest forms of communication. And while it may sometimes be perceived as a soft delivery method, the hard numbers from studies show that stories deliver the greatest impact and the greatest information retention.
Remember that the next time you are considering how to deliver your next marketing message. Because the power of story is unmatched. Besides people are much more likely to remember the color of Ralph Roberts’ bow tie than they are the share price of the deal. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.