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'My Story' Marketing: A Lesson For Israel Advocates
HonestReporting's social media editor, Alex Margolin, contributes occasional posts on social media issues. He oversees HonestReporting on Facebook.
As Transmedia Storytelling catches on, it's worth looking at some of the techniques people are using to tell their stories. The most basic way, of course, is to simply tell one's own story to a camera and put it up on YouTube. Sounds simple enough.
In a recent NY Times article about Abe's Market, an online hub for organic and health-related products, the Times notes that Abe's encourages its merchants to tell the story behind the business:
This is all part of a phenomenon that branding experts call "my story" marketing: a style of reaching out to consumers that emphasizes the people behind the products.
"It's hugely about humanizing the businesses and connecting who they are with the imputed values of their target customer set," said Nancy F. Koehn, a historian and brand expert at the Harvard Business School. "That's a long way from 'four out of five dentists recommend Trident for their patients who chew gum' — or Mrs. Olson talking to you, saying your marriage will fall apart if you don't use Folgers."
Humanizing the business and connecting with their target audience through shared values is exactly the type of activity in which Israel's advocates should engage.
While many people hold endless online political debates, often with no resolution, too few take the time to explain what Israel really means to their lives. As Koehn implies, it's more effective than quoting stats or using scare tactics.
A personal story often works because it captures more than the facts it conveys. It also captures the human dimension behind those facts, giving people a fuller experience. Focusing on the people behind Israel can help build common ground between people with political differences.
No need to look further than Abe's Market itself to see how effective "my story marketing" can be. This outstanding video speaks for itself.
Previously in Alex's series: Text, Video, Audio, Images, and More . . .
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