Storytelling What it is, What it Isn’t Capeesh?

Posted on Feb 13, 2020 |

I’m on a mission. Well, a journey, you know what? I’m Pi**ed Off! Very much so with marketing people talking about storytelling.

Here’s one example taken from a site that appears for the search ‘storytelling in marketing examples’


What is Storytelling?

A story is an “account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment,” and storytelling is simply the art of sharing a message in the form of a story.


You had to explain storytelling? What? I know three year olds with better understanding of what a story is, well a good one.

I suppose I’m being a bit harsh here but for all our sakes…


Storytelling or Shut up and Listen

Shut up and listen. You tell a story and people listen. It could be your relating of not being able to find a parking space, seeing an old friend, slipping on a leaf.

When you tell it well then people shut up and listen. The story captures. The story is with us in how we talk to friends and family.


The ‘Science of Storytelling’ Eh?

What? Yes, some dim bod has made into a science. It’s not a science. It’s an ART! Do you understand? Art is practice, insight, originality, inspiration, and emotion.

Science isn’t. I mean. It is useful but it has nothing to do with writers.


A Finger to Science

Do you know what writer’s do? They give science the finger. Why? Because they’re busy creating something that has not been told before. They are finding their own rules and breaking them and then sitting down and having a lovely cup of tea and wondering why Alexa is full of dross and why Facebook has just ordered them a holiday in France and a multipack of nutmeg and a sex worker.

Did you see how many times the word ‘and’ crops up in that paragraph?

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The Pedant & The Submachine Gun

You’re not supposed to do that. It’s bad grammar, so say the pedants who passed exams by learning what they are told instead of looking out the window and wondering why James Bond and his mother hasn’t let rip with bursts from Heckler & Kock MP5 submachine guns therefore ending double maths early.


You Want to Tell a Story?

Here we go. Write this down. ‘I woke up this morning and…’

Now finish the sentence with another six words and you have a story idea or 250 characters and you have a tweet or 46 words and you’ll have a short post for Facebook or Linkedin.

If you’re really up for it then add 7,004 words for a short story, 15,009 and you’ll have a 90 minute play or 190,000 and you’ll have a book.

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Add Client and Simmer

Imagine that line as the opener to your client’s story, write it and finish it. Most likely three to five paragraphs, say 250 words and you’ll have the brand story.

‘Start with a cliché ‘It was a dark and stormy proposal meeting…’

Start in the middle, with a brand or business, when they were making money but not big time, think back to the start and what ignited the story.

There’s not much story you say. Client had an idea. Made it happen. Sells stuff.

Then write the person. Not always easy but that’s another story. There is always a way of finding and using a story in digital marketing. Ask me…


Thank you for reading,


Jim Signature

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