Storytelling and Data…or the need to measure the story?

It is possible…it is possible to measure success. I have been surrounded by groups that want to bring a visual context to their story. They enlist me to help find and tell those rich elements creating a meaningful story.

The idea of storytelling has become such a passĂ© term. Each day I receive an email, see a pr strategy, get a insert in the my home mailbox advertising how to tell better stories. From rich pr strategies to complex marketing initiatives…we all want to tell better stories.

Groups invest tons of money into these initiatives yet sometimes measuring success is not part of the initial thinking. The hardest question…what is success. Or…is the term “success” an inappropriate representation for the need to see how the audiences interacted with the media.

Let’s think through the term “success” and consider a different lens. When I think of measurement and storytelling, I think in terms of impact and how the audience experienced the media.

From the very beginning, before the creative stage is implemented…we have to set goals. What do we want the media, (the story) to do and how can we measure the impact based on those goals.

Then, we have to identify the story that needs to be told. What is the message and how do we want it to influence the audience. Is this an awareness initiative or is it a marketing initiative?

Here are the fun questions:
1) Can we actually associate measurement to these goals? Well this mathematics graduate knows you can associate numbers/measurement to anything.
2) But, do we really care about all the data we want to collect?
3) Can we experience data overload? So much measurement we are not even sure what to do with the information…often times leaving us overwhelmed and less interested?

Maybe we should just focus our expectations…thus focus our data collection. OR…maybe we should focus on telling better stories?

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