Put a Person in the Action
- On February 19, 2014
Everyone loves a good story, which is why storytelling has become such an effective marketing and communications tool for business. But companies often speak and write in a way that keeps them—and their audiences—at a distance. They’ll introduce sentences with “there is” or “there are”—“There is a lack of clarity,” “There is low awareness”—a construction that invariably leaves a person out of the action and the reader with a fuzzy sense of what’s happening—and to whom. Not hallmarks of a good story—or an effective way to get your reader to feel and do something.
I was thinking about this the other day when a Tiffany ad on a bus shelter beckoned me with its picture-perfect stack of twinkling diamond rings. The copy? “There are times to celebrate.”
“Hmmm,” I wondered. “Where are those times? Are they my times?”
What if the ad had said, “You have times to celebrate”?
“Yes, I do,” I might have thought. And then (indulge me, dear reader, as I play out my fantasy), I just might have gone to the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue and bought myself one of those sparklers.