All GOOD Stories are Personal

by | Jan 11, 2010 | Op/Ed, People, Relationships

There are stories and then there are stories.  Here’s why the personal story is the only good story:

Story 1:  The Las Vegas unemployment rate topped 13% last month.  This is a true story, one that appeared as an item on many news products in Las Vegas.  It is accurate, timely, and indicative of the times.  It’s says very little, though, in and of itself.

Story 2:  Jeremy hasn’t been able to find a job in his field as an ironworker for 6 months in Las Vegas.  He’s foreclosing on his mortgage, changing plans to send his daughter to college, and his wife has had to go to work for the first time in their lives.  This is also a true story, accurate, timely and indicative.  Yet, Jeremy’s story and many other individual stories of loss in this recession touches a nerve with anyone who has a heart.  It’s personal.  Many feel Jeremy’s pain.

There are over 2,000 foster children in Clark County, NV…the county where Las Vegas is located.  You can report that tragic fact, but it’s almost impossible to get your head around it.  That’s why every week, I choose one child or one sibling set, and profile their unique personality, face, and needs on the Wednesday’s Child program.  THAT connects with people who hear the story.  Not 2,000.

You put focus on a story that deserves attention by profiling ONE who is affected, and forcing each single viewer to FEEL that one person’s pain.

All GOOD stories are personal.

You could say that the whole approach of Newspapers, Radio and TV in the first place (one-to-many distribution) is like Story #1.  The only thing that saves it are the personalities involved, who are trained to perform as if they are speaking one-on-one to their friend.  That, and the fact that each radio player, TV set, and newspaper is yours and yours alone to own, hold, hear, and see.  That makes it also seem personal.

But the days of one-to-many stories are waning and will continue to diminish.

This is why Social Media: Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, and yes, even email are booming.  It’s a one-to-one paradigm.  It’s personal.  It’s a good story BECAUSE it’s personal.

Sure, you can send a message to your 17,000 Twitter followers in a shotgun approach, but when this follower or that follower responds individually, there’s a tug on your conscience to respond.  It’s personal.

PEOPLE ARE SMART (and fed up)
Billboards, TV ads, classified ads, $1-million SuperBowl ads, and magazines are suffering. People tune out mass ads, they unfollow obvious Twitter spam, and dodge marketing scams.  People are smarter.  They see through it.

This is why the new gestalt surrounding successful Twitter connections is based on a good story that’s personal.  You don’t even get to first base until you’re sincere, genuine, personal.

And forget Twitter for a second.  FaceBook is even more wildly popular than Twitter if you believe growth estimates.  Why?  FaceBook is a picture, and a profile, and favorite movies, and your birthday, and photos, and music and books…and on and on and on about who YOU are.  It’s personal, and it’s a good story BECAUSE it’s personal.

Is all this good?  Yeah.  I think so.  It’s a direct result of cultural change following technological advancement (just like TV was a radical change for its time).  That brought masses of people into a common experience.  But it wasn’t really personal.

Now, like never before, you have a chance to get personal.  All the avenues are there.  Social Media is creating opportunities like never before to make a personal connection with someone who is in a position to make something happen for your career.

Not getting enough work as a voice actor?  Seeking an agent?  Needing more connections to juicy jobs, leads, and studios?  Get personal. MAKE it personal.

When you think about the jobs you ARE getting, or HAVE gotten, there was a personal connection somewhere along the line.

All good stories are personal. 

Yours is. 

Use it.




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