Tag Archives: Story



How UPS’ viral story has our brains hopped-up on oxytocin and why it matters to marketers

I have been studying neuroeconomist Paul Zak's work on storytelling and how it actually changes the chemistry in our brain. When we're seduced by a good story, we produce cortisol, dopamine and oxytocin, depending on what's happening in the story, Introduce us to tension and urgency, and the steroid hormone cortisol floods our system creating within us anxiety and focus. Lead us through trouble and show us success in the story and the neurotransmitter dopamine fires-up our reward system triggering optimism ...

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Infographic: Storytelling vs Corporate Speak

It's not rocket science. It's brain science. Storytelling is how we're hardwired to understand the world. And anyone can tell compelling stories. So turn your jargon into journeys, your info lists into lore, and your stats into stories. Here's a great infographic from the Hoffman Agency to illustrate the difference between data and drama. The Hoffman Agency is a public relations firm that emphasizes storytelling in business communication.

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Is storytelling our ultimate survival tool?

The more work I do in helping sustainability practitioners communicate, the greater appreciation I have for the power of story to help us save ourselves from ourselves. This was underscored to me in the beginning of Lisa Cron's excellent book, Wired for Story. Our brains, like the amoeba, have one goal: SURVIVAL. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but only about 35 seconds without finding MEANING in something. We constantly scan our environment, probing for clues beneath the surface, with an embedded app. ...

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How to tell compelling stories to drive donations for your social cause

Goodwill of Central Arizona will help more than 23,000 people find employment this year through its workforce development programs. Goodwill relies on your donations for the inventory it sells through more than 60 local thrift stores. Proceeds from your donations fuel the job training in their career centers that help Arizonans find jobs. Unfortunately, the recession has reduced the amount of donations coming in. Worse, out-of-state, for-profit thrift operators have placed thousands of collection bins around the Valley. They are formidable competitors ...

What social marketers can learn from a common man’s story on NPR’s StoryCorps

Once I learned about the Hero's Journey from Joseph Campbell's work, it started appearing everywhere. This universal pattern to story permeates all of our lives. It's not only in the stories we love, the movies we gush over, and the music we call our own, but it's also found in our everyday activities. That's why stories, and the Hero's Journey they are structured upon, are mirrors of life's struggles and victories. Campbell's work inspired me to create the Story Cycle, a 10-step ...