On Message: How a Compelling Narrative Will Make Your Organization Succeed

On Message: How a Compelling Narrative Will Make Your Organization Succeed

by Zach Friend


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620453728
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/17/2013
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.09(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Zach Friend is a policy, public affairs, and communications expert who has worked for Barack Obama and John Kerry's presidential campaigns, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic National Committee. With Obama for America ’08, he was a press secretary and spokesman in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. He’s been quoted by MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and Politico and is a blogger for the Huffington Post and Business Insider.

Read an Excerpt

Establishing Your Narrative

What exactly is a narrative?

In movies or literature narrative is simply the story. In politics and business it is your story.

For Toyota, it is an established story of reliability and quality. For Ronald Reagan it is of optimism in America and conservative values.  For the Salvation Army it is the powerful impact your donation can make on someone’s life.  

All of these narratives are so commonly accepted we don’t even realize that they needed to be created in the first place.  

Narrative translates knowing into telling. It provides the bridge from facts and figures into something that we are wired to understand. In other words, narratives help us interpret the world. They guide us to highlight certain things and ignore others. They provide the framework for understanding complex issues and making sense of the world around us.

For your business, non-profit or political campaign, everything needs to flow from your narrative. If your narrative is weak, it will be defined for you. And if your messaging, framing and branding are incongruent with your narrative you will, simply, lose.

All good narratives need to be constructed. And luckily, they all follow similar models of construction.

What Makes a Good Narrative?

A good narrative is simple, emotional and true.

It’s unfortunate the last part even needs to be pointed out, but it seems that truth has become a prized commodity lately. And it’s important to note that you can’t create a false narrative and expect it will stand the test of time (right, Bernie Madoff?).

So how do you go about constructing a good narrative?

British literary critic Frank Kermode compared the structure of a narrative to the ticking of a clock: each tick creates an expectation for the corresponding tock. They create an expectation or challenge (tick) and a resolution (tock).

Table of Contents

1.  Narrative
2.  Messaging
3.  Nonverbal Communication
4.  Branding
5.  Images
6.  Framing
7.  Social Media
8.  Theory

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On Message: How a Compelling Narrative Will Make Your Organization Succeed 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
BookLove32 More than 1 year ago
This book is a valuable resource for any business. It offers actionable solutions for improving your communication skills. I enjoyed that it offers advice on how to clarify your message so that it resonates with your audience. A fantastic book.
welchdesign More than 1 year ago
Interestingly, this motivational and enlightening book is a true charmer. The profound and practical strategies implemented are very applicable and useful. Indeed this stimulating book has totally refreshed and vitalized me . Surely it has broadened my knowledge on having compelling narratives. I had a very illuminating read. From beginning to end this book is well written, organized and researched. It’s just exceptional, nothing is amiss. Certainly this well expressive author has written a tremendous book worth reading.