In this era of information overload and real-time communication where anyone can publish and broadcast to millions of people with the click of a button, there is no shortage of people talking about the need to get their message across, or having a “narrative.” But for business, marketing, and political campaigns, there is no definitive how-to on crafting a compelling narrative that achieves lasting results. And without a narrative, no amount of framing, complex messaging, or facts will succeed.
On Message solves that problem, illustrating how effective communicators understand the power of narrative, emotion, and simple messaging, and posits that having a personal, emotional narrative is the basis for all successful communication.
Drawing on Zach Friend’s own experience and insights from politics, advertising, corporate communications, entertainment, and social psychology, On Message provides a simple process for applying the powerful principles behind crafting a narrative, ultimately paving the path to success. Specifically, readers will:
-Learn how to focus their communication efforts in a dramatically more powerful way on the most important factor, narrative;
-Master the mindset needed to become a better communicator and make a forceful impact on their audience and clients;
-Stop wasting time and energy gathering unnecessary facts and data that don’t advance their message; and
-Get results faster by using narrative as a productive tool that will fuel success.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|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
3. Nonverbal Communication
7. Social Media
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