Pearl Higgins wants you to kick narrative ass
Jackie Kennedy is famed for saying, “Pearls are always appropriate.” Jackie must’ve been onto something, because Pearl Higgins certainly came correct at DFWSEM’s April meeting — so much so that folks in the crowd seemed a little starstruck. There were ooo’s. There were ahhh’s. There were literal gasps.
Basically, if y’all missed out? Y’all really, really missed out.
First things first
Things got started before they got started. The pre-meeting happy hour at Twisted Root is becoming a tradition, even though some people go to the happy hour and don’t come to said meetings (*cough* Grant and Jackie *cough*). But once things started rolling at Noah’s Event Center, it was off to the races.
First up, thanks were gleefully tendered to sponsors Advice Local. Then on to the list of swanky upcoming speakers. We’re talking Ruth Burr Reedy here, y’all. Tyler Hakes. Mike Esordi. Andrew Choco. Matthew Barby. And, of course, State of Search on October 9th and 10th at Dallas’ historic Gilley’s.
Then Outspoken Media’s Pearl Higgins quietly and determinedly blew everyone’s mind.
Who tells the story?
Pearl grew up a little more Laura Ingalls Wilder than most folks. Her parents’ house was 200 ft shy of the line for cable tv — and for electricity. But your audiences aren’t that limited in their entertainment options. Gone are the days of the family gathering around the tv for one of three channels or everyone you know reading the same newspaper.
They’ve got options, y’all. So many, many options. Which may be contributing to a literal decline in the length of the attention span. One study from the New York Times indicates the average adult attention span is down to eight tiny seconds.
So, how do you make yourself memorable?
You could make the world hate you. It’s a choice. Comcast seems to be embracing that philosophy, and United is coming on strong. But are people going to want to do business with you? Hard pass on that option. Instead, why not impress people? Why not delight them? Why not embrace joy?
Yeah. She went there. Joy. Something gorgeous or funny or interesting enough to stick. And nothing is stickier than a story.
Who’s killing it
Who’s making things joyful out there? There are some brands really taking advantage of Instagram’s possibilities. The Netflix original series The OA has built a mosaic of mystery on their page. Ballentine’s has created an entire online whiskey magazine. And Land Rover built a multimedia journey into the aspirational outdoors with Solitude in Sawtooth.
How’d they do it? Drama.
Story is narrative, and narrative requires drama. Drama doesn’t necessarily require lots of room. Obvious places for story are About Us pages or Mission Statements. But have you got text on a button? Don’t be satisfied with a plain old “submit.” Have an empty shopping cart? Warby Parker reminds site visitors that an empty cart is a sad void that needs topping up. Even 404 pages can contribute to your brand’s narrative.
Now, this is only scratching the surface of Pearl’s presentation. Which you’d know if you’d been there. Join DFWSEM today and start getting the good-good in real time, y’all. What are you waiting for? We’ve got more stories to tell together.
Next month’s meeting
Stephanie Studer is a writer, editor, cook, and massive nerd who calls Dallas home. A social and content marketer, she’s deeply in love with all that language can do. She blogs at storytellingforsuccess.blog, tweets at @Editrix_Steph, and posts entirely too many pictures of dishes she’s made on Instagram. Don’t ask her about ukuleles or comic books unless you have nothing to do for the next several hours.