publication date: Nov 21, 2011
author/source: Janet Gadeski
the lifeblood of fundraising. We all know that, and most of us practice it as
much as we can. Yet stories require the hearer to invest time, attention, imagination
- qualities that are scarce in a world where we're bombarded with thousands of
messages each day.
says Bill Schley
author of The Micro-Script Rules
and Why Johnny Can't Brand - Rediscovering the
, shared his insights at at ArtezInteraction
, a Toronto event held in September that explored
social and mobile fundraising strategies.
first to admit that "stories are hypnotic. People forget facts and features,
but they remember stories," he explains. The catch is that "today, you have to
be able to tell your story in a sentence or less. We're all seeing more
messages per second, plus our attention spans are shrinking."
what Schley calls the ultimate marketing power of stories in these frazzled
times requires a revolutionary approach. That's where the strategic use of
social media comes in. He describes the smartphone as "the twenty-first century
word of mouth machine."
mouth has changed the dynamics of trust," he explains. "It used to be that if
your product worked over time, consumers trusted you. Now they check with
friends and influencers through social media. Their endorsements are the most
Stories for a stressed-out world
we want to distil leisurely, image-rich stories into brief social media
messages? Because, says Schley, the brain simplifies in times of stress, such
as life-threatening emergencies, because there's no time to analyze data. And
today's potential donors are under stress all the time.
In that state
of stress, people turn to intuition to make the best decision quickly with
little data. They rely on heuristics (rules of thumb) and actually discard
data. "Too much data," Schley explains, "can make us dumber when everything's
on the line. Our brains are wired to simplify, and we love people who help us
what message you may be trying to send, all that matters is not what you say,
not what people hear, but what people remember. That's why effective
microscripts have such a long shelf life. Not only do people remember them, Schley
asserts, but they repeat them. "They're packaged the way brains like to think -
simple and retrievable."
Here are a
couple of his favourite microscripts.
Where do microscripts come from?
Splenda - "It's made from sugar, so
it tastes like sugar."
"Pork - the other white meat." (Schley
was horrified when the people in charge of pork marketing changed their
microscript to "Pork - become inspired!" "It's not inspiring at all," he
instant message that is a microscript begins with a DSI - a dominant selling idea
. What do you stand
for, what do you do better than anybody else? "It has to be a superlative,"
Schley emphasizes. Capture that, then whittle it down to a short, unforgettable
phrase, and you'll have your microscript.
microscripts are ideal for social media, it's important to remember that social
media are only the tool for spreading the message. They won't help you if you
don't have a powerful, memorable message, he warns. But feed the right message
into the word of mouth machine that social media has created, and you'll reap
all the benefits of endorsement from the friends and influencers your potential
For more information, contact Bill Schley or visit www.billschley.com