Acknowledgments xiii About the Authors xv Introduction xvii Stories Matter xviii Businesses Need to Tell Good Stories xix Workers and Leaders Need to Tell Good Stories xx Who Are We? xx Why This Book? xxii 1 The Power of Story 1 Jacques and the Beggar 4 And Now for Shane s Favorite Ryan Gosling Story 5 Our Brains Are Built for Story 8 Stories Help Us Remember 10 Stories Generate Empathy at the Chemical Level 12 Stories Bring Us Together 14 With Great Power . . . 19 2 The Elements of Great Storytelling 23 Element 1: Relatability 25 Element 2: Novelty 29 What Movie Popularity Data Tell Us about Novelty 31 Element 3: Tension 35 Element 4: Fluency 38 3 Honing Your Storytelling Chops 41 Universal Storytelling Frameworks 43 The Ben Franklin Method for Improving Story Skills 48 The Sludge Report 52 4 Transforming Business with Storytelling 57 How Stories Make Products and Services Better 62 Stories Make Advertising Better 68 Stories Make Your Sales Conversions Better 71 Stories Make Your Hiring Process Better 73 Stories Build Your Brand 74 How We Built the Most Influential Content Strategy Blog on Earth 79 #1: Committing to a Mission 79 #2: Getting Smart about Audience 81 #3: Establishing a Strategic Methodology 83 5 The Killer Formula for Building an Audience 85 The CCO Pattern: Create, Connect, Optimize 87 Connect: The Storytelling Bull s-Eye 94 Create: The Story Funnel-Matrix 100 Optimize: Cranking the Efficiency 104 6 The Brand Newsroom 113 The Talent Race 116 The Virtual Newsroom 118 What Type of Newsroom Do You Prefer? 119 7 The Future of Brand Storytelling 121 #1: Breakthrough Quality Storytelling 125 #2: Rigorously Strategic 128 #3: Tech-Enabled and Data-Optimized 132 The Content Decision Engine 135 The Content Operating Wheel 136 Strategy 138 Plan 142 Create 145 Activate 148 Optimize 150 8 The Storytelling Habit 157 Selling Storytelling Inside Your Organization 160 A Culture of Storytelling 164 May the Story Force Be with You 165 Notes 167 Index 169
JOE LAZAUSKAS is director of content strategy and editor-in-chief of Contently, Inc., which SHANE SNOW cofounded with Joe Coleman and Dave Goldberg. Contently is a thriving technology company with a suite of software that helps Fortune 500 companies (and others) to create, manage, and optimize content to build relationships with employees and customers.