One Thousand And One Nights (Of Media)

If you’re looking for a great story-teller, there is no one other to look to or compare to than the unbelievably talented Scheherazade (Shuh-Hare-uh-zahd). This goddess of storytelling delayed death by one thousand and one nights simply by telling stories. She did what every reporter, journalist, and center of the media dreams of, and for the same reasons; neither wants to die, be fired, or be humiliated. So what means of attack do they use against death in all its shapes and forms?

Storytelling.

How important is storytelling?

For the eBook I have written called Start Schooling Dreams, I had asked Karthik Puvada, creator and writer of BeThePurpleCow, if he could add just one class to the school curriculum, what class would it be? Immediately, he responded “Storytelling”. I was not satisfied with his single word response, so I pried more to get the following;

“Martin Luther King, Jr.  Steve Jobs. Gandhi. Mark Twain.  Pablo Picasso.

What’s one thing they all have in common?  Yes, they were geniuses in their own fields, but they also were brilliant in something else too.

Storytelling.

They told influential stories all throughout their lives. The stories that defined them. The stories that captivated millions of people around them. Some ended up as iconic books, some as revolutionary civil protests, some as incredible gadgets and some as legendary paintings. But they were all various forms of stories, more importantly ideas.”

You may now be wondering what this has to do with media. Since the introduction of media, the stories of Scheherazade and the incredible world changers that Karthik used as examples have only been amplified. That is what the media is capable of doing with a story – it amplifies it. Storytelling in the media takes on the cumulative effects theory in the sense that the urge for you to consume what the media is presenting is built up to the point of consumption rather than occurring immediately. Just as well, it can shift your views, beliefs, judgments and even your character as easily as it gets you to consume a product.

Like the stories of Scheherazade, the media uses all five elements of story to make a successful impact on your beliefs.

Exposition: the introduction of the topic the media is presenting

Rising action: the media provides specific information to the audience to build tension, suspense, and intrigue

Climax: what the media truly wants you to know and approve

Falling action: what the next steps are for you to take

Resolution: taking those actions and resonating them

Extraordinary storytelling and utilization of the media to amplify it can make you a legend, a millionaire, an artist, and a leader of social change.

My question to you is would you rather watch and listen to Steve Jobs tell a story or a misinformed underpaid reporter? Your answer shows exactly how good storytelling in the media affects what media content you consume.

Garth Beyer

Garth Beyer is a Madison-based writer and Public Relations Strategist focused on telling stories, running through trend-making PR strategies and trying new things in life.

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