Stories are memorable. Stories help voters understand what you're talking about.
Marco Rubio has done this better than any presidential candidate so far. His campaign theme is "A New American Century," and he tells stories to help people understand what he means by that. Watch this story from his campaign kickoff:
Rubio tells a brief story of the American immigrant's dream. And it works.
How do you come up with a story that will make your message click? There are a few more resources linked at the bottom of this post, but here are a two examples.
In a campaign I helped with a few years back, our opponent was the incumbent. His habit of not working hard was well chronicled. So we told stories of hard-working people in his city, how they were struggling to get by and how his poor work ethic was a slap in the face to the people paying his salary.
In another campaign I was involved with, the incumbent had a history of not playing by the rules. One of the citizens who had struggled to get a permit through his office came to us and told her story: she was losing clients and struggling to get by because the permitting process was so slow. We told her story to help illustrate why a slow permitting process - which isn't going to register for most voters - should matter to them.
When you're out going door to door, look for stories like these. Ask your supporters for them. Before long, you'll have a few good ones to pepper into your campaign speech and help voters understand why you're fighting for what you're fighting for.
- Four classic storylines (Care2)
- NPR's Ira Glass on telling a story (YouTube)
- Guide to telling your organization's Story (Ragan Communications)
- Creating a campaign narrative (Campaign in a Box)
- Case study: win your race by telling a story (Campaign in a Box)
- 10 characteristics of effective stories (Leadership Institute)
- The irresistible power of storytelling (Harvard Business Review)
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