Jim Murray

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Art of Engagement As Explained By One Of The Masters

% Whiting About Wiking

Ll
=
de

(= TE
I ain't lookin' to compete with you
Beat or cheat or mistreat you
Simplify you, classify you
Deny, defy or crucify you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.
Bob Dylan, of course.

Wn
I saw Donnie Deutsch (the ‘Master’ in the title), on the Late Show a while ago. If you don’t know who he is, then you’re probably not in advertising.
Donnie is, in fact, one of the most famous people in the ad agency business. He had his own killer agency for many years. Then he went on to host a great interview show on Bravo. Now, apparently, he has a sitcom on the USA network.
Donnie is one of those fast talking American Hucksters, but a lot of the advertising he has done over the years has been awesome.
This episode of the Late Show was from the Friday before the Superbowl and Stephen Colbert was asking Donnie about what makes a commercial great and worth spending several million bucks to show people.
His answer, not surprisingly, was that it was its humanity. According to Donnie, and I completely agree, If you can communicate your selling message in the context of a human story, it will not only be memorable and effective, it will have a very long life span.

If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because you have been reading some of my posts over the past year about what makes for engaging content here on beBee or anyplace else you choose to blog.
Digital marketers use this as their mantra and have been since they started trying to get people to spend money on social media marketing. Some of these people like to make it sound like storytelling is something they invented, but anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that’s bullshit.
The storytelling some of us, (not all by a long shot), do here is really nothing more than an extension of the storytelling that we were raised on pretty much everywhere…in ads, in TV shows, movies and books and through personal conversations.

Authenticity Is The Ultimate Expression Of Humanity In Communication
Me

The humanity that makes for great communication is what a lot of us refer to as authenticity. And I actually think authenticity is a better word, because it allows the context to be widened.
This is especially true if you are trying to tell a story with something technical or instructional in it, and it doesn’t really lend itself to a strictly ‘human’ narrative.
Peeps I know like Phil Friedman, Renée 🐝 Cormier, Renée 🐝 Cormier, Jeff Strickland and Don 🐝 Kerr to name but a few, do this especially well.
It could even be argued that this post is a good example because I’m basically writing about writing. But wait…there is a human element here and it’s very personal.
In Donnie’s interview he showed a Volkswagon SuperBowl commercial from a couple of years ago, (before Volkswagon stepped in the deep doo doo).
I felt a very human emotion when I saw this commercial. A couple, in fact.
One was delight, because it’s a very charming spot.
And two was something else . Because when I saw that commercial on the SuperBowl, I remember very distinctly flying into a quiet fit of jealousy, wishing more than anything in that moment, that I had done that spot.
Creative people do this once in a while. It’s the highest form of compliment that can be paid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n6hf3adNqk

(Note: There might be a commercial before the actual VW spot)
This commercial tells you all you need to know about authenticity in communication. Sadly, a lot of good creative people come up with concepts like this, but are not blessed with clients who have the balls to go for it.

Reveal Yourself. Chant It Before You Start Writing

I write a lot about not being afraid to reveal yourself in your writing.
I do this because, well, a lot of people have told me they are leery about it. They don’t think their lives are interesting enough. Or they are shy. Or they are uber private. Or they feel they will embarrass themselves somehow.

Jim Murray, Strategist, Writer
& beBee Brand Ambassador
I work with small to mid-sized businesses,
designers, art/creative directors & consultants

to create results driven, strategically focused
communication in all on & offline medio

| om also @ communications mentor, lyricist

& prolific op/ed blogger Your Story Well Told
mail.com | Skype:

Sorry, but all of these are lame-ass cop-outs. If you want to engage people, and this year has been declared The Year of Engagement by just about every guru who matters, then you really need to get over yourself.
Showcasing your expertise in the half-assed way that many so called 'blogging experts' tell you you should is bullshit too. Tell your story. People prefer to do business with people they like and trust. And the way that you get there is by revealing who you really are.
It’s not rocket science and only an idiot would give you a hard time about it. And who cares what idiots think anyway?
So that’s my advice for anybody who wants to get more engagement from their blogging.
There’s no reason why you should trust me, except of course, if you have come this far in this post, I’ve already engaged you, and I rest my case.

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If your business has reached the point where talking to an experienced  communication professional would be the preferred option to banging your head against the wall or whatever, lets talk.

Download my free ebook

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Comments

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #16

Jim, The idea of not being the one that came up with a great concept causing me to be angry at myself is one I have known all too well. The fact that so many clients have no cajones has been with us since agencies bought space without having a client in mind. One of the reasons the early BBDO and others had such brilliant creative work is that they refused to work with clients that tried to neuter them. That was one hell of a time to be working in New York. My personal experience with it was, of all accounts, Ford. I was there when a second tier art director came back from California with 8mm footage of the Mustang/Mr. Milquetoast commercial. The Creative director on the account forced the Account team to show it to the client...one with the ability and fortitude to say yes. That may be why the Mustang became Iconic.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #15

No human endeavour is a straight line. Typically it involves unforeseen circumstances and challenges. The child in the youtube video expresses these challenges and in the end the child was in awe of what he found out. Expressing the zigs and zags of the human experience within your topic, to me, is the authentic aspects of writing. Finding the humanness in an article/post or ad, always draws me into the story. Excellent discussion and i will look the Master up, sounds like a fascinating gentlemen.

Jim Murray

4 years ago #14

#15
OK Michael O'Neil...It was a metaphorical quip, which was designed to communicate that revealing yourself doesn't mean you know 100% transparency. Revealing yourself means just being honest and forthright.

Virag🐝 G.

4 years ago #13

"I write a lot about not being afraid to reveal yourself in your writing." - and thank you for that! :-)

Debesh Choudhury

4 years ago #12

As a #Student I #Learn from you Jim Murray "Reveal Yourself. Chant It Before You Start Writing" - this is a great tip

Jim Murray

4 years ago #11

#7
I believe that you can reveal yourself without stipping down to your birthday suit. Revealing yourself through your beliefs is the bestway to do that with authenticity. Nobody wants to see your browser history. Michael O'Neil

Jim Murray

4 years ago #10

#8
Phil Friedman...Oh you mean like He Said He Said. I get it.

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #9

#8
It will be a great topic for discussion: "Complexity of Critical Thinking and Socratic Method: The Art of Engagement in Complex Adaptive Systems and Social Networks (Communities)".

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #8

#8
"Pertinent elements of an effective Socratic text: 2. Complexity and challenge - The text must be rich in ideas and complexity [10] and open to interpretation. Ideally it should require multiple readings,[16] but should be neither far above the participants' intellectual level nor very long. 4. Ambiguity - The text must be approachable from a variety of different perspectives, including perspectives that seem mutually exclusive, thus provoking critical thinking and raising important questions. The absence of right and wrong answers promotes a variety of discussion and encourages individual contributions."... - from "Socratic method" on wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method)

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #7

#6
"Socratic method ... is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions ...The Socratic method searches for general, commonly held truths that shape beliefs and scrutinizes them to determine their consistency with other beliefs ...." (wikipedia)

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #6

#4
Phil, Our discussions are an excellent example for civil disagreement-agreement, and for "agreeing to disagree". For start see numerous "tricky" discussions launched by Phil. The results (insights) are sometimes great and sometimes not, but it is normal How to disagree without becoming enemies? The art of engagement ... hmm. Well about that, next time. For a start, Cheers Phil, my friend :)

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #5

For a start Jim Murray, one "great post" comment :) Interaction means that both agreements and disagreements exist between participants. It is a process of mutual learning. Critical discussion is an “essential” ingredient of a great engagement. I think it is important what you have pointed out: "Tell your story. People prefer to do business with people they like and trust. And the way that you get there is by revealing who you really are." - Jim Murray. Often, each of us has some obstacles and certain restrictions regarding an expression of inner thoughts. Inner thoughts are deeply personal and therefore the most valuable and hidden. As long as someone's pen carries a personal touch and insight, there is a hope that an expression will be recognized as а valid, even if it was opposite, alternative, obscure or even quite unusual. Insights is the final and primordial manifestation of our spirit framed by thoughts, words and feelings. This is what is often not recognized within a modern marketing models. When I can not see yours eyes, I can read your words. The main reason why people are here is to share and manifest their desires. These efforts can and should be both personal desires and also business oriented activities The art of self-expression in social media is what makes the difference. For me that is authenticity. I'll be back... Difference Between “Real” Writers And “Wannabe” Writers by Dyske Suematsu on dyske.com https://dyske.com/paper/936

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #4

Thank you for the shout-out, Jim. As I see it, genuine storytelling requires that you have something about which to tell stories. Which means -- as every real writer knows -- you have first to have a life outside of social media and your own imagination. I just checked and found 62,277 self-ascribed "storytellers" on LinkedIn. Yet, a sampling indicates that less than 2% of them actually tell stories in the work they author and publish, let alone in the comments they make. As to engagement, IMO, it is NOT constituted by numbers of "great-post" comments, however large a number of those one garners, but by causing people to think and express their own ideas and opinions about what you've written. Even if those ideas and opinions are contrary to yours. But you already know that much better than I. For you are a top-flite storyteller, not to mention a Master of Engagement. Great post! Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #3

Thank you for the shout-out, Jim. As I see it, genuine storytelling requires that you have something about which to tell stories. Which means -- as every real writer knows -- you have first to have a life outside of social media and your own imagination. I just checked and found 62,277 self-ascribed "storytellers" on LinkedIn. Yet, a sampling indicates that less than 2% of them actually tell stories in the work they author and publish, let alone in the comments they make. As to engagement, IMO, it is NOT constituted by numbers of "great-post" comments, however grat a number of those one garners, but by causing people to think and express their own ideas and opinions about what you've written. Even if those ideas and opinions are contrary to yours. But you already know that much better than I. For you are a top-flite storyteller, not to mention a Master of Engagement. Great post! Cheers!

Jim Murray

4 years ago #2

#1
If you know how to write both, then teach yourself to combine them. I do it all the time and you may do it in ways you might not notice...cheers, Jim Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #1

Well done, Jim. Thank you for the plug. I have wrestled in many ways trying to figure out how to best weave a story into my instructional content. You are correct in saying that it doesn't really lend itself well to story telling, although sometimes I can manage to squeeze in a little bit. My natural inclination is to teach others something new, so I appreciate your comment around my work being authentic. I find in order to create some kind of story, I have to write two different types of content (affinity and instructional) Fortunately, beBee lends itself very nicely to both of those types of content. I could never comfortable post my affinity based content on LinkedIn (although I have been taking advantage of links to my beBee content to help bring people over.

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