Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 3.16.02 PMIn a recent article in PharmaVOICE, Marketing Through Storytelling, the author writes:

Patients and physicians who can see themselves as the hero in the story overcoming health adversity to provide better care for themselves or others…

And while I think information and data should be shared with individuals and groups – often times in the form of a story since that is easier for our minds to grasp – the physician, patient, caregiver or family member may not always be a hero. I fear describing storytelling in this way inflates the expectations of any or all of the parties involved.

I agree that it is necessary and critical to tell a story that people can relate to because that enables them to feel an emotional attachment and hopefully a belief that they can act and generate energy, a decision or whatever is needed at their particular point in time. I also agree that focusing on the positive aspects is good; however, we also need to present real-world time, experience and expectations. I tend to fall on the side of positive reality.

We know that as people, human beings – many or most of our decisions are guided by our emotions. This being recognized, it is even more important for the people who are creating the stories to not pull to many “emotional strings” and not have the science or evidence to support what they are selling.

So, here are 5 reasons why is it a story and NOT a fairytale:

  1. There are no heroes – there are people.
  2. Context and content are critical – they should be presented in patient’s reality to help them overcome or deal with challenges
  3. It should be about building a community
  4. It’s about life, not just one point in time
  5. While “painting a picture” it needs to be relevant and the reader needs to resonate with the story and put themselves in the storyteller’s shoes.

It all comes down to the 3 R’s:

Real (Is it real?)

Resonate (Does it resonate?)

Relevant (Is it relevant?)