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Story matters

30 Oct 2013

Story matters

With dollars tighter than ever at the federal level, I can’t recall a time that has been more important to make sure you have your story right, tight and concise when dealing with Congress and the Executive branch.

Here are a few rules to help guide you:

Your story should be concise.
Aides and policy makers are constantly hearing pitches and stories. They don’t have the time or the desire to wade through what you are saying.  You need to be clear and concise getting to key points early.

Your story should follow the story arc.
Start at the beginning, go quickly to the middle (which is probably where you are now) and end with what you’d like the end goal to be.

Your story should show the value.
Policy makers want to know what the substantive value is to the federal government – not to you or your entity. In today’s world, that value is superfluous to them.

Your story should have relevant context.  
How is your story relevant to the policy maker? What kind of research have you done to see what her angle might be?  Can you make an emotional connection without being emotional?  Context is huge!

Your story should talk about dollars saved.
I separate this from the value or substance as Washington is totally consumed by the dollar these days.  The question for you – how will your effort ultimately save the government money?

Your story should have the right storyteller.
The person telling the story needs to have a strong connection to passionately – and accurately – tell the story.

Your story should end with a specific ask.
At the end of your story arc, state clearly and specifically what you’d like the policy maker to help you achieve. Leave them with something you can follow up on.

At the end of the day, achieving your objectives starts with telling a great story.  Follow these simple rules and you’ll have an exponentially better chance of a story with a happy ending.

 

John-Rogers

 The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.

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