Getting Noticed - The Power of a Good Story

I learned the power of a good story years ago when a colleague announced, via a letter, her intent to leave the publishing profession to become...a missionary. I was already on the mailing list of numerous ministries and missionary newsletter lists and at that time they were all the same.  They used their platform as an opportunity to preach a mini message from a scripture or biblical truth. Why? Because they were ministers and that was their comfort zone. But the bigger question was, "Did they get my attention?"  Usually not.
 
So week after week many of these same type newsletters arrived in my mailbox and subsequently were dropped into File 13 with little more than a precursory glance after I checked to see if there was any real "news".  Don't get me wrong. It's not that I didn't appreciate their biblical insight. I'm sure it was solid and perhaps even profound. But because I received 10-20 of such letters a week, it was hard for any of them to stand out. Besides, except for maybe one or two cases, it wasn't because of their profound teaching ability that I was supporting their ministry. It was because of who they were and what they were doing.  That's what I wanted to hear about.
 
The letter from my colleague was a breath of fresh air. She told me why she was leaving her profession because of a very specific instance which she shared in the newsletter through the platform of a heart-warming story. In just 1000 words she sucked me into that world and allowed me to see and feel what she had seen and felt that had compelled her to give up her "comfortable" life in America to head into a challenging land. I was hooked.
 
I've never forgotten the power of that letter.
 
I've since used that tool to promote my authors. Almost everyone has a great feature story...something that is unique to them and makes them stand out in a crowd. I remember one new author in particular who had an amazing launch story. It had all the right elements, intrigue, courage, danger and an "overcoming incredible odds" side that I utilized to write a feature story for her to present her to the industry.  That one feature story gained us significant ground. It was instrumental in assisting us in getting a signed contract with a publisher, several strong radio and television interviews and not just one but two covers stories with a national magazine.
 
I can't guarantee that your feature story will produce the same results, but I can guarantee that if done well, it will capture and KEEP the attention of the reader far longer than most other forms of communication. It can also be a significant tool in your toolbox of marketing pieces that you can pull and use time and again.