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Science of Story Telling- How to write compelling and influential copy.

Hey guys, attended a ~$500 webinar earlier today for free as part of an educational program at my job. The webinar was 2 hours long, hosted by a renowned copywriting agency that has worked with top brands and companies worldwide for over 20 years. I will not be mentioning their name to protect both the agency and myself.

Took down some notes and decided to share them with you. Keep in mind, this was a fast-paced webinar and I was trying to keep up with the presentation whilst taking notes. I may have missed some points at the end, but I made sure to take all the key details in writing.

Everyone deserves to learn :).

[Copy pasta of my notes]

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HAVE A MENTOR MINDSET WHEN WRITING, NOT A HERO MINDSET.

If you want to captivate people and have them listen to you, you need to let the people know: how are you going to help them overcome a challenge? Approach any story/headline with the problem that you (and they) face day after day so you can guide them and captivate their interest to keep following.

Use this flow to formulate your message and keep your audience as engaged as possible, for the longest amount of time possible: P.P.P.P.

PAIN: Present the pain point and the consequences it may have if not addressed. (If x is not addressed, then ultimately y event will occur.)

PLEASURE + PROMISE**:** What positive event will happen if you implement these changes? or if you buy this product? (if you do x, you can accomplish y). X can be a product purchase, a change in strategy – anything really. Y is the desired outcome.

PROCESS: HOW will this help you and HOW is this solving your problem?

PROMPT (INVITATION): Call to action.

From a copywriting perspective, the information above seems pretty straightforward, just make sure you nail the order of the flow in your messaging Pain –> Pleasure –> Process –> Prompt.

Now, onto the interesting information:

A 5 STEP SYSTEM TO INCREASE THE MEMORABILITY AND INFLUENCE OF YOUR MESSAGE BY 550%, AND MAKE SURE PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND, RELATE AND SHARE YOUR MESSAGE.

The P.I.T.C.H. strategy:

P: PERSONALIZE

CASE STUDY 1.

A worldwide hotel company was having issues with towels being stolen from guests. Close to 50% were being stolen, and thus not recycled by the hotel. To address this, they added a poster in every bathroom that read: “most people staying in this hotel are recycling their towels — so should you."

With this one simple implementation, the recycling rate went up to 75% (25% increase).

Happy with the results, they wanted to test and see how they can improve their towel recycle rate even further. They implemented a new poster that read: **"**Most people who have stayed in your hotel room have recycled their towels."

The recycling rate went up to 83%.

In total, they were able to decrease the rate of stollen towels across all their locations worldwide by implementing a message — a personal message.

CASE STUDY 2

In the UK, in the early 2000's, a major highway overhaul project was underway. They had multiple signs around the highway that read: "PLEASE SLOW DOWN, CONSTRUCTION AHEAD." They realized that these signs were ineffective, and construction workers were worried about their safety having to work on a major highway with cars zooming by all day.

They decided to add a new sign, this time, with a personalized message. The sign portrayed a child, wearing a construction vest and a hard hat, that read: "Please slow down, my daddy works here". Overnight, the average car speed on that section of the highway was measured to be 30% lower than the day prior.

How will you implement personalization in your copy?

I: IMAGERY

In the 90's, Mr. Silverman, a nutritionist, was trying to raise awareness about the decline in U.S public health. He attended live events, giving away health tips. Back then, people were under the belief that buttered popcorn was a healthy snack. He loved to use statistics and numbers in his messaging. When presenting the facts about popcorn at a health seminar – he mentioned that a medium-sized movie theatre popcorn contained 38g of saturated fat (an abhorrent amount) yet, the crowd seemed untouched, and did not express the feeling of shock he had anticipated. WHY? Because people don't understand numbers (or at least the significance behind numbers).

He switched up his strategy. Instead of presenting numbers and stats, he presented imagery. To address his popcorn dilemma, he put a picture of a medium-sized popcorn side by side with a picture of an egg+sausage breakfast, a big mac lunch, and a steak dinner. He then said, "1 medium-sized buttered popcorn contains the same amount of saturated fat as all three of these meals combined." The crowd went wild. A couple of months later, movie theatres worldwide started regulating the amount of butter served with each serving of popcorn.

IMAGERY = IMPACT. When you present your information in bullet point format, only 10% is remembered after 3 days. When you present your information with imagery, 65% is remembered after 3 days.

T: TANGIBILITY

To make something tangible is to make people connect something they already know with your idea.

A company producing coffee pods for Keurig approached their investors and asked for additional funding to improve their packaging. Hundreds of millions of plastic pods were ending up in landfills, a major impact on the companies carbon footprint. The investors refused their appeal for additional funding. Their reasoning: Why fix something if it ain't broken?

The company had to come up with a better way to pitch their need for additional funds. They decided to give a tangible example. "With the number of pods we sell per year, we can build a 35 story building spreading across 2 blocks in NYC." That's a solid, tangible example, it's impactful and easy to visualize. Needless to say, the funding got approved.

C: CURIOSITY

You need to open peoples minds in order for them to listen to you.

GAP theory: to get people engaged, you need to open up a gap in their knowledge. When people are listening to something they don’t know much about, they will be engaged and attentive.

Instead of giving people information, ASK THEM THE QUESTIONS (make them do the reflection). They’ll be more likely to remember and care about the information you present afterwards.

H: HEADLINE

Think about the key, long-term takeaway you want people to remember from the information you're presenting. Keep your headline message short and concise, yet memorable. (4-6 words, repeat it across your presentation, website etc.)

Was not able to take as many notes for the last two parts of the PITCH strategy.

Hope y'all enjoyed the read 🙂

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