The Hero’s Journey and Storytelling

As Marketers, we have to tell stories often. But sometimes when it comes to writing, we’ve forgotten what that story is.

hero journey
Some of the best stories involve evocative heroes leaving the known world. He’s given challenges where he overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles. After some successes and at least one defeat, the hero emerges — victorious! Whether the hero gets the girl or guy, or saves the world, the essence of what makes stories great is their ability to simultaneously take your audience on a journey. Essentially, many of the best stories involve everyday individuals overcoming unique challenges, inspiring us to do the same in our own lives.

To get geeky, Joseph Campbell mapped this hero’s journey after discovering that every major culture has heroes. Every culture’s heroes are called to adventure where they overcome obstacles. From Hercules, to Raven, to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, these heroes are on an epic journey. His theory is that this essential storytelling is so interwoven into our fabric that it’s what we expect. For example, when you enter a movie theater, you generally know — with some exceptions — the good guys are going to win.

Okay, interesting, but how does this impact me?

Marketers can capture this same spirit within their content. While it isn’t an easy feat, there are a few strategies you can follow to craft excellent content stories and inspire your readers.

1. Your customer is the hero

It’s tempting to make your company the hero. That’s a mistake. Instead, your buyers and customers are the heroes. By using your products and services, they have overcome obstacles to victory. Victories could seem as mundane as saving money or as interesting as saving the entire company.

Added bonus: when your customer is the hero, they tell the story, too.

2. Watch your craft

Of course, your stories should be in brand — they should sound like your company. And when done well, these stories can serve in many different places — in your customer testimonials, in your website copy, in your collateral and in your blog posts. Even your salespeople should know these stories, being able to recall them quickly and easily. Not only will this give you content to use in multiple places, it’ll build the stories you tell. It may even convince prospects on the fence. Data and stories, when used together, have a greater impact appealing to people’s logic and emotions.

3. Get your audience involved

Sometimes just the story itself is riveting. That’s great! But when it’s a shared story moving beyond the walls of your office and building … wow. It’s magical. It’s mystical. It’s viral.

So, how do you involve others? You ask their stories. You can do that with polls and surveys or even as a continuted discussion. For example, just about everyone has a story for failing and what was learned. Once you’ve learned it, that in and of itself can help form part of the heroes journey.

Exciting News!

We have exciting news! PGi, the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services, has entered into an agreement to purchase ReadyTalk. The deal, which is expected to close soon, will enable ReadyTalk customers to have access to PGi’s broad suite of conferencing and collaboration solutions supported by its global customer services team.

Read the press release.

You may have questions

PGiWe’ve tried to anticipate some of the questions you have. If you have additional questions, please contact your Account Manager or our Customer Care team.

When will ReadyTalk become part of PGi?

We expect the deal to close in early February.

What’s changing?

We don’t anticipate any immediate changes. Both companies, PGi and ReadyTalk, are committed to fantastic customer service, innovation and great products.

Will my contract/agreement with ReadyTalk be terminated?

No. As a valued ReadyTalk customer, your current agreement/contract with ReadyTalk will remain unaffected.

Will my rates change?

At this time, we don’t expect changes to rate structures. We’ll continue to offer our customers tremendous value and quality across our portfolio, and we look forward to introducing the PGi portfolio. As we learn more information, we’ll communicate with our customers.

Will my contacts at ReadyTalk change?

We don’t anticipate changes to your contacts. You can continue to reach out to your Account Manager or Customer Care as always.

Will the services I currently use be discontinued?

No. You can expect the same high-quality products and services.

Will the telephone numbers I use to reach my meeting or event change?

No. We expect that ReadyTalk access numbers will remain the same.

If I want to use PGi services now, who can I talk to?

Please contact your ReadyTalk Account Manager. He or she will put you in touch with people who can assist you.

More information

If you want more information about PGi, visit their website: pgi.com.

4 Tech Tools IT Needs to Rethink

There are a few tools and workplace strategies today’s employees may not be using properly, and may not know it. These tools may be wasting money, gathering dust or not relevant anymore. Or worse, maybe all of those together at once! Don’t waste time, money and tech.

4 tech tools IT needs to rethinkAnd while you’re at it, consider how the workforce is changing and has already changed. Your employees are working remotely; that’s only increasing in frequency. Sales people are often at the office of your prospects and customers. IT personnel are working on servers at the data center. Marketing professionals are meeting with prospects at a trade show across the country. That doesn’t include all the doctor’s visits, dentist appointments, kids’ parties and more your employees are attending. Going mobile will increase productivity and ensure your workforce is still connected.

That’s why you need to rethink this technology in the office:

1. Desk phones

We live and work in a highly mobile world now, so there is no longer a need for the vast majority of employees to have and use desk phones. Instead, employers should empower their workers by providing them with work smartphones or implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy and reimbursing them for any added expenses.

Using smartphones, companies can use cloud communications, like hosted voice, to ensure people are contacted on their mobile device. It’s affordable and efficient.

2. Hard drive storage

Businesses thrive on easy access to necessary information. If your employees are storing their documents on outdated hard drives – or worse, on their desktop computer – your IT department is not only behind the times, but may also be putting your data at risk.

Hard drives are not a secure storage option, which is why your company should consider updating to the cloud. It’s secure. It’s affordable. And it’s usually saving your IT personnel time.

3. Email and instant message (IM)

A large portion of companies use free or low-cost email service providers. While convenient, these tools don’t maximize worker efficiency. Consider adding instant message (IM) to the mix to enable employees to easily contact each other. Again, cloud communications make that easy. Because let’s face it, there are a times a quick text is better than getting an email, especially when you’re on-the-go.

4. Video conferencing tools

If you aren’t using video conferencing tools to connect with employees, talk with prospects or get customer feedback, you’re missing out. It’s efficient and effective. Face-to-face communication is always best and video gets you one step closer, even as your workforce is busy. There are lightweight solutions that are affordable, like FoxDen, a product powered by ReadyTalk.

5 Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Move to the cloudCloud computing will continue to grow over the next few years. If your business is done with handling bulky, expensive on-premises IT systems, consider moving to the cloud today. It’ll free up IT resources, streamline and add to your productivity, enable your remote workers, provide business recovery benefits and more.

If you’re like most people, though, you have fears of moving to the cloud — from talking with employees about which data moves to security. Address those fears and get the most out of your move. Here are five tips on how to start:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

You don’t have to be fully on-premises or in the cloud. Many companies benefit from a hybrid IT environment. If you don’t believe you can move all your operations to the cloud, choose the ones that you can and keep the rest in-house.

2. Create goals

You need to develop a mix of short- and long-term goals for what you want to accomplish through moving to the cloud. This way, you’ll know you’ll be on track for reaching your main objective — a successful cloud migration.

3. Improve communication channels

Everyone should be in the loop during a major IT system restructuring like this. Take time to keep everyone informed and give periodic updates or hold Q&A sessions to give employees a chance to respond. This involves bringing them into the process before decisions are made. This will increase buy-in and ensure a higher adoption rate.

4. Address security concerns

Due to many high-profile data breaches in recent years, your clients and personnel may be concerned about the security risks from a cloud migration. Despite these worries, many companies actually boost their security abilities by switching to a cloud storage provider. Address their concerns to alleviate fears.

5. Use this time to consolidate and reorder data

Like spring cleaning, moving to a cloud-based data center is a great time to consolidate and get rid of excessive data or structures that are no longer relevant or needed. Again, you don’t have to do all or nothing.

Need more tips?

Get more information in our ebook (PDF), Move to the Cloud. You can even start small and move your communications system to the cloud.

Go Cloud Communications

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