The true stories of injured construction worker Ralph Orlando and fever-delirious middle-aged railroad dispatcher John O’Connor capture the history of Mass General hospital, along with the role that teaching hospital has played in the development of medical technology, better than any textbook ever could.
In his book Five Patients, best-selling author Michael Crichton uses a teaching technique that bloggers with a business message to convey would do well to imitate. Good business blogs, of course, offer valuable information to online readers. But, the technique Crichton used in his book can be bloggers’ ace in the hole:
People want to do business with people.
People relate to stories about people, not to facts and statistics. As a professional ghost blogger for business and business blogging trainer, I realize that’s one lesson we bloggers all need to tape to our computer screens: Let stories about people tell the story of your company, your products, and of the services you provide.
And who are the "people" to tell those stories?
- Your workers and service providers:
In blog posts, feature individual boots-on-the ground employees of your company who deal with the customers and solve their problems.
- Your customers:
Use customer stories to show (rather than tell) exactly how problems and challenges were overcome step by step, using your expert advice or with adapting the products you sell to unique situations.
Tell stories to illustrate how you came to choose this line of work, why you care so deeply about serving customers in this particular way, and showing some of the obstacles you’ve needed to overcome.
Whether it’s politics or business, there’s no denying the power of storytelling. In Tips & Traps for Marketing Your Business, authors Scott and Birk Cooper and Fritz Gruntzner confirm: "Customers don’t want to feel like they are being told a brand story. They want to tell themselves the story. They want to be part of the story."
Michael Crichton offers valuable information about the ongoing progress of medical research, including the fact that surgical advance has been in great part dependent on increasing the effectiveness of pre-operative and post-operative procedures. But he shows us that with people stories, like that of 22-year old Peter Luchesi with the nearly severed hand.
So go ahead – in your blog posts, tell stories people to people. Get down and human!