As broadcast gives way to the social media revolution, it has suddenly become evolve or die for communicators. We all feel the anxiety. No longer are audiences captive, passive consumers of our content — they have become our partners (if they embrace us that is). For a message to spread through social networks, we must inspire enthusiasm and evangelism. If we fail to, our campaigns get washed away in a flood of clutter and noise.
Ok enough anxiety. It’s time to move beyond it to solutions. I believe those solutions can be found once we realize that we are in the throes of a fundamental shift in human communications — returning against all odds to the oral tradition. Think about it: In ancient oral traditions, ideas move from mind to mind through social networks. Everyone owns ideas, comments on them and changes them. Sound familiar? Our digital media landscape is just the era of the oral tradition returned. It’s only natural, of course. Human beings evolved to communicate this way.
So, to get heard we must ask ourselves, what communication strategy works best in the oral tradition? The answer couldn’t be simpler — telling stories. Every oral tradition society developed them and favored them. Many of their stories survive to this day.
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