Book review – Meaningful: The story of ideas that fly

Anna Gunning

Gunning Marketing

You’ve won the job.

You know you can improve on what they’ve done before.

You just need to sort through reams of information and find the right structure for your messaging.

That’s where I find Bernadette Jiwa invaluable.

Meaningful: The story of ideas that fly is Bernadette’s latest book. She’s a rare combination of incisive, concise and eloquent when it comes to business writing, and her books (which aren’t usually more than 200 pages) give you helpful frameworks for finding your hook.

In Meaningful she gives us the Story Strategy Blueprint, which “helps you home in on what matters to your customer and commit resources to making something people want, instead of having to work out how to make people want something.”

The book is aimed at companies and entrepreneurs creating new products, but I find the blueprint to be a useful part of my copy planning process.

Here’s why.

As copywriters, we add value by bringing an objective perspective and knowing how to craft messages that continue the conversation in the audience’s head.

The Story Strategy Blueprint has 4 elements (check out the samples she’s created):

  • Customer Story
  • Customer Insight
  • Customer Experience
  • Product

As I organise information from my brief into these elements, I’m able to focus my brain on the target audience more easily, helping me keep my objectivity. It’s especially useful for long-time clients, where you can find yourself assimilating into the client’s mindset in a way you wouldn’t early on in the relationship.

Now this is by no means the only planning technique I use, and obviously it varies from project to project. But for jobs like branding, sales letters, landing pages and brochures, it’s a useful way for me to start processing large amounts of information and crafting messages that resonate.

Are there any planning frameworks you find particularly useful? I’d love to know.

Connect with me over at Gunning Marketing, on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

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