Spin a Yarn
Our Relationship Begins When You Tell Me a Story!
This past November, I flew to New York City for the Silver Apple Award ceremony. My friend Murray Miller of American Express was among the individuals being honored, and my friends at Boardroom/Bottom Line received the Corporate Apple Award.
After each award, the honoree said a few words, well actually a lot of words, which is OK with me. It struck me, as it does every year at the Apples, that long-time direct marketers all seem to be great storytellers. I think that’s one reason the ceremony always is packed. We like hearing their tales of success, innovation, hardship, learning, gossip and relationships with other legends of the business.
Murray spoke of working with one of the first mainframe computers, and how those computers eventually changed everything we do. He reminded us how cold the computer room had to be, how slow the huge machines were and how vastly superior our tiny laptops are today.
Chris Paradysz of Pardysz Matera told a marvelous story about hopping on a bus in Pennsylvania’s Amish country and heading to New York to find a job—any job. He walked out of the Port Authority building on 42nd Street and stopped in his tracks. As small town folks, he and his family had worried about New York. But Chris saw lots of men with black hats and beards on 42nd Street, and called home from a phone booth to tell them not to worry. “There are a lot of Amish people in New York City, mom.”
Stories such as these bring us together. I call it “spinning a yarn,” and though that phrase may sound like it means “made up” or an untruth, I think true stories are the best, and resonate well with any audience, either in person or in direct mail.