Last week I was on a video shoot in Massachusetts with several members of my team from Jennings. Although we were interviewing a few clinicians as part of the process, the big focus of the shoot was on capturing the stories of two patients who had undergone joint replacement surgery. I had an interesting vantage point because for once I was not conducting the interviews. So I was able to sit back and observer the process.
My main take away, as we interviewed these remarkable people, was the importance of not over-complicating the story with clinical details. Each patient spent an hour being interviewed on camera. We asked them dozens of questions about the process they went through, the pre-op education process, the surgery, the communication with the clinical team and their recovery/physical therapy. Buried under all of these details is a compelling story that people will actually care about. The trick is to not get bogged down in the minutiae and to be human.
As a storyteller, you have to ask yourself, what about this individual’s story are people going to connect with? For the story/video to be successful, people have to care. It is not enough to take the viewer through a chronology of events. They have to care about the person being profiled. And they also want to know the answers to big questions: Has your life fundamentally changed as a result of the procedure? Did they make the process as easy as possible for you and your family? Did they answer all your questions? Were the people at the hospital kind and attentive? Based on your experience, would you recommend the hospital/surgeon to a friend or family member?
Last week I sat in on a terrific webinar on digital trends in healthcare. My friend Ben Dillon from Geonetric was the presenter. One of the trends he pointed to was storytelling. He’s right! But too many of us are telling stories that aren’t interesting or compelling. The viewer/reader/listener just doesn’t care. And we haven’t given her a reason to care. As we move through 2017, my hope is that more care and thought will be used as we craft stories to share with consumers, referring clinicians and our employees. Ben is right – storytelling is such an important part of a successful content marketing effort. But let’s craft stories that truly engage the audience. Find the human aspect of the story. Below is an example of a story that we recently crafted for one of our hospital clients. It’s the story of a woman who changed her life. From my perspective, this is good storytelling. The focus is on the individual whose life was transformed, with just a little detail about the clinical program. Enjoy!