Tag Archives: Thomas Smith

A story teller must be tenacious

Pitch, pitch, pitching at Heaven’s door. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear

What’s the story?

An account and a message and a performance and a bond. The most powerful stories communicate values, identity, and purpose.

Pitches, vision statements, business plans, novels, movies, and cultures are made of story.

Stories matter, and so we care for and communicate them.

There are many theories about communication that say a message has to be heard multiple times before it sinks in.

Some say three—others, more.

Thomas Smith’s 1885 book Successful Advertising says 20.

Rarely is it once.

Book browsers are much more likely to buy when they’ve heard of the author, even when they can’t recall what they’ve heard.

When I was in college I had two room mates. One of them (I didn’t know which) had bottles of near-empty shampoo cluttering up the shower.

I decided to send a message.

Each week I bought a bottle of shampoo and put it in the shower. In two months, I had eight bottles of shampoo cluttering the shower.

That’s when my room mates started to get the message.

Here is what the television and film producer Lisa Meeches said to me about her grandfather:

He told me that not everything I thought of would be successful, but to continue trying, and to persevere. He used to use the word tenacious. To be tenacious and to have tenacity as a story teller.

Lisa Meeches
Photo: Lisa Meeches, by Fred Cattroll

Tenacity means to hold on, to retain, to have firmness of purpose.

Know your story, and never compromise its integrity. Be respectful, and don’t beat your audience over the head.

But also be open to finding new ways to tell your story when your message doesn’t get through. Persevere and adapt, without losing site of your values, identity, and purpose.

A story teller must be tenacious.