Imagine if teachers at graduation spent the entire ceremony talking about how well they had done or what great facilities the school had, if only you would give them more money. That's not what happens, and it's also not what MacDonalds, Google, Apple or other big brands do. They all tell the story of their customers, yes children are the customers, and make them into the hero. This is classic text book marketing, and here I share how you can look at the 14 stages of the hero's journey for your business publicity.
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Now, who does the best job of putting their customers first and making the hero's journey? It's schools. I've just been to my daughter's graduation ceremony. And I can tell you that they do a fabulous job of doing what the textbooks say, and that is to make your hero the customer I'm going to share on this podcast, how that makes a difference to you if you're running your own business, because the hero's journey is a common narrative in theater movies, but also it's the best way to generate productive public relations for you in your business. Now let's just think about that when you're sitting there as a proud parent or grandparent aunt or uncle. And watching your child.
About to leave their school. The teachers come up. And they announce. The children in order. And what they do is they celebrate the successes and the achievements of each of the children. One by one and then collectively as well. We as proud parents, we're part of the team. We're part of the supporting team for the children. But it's the children. Who we have all worked very hard to take from one place. Beginning of school. To the end of a particular journey in this case, going from the nursery school through to the end of grade six and getting them ready. To go to the next part of the journey. Schools do this intuitively because what schools recognize. Is that actually. We care about the school, but we're really all focused on how well the children do. And the performance and the wellbeing and the happiness of our children. Is a reflection of how well the school is run. Now, when it comes to public relations for our own businesses, how many of us. Consider our customers or our staff or our partners. In the same way. Most of us stand up when we're doing our public relations or advertising. And we talk about ourselves, we do about how great we are. Now imagine if. 30 children were standing there. And 60 parents. We're sitting there in the audience and the head teacher was to get up and talk about themselves and say what a great job they've done and how wonderful the facilities are. And now the teachers deserve all the credit. And the children just happened to be there. We paid for the children to be there, or certainly the taxpayers did. And you know what the children were really the customers, but we really were the heroes of the story. And that's often really what's happening in conventional approach to public relations. Most of us are telling our story. We're talking about how we set up the school. How we decorated the classrooms. How we bought the infrastructure, how we hired the teachers and how we train the teachers and made them the best teachers in the industry, how we develop the best innovations and methodologies so that our. Customers. Could be unmentioned. Most of us. Have a few case studies. And I'm guilty of this as well, really talking about ourselves and how well we've done for their clients. Not how well the clients have done as a result of being our clients. Now to take it further. At the school ceremony. The children are each celebrated day, win awards. they get somebody, a teacher to read out on their behalf. Something about them. the teachers will say this child has successfully completed the curriculum. Maybe they won a prize for sport or art or science. The teacher will give a short rendition for that child. But then. Later on the children. Will often do their own either individual. Store is about in this case yesterday, children talking about their early memories, their best memories from nursery, their best memories from each year. And each child played a part on the stage at several different times during the event. They were giving gifts. To the teachers that were leaving. They sang a song about the values that they learned by being at the school. They gave each other hugs. As they realized that they were going to be leaving. Together. What the school does, is it fosters a culture of collaboration and cooperation and companionship. Amongst its customers. It gets the students to all feel like they're part of the community. But his parents were invited to learn more about the school were invited for drinks were invited to talk to the teachers were invited to wander around and see what work has been done by the children. In the classrooms. How many of us do that with our own companies? How many of us invite our own customers? Into our facilities to explain what we do over and beyond just delivering the product to the customer. Now, of course the school is slightly accepted as a training facility. But the concept is the same. And when I've interviewed people like park Cal, who has the business of story podcast and his book brand boot Witchery. He talks about the hero's journey and about how. Companies need to put their customers. Center stage. And I've always struggled with that a little bit, to be honest, because you think how do I do that? And yesterday, Watching the school put the children literally send a stage until the storm clouds. rained us all indoors. The schools do this very well. Indeed. So it reminded me then of the theory between what actors and actresses do in movies and what we can do in our own businesses. Now, the hero's journey. Or what is sometimes called as the monomyth. Was written about by a chap called Joseph Campbell in his book, the hero with a thousand faces. Basically the idea is that there are very few. Stories in the world. And Campbell originally identified 17 different stages that hero goes through. And they evaluated great plays like the wizard of Oz, for example. And it's been simplified. A little bit. And I just like to tell you. What those are. So a chap called Christian Vogler. Wrote the writer's journey, the mythic structure for writers. And I just wanted to share with you the stages, because these are each stages that we can help our customers. Overcome as businesses. But there are also potential case studies. Press releases interviews that we could be having with our customers about their experience with our own business. In other words, these are really content opportunities. If I can just read these stasis First of all, we have the customer in stasis so the child for example, is at home. And then there's a call to adventure that child that four or five or six year old, depending on where you're living gets called to adventure. They get taken to nursery school. Those of us that will remember the refusal of the call. As my daughter's clung to my legs and said daddy, don't leave me. Don't leave me at the school. The child hates going to school at the beginning. And then they meet the mentor. They meet the teachers or the teaching assistants. And then they cross the threshold. What in this book, writers theory is the special world. They enter the special world. Of school. It could be the special world of your business. They crosss that threshold. And then they have tests. They start to learn things. They have allies, they have teachers assistants, they have other children. Then they have their enemies, those that they don't get on with. And then they start to approach the inmost cave. They start to learn things. And start to experience school. In ways that are sometimes challenging, sometimes thrilling. Sometimes scary. And actually every customer goes through this as well, because they start to trust. Us as companies. And at some stage, they have to say, I pay you to do this next piece of work for me, and I'm no longer going to do it myself. That is of course. What they're paying us for. So they approach the inmost cave of our business. And then they have as children, the ordeal in the abyss. Now in some cases, This is where. The relationship isn't going so well with the clients. So how can we communicate with them about that? The anxiety. Of delays or product spec not being quite right. And then there is an apotheosis. There is a change. As the client starts to. Change and move and grow with us. We start to then have to change. And both the client. And the company. Have to elevate that. Start to work together and the customer, if we're doing it right, starts to learn. And to trust us. As providers of a service. Just in the same way that these children. Have had to go from being at home. To becoming independent. And then. The boon, the next stage, the children start to become self-learners. They start to feed. Play. Study make decisions for themselves in the same way that if we do it right, our clients or customers. Are working with the goods and services that we've provided with our education. Maybe it's a manual. Maybe it's a video. Whatever it is, they started to get the benefits. Of working with us. Now the refusal. Of the return. There's a moment when the customer. Is going to have to leave the way that they worked before. And work in a new way. With what we're providing them with sometimes as a substitute, but by and large, they're buying something from us. To do something differently, to be somewhere different, to be a different person or a different company. As a result, there comes a moment when they have to embrace the change. Or decide to go back now. In the hero's journey, the hero refuses to go back. Sometimes they can't go back and in the school analogy, the children. Can't go back there too old. Sometimes they're held back a year. But even if they want to, these children have to grow up, they have to move from one grade to the next, whether they like it or not. And what we're hoping is at school. The mentors, the teachers and all the support staff around them are facilitating that growth the children don't want to go back. And we as providers of services and goods and products. Our role is to be the mentor. Is to help our customer to adopt the change. And to introduce that change within their own business or their own lives. So that it's positive. Just in the same way that. Our children, as they get to be more independent, start to decide they don't want us as parents. To play the same role anymore. I still have a role of driving them everywhere. I still have a role of paying for everything, but now they want to organize their own social events. They want to study their homework. Themselves. They know how to do online, shopping themselves. They know how to. Watch TV and make their own choices. They know how to make their own food. They're all skills. That I've taught them as a parent. And these are all skills that we are sharing with our customers in whatever way that is, whether it's through an instruction, booklet or a video or an online guide. We're trying to help our clients to grow. Past the immediate need that they had when they met us. Move past that. And so that when they come to stage. 12, which is the road back home. This is where they have a choice. They can go back. But actually what happens is they go back, but as a different person, So their behavior is different. The way they operate is different. And one. They then start to behave and interact in their o ld world, but with their new skills, Or in the case of these children in the new world, in the next school. They have the qualities. As individuals. Or that you had as a company. When they started this journey. But. Now enhanced with this new level of skills or this new product to a new service. So they become the master of two worlds. In other words, they're the master of the world. They came from. But also. The world they're going to. And when we have customers that feel as though we've given the mastery. Over the good or service that we've sold them. Then they become evangelists for us. And this is really what we see. When we look at people. That are, for example, Tesla drivers. Or apple owners. Because the training. And the facility, but also the community surrounding these kinds of products is so great that. People want to share because they feel so confident in their own knowledge and experience of using it. So the return with special knowledge actually is. Stage 14 in this hero's journey. It says that they return with a special knowledge. And actually for me, this is where. People become ambassadors now. This is where in the case of, for example, the children who have left. The early school and gone to the senior school. They then tell other people. Other children and are in fact used by the big school. When visitors come to the school to explain what they learned in the junior school. As companies, we don't really do that. We do testimonial sometimes. But how often can we get our existing customers to help guide? A new one, certainly in the case of Tesla, Or of apple. That's very much the case. And it's something we can aspire to. Now these stages don't necessarily all happen in order. But the idea is that. As a business, we can help our clients to pass through each of these stages. Just in the way that the school has done that. But again, The role of the company is to be like the head teacher onstage to coordinate, to facilitate. Have the infrastructure. Bring in the teachers bring in the infrastructure. The learning curriculum. But not to put themselves. Center stage. Now that's important because as a business, when it comes to publicity, People want to read about other people like them or other companies like them that are going to be on the same journey. So if we can start to find existing customers that are these various stages and share. How they are learning and growing. Then we are creating great content for those potential customers. That might want to read. Or watch or listen. For a solution to the problem that they're facing. So the hero's journey. Yes, it's for all those 11 year olds that are gonna leave junior school or move to senior school. And all those 18 year olds are gonna be leaving. Secondary school for university and all those people leaving one job to go to another. And all those companies that are going from one. Kind of service. Or installation. To a new one. If we see our customers. As the center of the story and we map out the journey for them. Then we can create the right content for them at the right times and help them on their journey. And by doing that, they would, of course help us in our journey. Of building our companies too. Thank you so much for listening to this episode, hope you found it useful. Do please reach out to me, Jim, at east west pr.com. There's anything I can do to help you. And come to east west pr.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Chock full of great tips and tools. Free advice on how to get yourself noticed. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the unnoticed show. My name is Jim James.