Math hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. The expression and the teaching of it has, however, and I’ve often struggled with helping my kids when I first had to learn how the teacher was teaching it this year. There were numerous “Chicago Math” years that were particularly troubling. It seems, however, that our schools are returning to a more traditional style of teaching math.
Tonight I worked with my second grader, Jack, on “Name Collection Boxes.” In a box, he had to express one number in 10 different ways. For instance, for the number 10 he could write it out as “ten” and “diez” as well as show 10 hash marks. Of course, 5 +5 and 20 – 10 were in the name collection box as well. We talked about Roman Numerals and he learned that X means 10.
It made me think that for anything that is a “truth” there are a number of ways to express it. When doing media relations for an organization that wants to get a story in the news, there are a number of ways to share that story to make it meaningful for different audiences. “Diez,” for instance, will be more meaningful to a Spanish-speaking audience than “ten.”
When filling your “Name Collection Box” in preparation to tell your story, you might include the set of facts pertinent to the story in bullet points. You might include third-party testimonials from clients or customers. You might include statistics, especially if they can be shown to be part of a larger trend occurring in the marketplace. You might include personal stories that illustrate your story. You probably want to think about visuals, including pictures, video, and charts. These help make a TV or web story more interesting than plain text ever could. Sometimes your “name collection box” could include a personal experience you could provide to a news reporter, allowing them to experience what you want them to report on.
In my past work, all of these story-telling devices came into play. When we developed ThisBizNow.com to help tell the Quixtar business story, it definitely included the facts about the business but it also included third party testimonials, videos, logos, charts and much more.
When we promoted the ARTISTRY beauty brand to editors in New York, we brought them to our manufacturing plant to see our skin care and cosmetic products being made. We took them to our R&D labs to talk with scientists and get their questions answered. We used our technology to show them their very own skin under high magnification (a scary thought!). They had the opportunity to make their very own shade of lipstick. They were brought to our very own spa and given the full treatment with professional aestheticians. Oh, and to ensure these editors understood that ARTISTRY is a prestige brand, they flew here on a private jet and stayed overnight at the JW Marriott. Yes, they also were provided the facts and figures and pictures and video to take back with them, but without the actual hands-on experience, the story wouldn’t be quite the same.
To ensure you are reaching people as effectively as possible with YOUR story, are you using all the ways at your disposal to do so? A news release is a start, but it is not THE way to tell your story. It’s only the welcome mat to the complete “name collection box” that will tell your story to a broad audience in the most colorful, meaningful way.