The journalist story telling framework

Journalists tell stories in their articles for the media. Traditionally every story had to answer the following six questions to get by the editor’s desk: Who?, What?, Where?, Why?, When? and Where?, not necessarily in that order!

I’ve found that asking an entrepreneur to put the story of their company into this framework can really help them clarify their thinking and improve their ability to communicate the story of their business to others.

Here’s what I’ve added to those six questions to make them relevant to telling the story of a business.

What is it you do?
  • What problem do you solve?
  • What opportunity do you create?
  • Are you a pain pill (must have!) or a vitamin (nice to have …)?
  • What are the benefits to customers? to the company?
Who do you do it for? Who are the:
  • End users
  • Economic decision makers
  • Influencers
How do you do solve the problem or create the opportunity?
Who are you? The team
  • Why it your team best equipped to do what your company does? Experience? Education & Training? Expertise?
  • Gaps to be filled?
  • Others involved: Board of Directors, advisors, consultants & contractors
Why do you do it?
  • What is your mission?
  • What motivates you and your team members personally? (Money? Fame? Impact on the world?)
When is it your product or service used?
  • Is this a service or product that is used once?
  • Used occasionally?
  • Used regularly?
  • Used only for a fixed period of time?
Where is it used?
  • In business
  • In schools
  • In the home
  • In the car
  • Mobile
  • Elsewhere
  • Everywhere

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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