The Power of Using a Motivator in Your Storytelling

In my writing workshops, I often talk about what I consider to be the BIG motivators that make stories work.
You can attach your story to money, family, health, safety, community, moral outrage, curiosity and/or social trending and any story can become more interesting for a wider number of people. The more motivators you can hit, the better.

See how many motivators you can count in this new online ad:

The ad would have a narrow audience if it was just aimed at beer-drinkers or dog-lovers. But it is more than that. It speaks to safety and family. That is why it is a mega online hit.

Of course there is that issue of whether you should drink so much that you are unsafe. But that’s another commercial.

Veteran TV Journalists Share Ferguson Experiences

I interviewed a half dozen senior journalists who were on the ground covering the story in Ferguson, Missouri and, interestingly, most said the police treated them with respect.
They said while some officers were hot-headed and emotional, many more were calm and gave journalists the space they needed to do their jobs.
Read the story here from


Other journalists describe very different experiences in this story from Neiman:

Police aggressiveness and media coverage in Ferguson: In the second week of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police, the targeting, threats, and violence toward journalists only escalated, with at least six more journalists arrested, including Getty Images photographer Scott Olson. Ryan Devereaux, a reporter for First Look Media’s The Intercept, spent the night in jail, being arrested (though not charged) because of “failure to disperse,” as he explained in a first-person account.

In addition to the arrests, at least four reporters caught police on tape threatening to mace, shoot, “bust your head,” or kill them. (The officer who made the latter threat was suspended.) Forty-eight media organizations signed a letter protesting the violent treatment of journalists and the lack of information being provided about those incidents and Brown’s shooting. As the week went on, journalists began being harassed and threatened by protesters as well when they attempted to record looting.