This post is contributed by Ken Voyles, founder and artistic director of Word & Vision Consulting and a Jottful Community member. Ken’s passion is for storytelling: writing about, and photographing, the world around him.

In printing, as well as color photo editing, you’ll frequently come across the term “CMYK.”

CMYK denotes the four-color process used on a traditional (non-digital) printing press. C stands for the color cyan, M is for magenta, Y is for yellow and K stands for black. Those four colors can be combined to make a myriad of other colors.

When it comes to sharing your story, the four components of CMYK can also be a guide to your approach, one that includes: Capture attention, Make it emotional, Be real, and Keep it personal.

Capture attention.

Our daily lives are filled with distraction, confusion and altogether too much information. Getting heard, let alone seen, in this time of unrelenting messaging requires finding a way to seize the precious few moments you have with a reader or viewer. This isn’t always easy but sending yet another boring postcard to someone’s mailbox probably isn’t the answer either. 

Get creative. A digital postcard? How about a personal message on something clearly identifiable as having come from you or your company. 

Make it emotional.

Studies show that facts and figures, while critical to a message are insufficient to get you heard. Storytelling appeals to the emotional aspect of the human audience you are seeking to reach. 

We may not remember the stats but we will remember the speaker, the writer, the photographer who shared from the heart.

Be real.

Stories have to be honest, not fake; making stuff up or using someone else’s story is not being real. Every reader and customer needs to feel that the story you are sharing is from your experience. So, talk about yourself, your team, and your product from an emotional viewpoint and be genuine. 

Think Nike. The idea to “just do it” is one that we all can relate to and understand. It has an emotional “what are you waiting for” kind of appeal. Yes it’s vague, but it’s real in that we relate, we understand, we know it’s a “slogan” while still seeing a real idea about being driven, having a passion to succeed.  

Keep it personal.

Not all our messages can be tied to our personal life, but they can be informed by our experience. For example, my Word and Vision company name partially comes from a David Bowie song I love. “Sound and Vision” is a classic Bowie composition but I’m not a “sound” guy, I am a wordsmith and photographer so I thought perhaps “Word and Vision” would denote who I am. The point here is that I just shared with you a personal story, a real story, one that appeals to our emotions and hopefully got your attention. 

That’s CMYK.