“It doesn’t happen often” – a great storyline in a marketing letter

This, this morning, through the post.

[with a little picture of Svend Olufsen & Peter Bang]

Dear Victoria,

It doesn’t happen often!

When we arrived at work recently we were horrified to find that one of our ceiling tiles was on the floor. After inspection we found that the problem was caused by a break in the fabric of the main ciling above ours. This has unfortunately meant that we have had to suspend trading at the showroom whilst repairs are carried out.

Luckily, things like this don’t happen too often, and although it is very frustrating we’re sure that something good will come out of it as we have decided to bring forward our planned refit. So next time you visit us at Islington you’ll be visint our brand new showroom.

…..

It goes on to offer a discount at the Covent Garden Store of 10% while the refit goes on and is signed by all the people who work in the shop.

How very much better than a thing going something like

Dear Ms Ward,

Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control our B&O store in Upper Street will be closed for refurbishment for the forseeable future. Should you need to purchase B&O items these can be found at our Covent Garden Store. To compensate you for any inconvenience we are offering a 10% discount on times purchased for the duration of the refit.

I was at a terrific conference on Excellence in Narrative Practice in Wrexham, North Wales, on story practice this week and at it Roshan Doug, the Birmingham poet laureate http://www.roshandoug.com/index2.html was sharing some of his poetry and thoughts on poetry. A thing which came up, and was a running them of presentation and enquiry around the conference: is it true? does that matter? Must it be a thing which actually happened to be a sincere and authentic experience? I’ve more to write about that later, and I started writing about it in the Dwarf post but meanwhile I’d like to suggest that it probably is both true and authentic that the fabric of the ceiling above is broken. And at the same time it springs an imaginary and comforting narrative of relationship. Bang and Olufsen cared enough about themself and their service to me to tell me this. I mean something to them. And, like all good storytellers they positioned themselves in the narrative. Bang and Olufsen (Rahul, Curtis, Richard, Henry, Chandra & Antonio) becomes a character with whom I can empathise.

Good work.

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