The power of story is so primal that, though it is much studied, its potency remains essentially unques-tioned. But, sometimes it needs to be questioned.
Story isn't everything. It's an amazing communication method when used in the right context. But so are other tools: factual proposition, non-narrative montage, illustration (drawn and otherwise)... story is, at most, first among equals.
Thus, as communicators we have to ask ourselves, "What's the goal and is story really the best way to accomplish it?"
Here's a quick list of questions that I've found helpful when determining whether story is the right fit for a project:
1. Does the client genuinely want to tell a story or do they have something else in mind?
2. Will story obfuscate the information the audience really needs/wants to learn?
3. Will a story feel like a sneaky way of selling something? Will the audience feel like they got suckered into a bait & switch?
4. Is a story the most efficient use of resources (time, money, etc.)? If not, is there a way we can allude to an existing story, rather than create a new one, and achieve the same result?
5. Do we have the resources (talent, etc.) to tell a story well or would a simpler approach achieve a higher quality end-product?
6. Will telling a story help us stand out, or will it get lost in the plethora of stories already filling our "space?"
7. Is the story the main point or a a support tool?
Once you've worked all of this out... tell a story. They're awesome.