Storytelling with the MRS

Once upon a time (well, yesterday), one of our newest Research Execs, Mark, went on a (virtual) adventure, and attended the MRS’s Storytelling Summit. Here’s what he learnt from the day:

  • Dr Sam Knowles from Insight Agents chaired a panel including panellists Annalise Coady from W20 Group, Christian Polman from Ebiquity, and Andy Porteous from Mavens of London. The panel spoke about the importance of balancing rational and emotional content in data storytelling, with emotional content required to make the data relevant to people, but rational content needed to base the research in fact and therefore create compelling stories.
  • Anthony Tasgal from Strategist: POV and Louise Halliday from the Royal Albert Hall spoke about the upcoming 150th birthday of the Royal Albert Hall and the research required in order to make the story around the celebration meaningful. It was mentioned how important it was for the celebration not to be ‘everything and nothing’, and how conciseness is key, not just for this celebration but for all forms of research.
  • Ross Antrobus and Harriet Jowett, both from the FA, and Josephine Hansom from YouthSight spoke about the research they had undertaken into why numbers of football players diminish among people of teenage years. The presentation was focused around how the most effective approach to this problem was not removing the barriers stopping people playing football, but emphasising the positives that come out of playing the sport.
  • Finally, Catherine Ashford from Crisis and Tamsyn Hyatt from The FrameWorks Institute spoke about research around homelessness. They focused particularly on how important it is to frame a narrative, as what is said to people and what people take away from what is said are often two extremely different things.

It was an absorbing and well-organised event, with many of the key themes chiming with our earlier piece on storytelling. Thanks MRS for an excellent day!