The Market for Virgins (A Short Story)

A poem for all entrepreneurs
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The second element of story marketing is what I call story spotting: finding stories in the wild that support your brand story through actual events, moments and aha experiences that are products of your customer engagement. These stories, found both internal to your organization and external with your customers and vendors, are real-world examples of how you live into the promises your brand makes and keeps with your audiences. We were raised on rote learning and are so conditioned to features-and-benefits communications, that our default is facts, stats and jargon.

The last point is a biggie.

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After all, when was the last time you were bored into buying anything? Equip yourself for the story marketing theater by building a library of the stories you need to engage with your audiences and move them to action. Start by recording your stories in short two-minute videos for your Facebook group, YouTube channel and website. Feature the audio from the video on a platform like SoundCloud for use in podcasts, blogs or a library of stories your sales team can call upon in a pinch. Transcribe the audio and use the dialogue in blogs, white papers, email marketing and other written forms.

But our brains have essentially remained the same for thousands of years. Therefore, it is the ancient and proven power of story that connects us with our fellow humans and moves them to action. Each episode brings you the brightest content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to craft and tell compelling brand stories that sell. Your reply is more practical and helpful. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic. Great post! It was considered bad form to drink at home in Donegal.

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It was all right to overdo it in the pub, but you were called an alcoholic if you had a drink or two it in your own house. Drinking was one of those rare sins you were supposed to be open about. It looked mean to drink at home too. You were cheating the pub out of business. The girls were as tight as their parents. They only brought me a present once. Larry Bird, they told me. A famous basketball player, they said.

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They stayed at our only middling-sized house for four weeks of the summer and ate the meals my mother cooked every day. One time the eldest girl, Patty, took me to McGees, our local supermarket. Nobody bought whole cases of anything in Donegal, and especially not lesser-spotted items such as those. Patty was evil one of the three girls. I was about five when she first visited.

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She and her sisters wore blue jeans, though the local teenage girls generally wore dresses or skirts. The trousers. The hair. The name. It was all overwhelming for someone who only knew the ways of Donegal Town and its environs. I was twelve. Five years had passed since The Boy Incident. I savoured this great and unexpected gesture of generosity. McGee walked over to the display.

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That year, the Yanks stayed so long that I was a week into my new school year and they were only packing to go. On the Friday evening, after Julia and I were back in my house and still in our school uniform, Jenny beckoned us aside. Jenny was the middle daughter and could be kind when the mood seized her, and the concerned look on her face suggested she was feeling benevolent. Julia sighed, and then spoke slowly and carefully, as though talking to a dog.

I think she thought Julia meant a work uniform. Julia had manoeuvered to attend the local Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception instead of a small Presbyterian school farther away so she could sit out religious instruction and have a quiet cigarette in the middle of the school day. By then, our girl cousins were too busy with marriage and kids to come to Ireland anymore, but we still talked about them often. My American uncle brought home twice what my over-taxed father did, but by American standards they were poor.

We looked at each other in astonishment.

That explained their lack of interest in Irish history. I only understand all of it fully now, out here in the Connecticut sticks. There are poor looking people and places here too, just like Donegal. Not all Americans are rich. Far from it. Julia was a mentor to me. She taught me how to inhale cigarette smoke, and described the mechanics of French kissing when I was eleven. She was the bad older sister every young girl needs. Of course, like all good mentors of pubescent girls, she was really mean. Despite or maybe because of her meanness, I valued Julia as a resource of knowledge I had to acquire.

My mother always seemed a bit distracted. She looked confused when he went on and on about culchies as if they were a species unknown to him, since he had, after all, both married and fathered women of that affliction. And she often furrowed her brow at me like I was a slightly peculiar acquaintance she only half remembered. Every major decision of my life had come as a huge surprise to her.

I got just enough points in my Leaving Cert at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception to scrape into the Ascension into Heaven, as we called any college far away enough away from parental control. No more hiding your drinking or smoking. No mother or aunt hectoring you to go to a church of a Sunday. About a week before I finished my first year at UCW, my mother asked for the first time if I liked going to college. Right out of school, mam had trained as a nurse in Birmingham in the late s, before she met my father. She never said much about her years in England, except once, when an abortion storyline on Coronation Street roused her briefly.

He disapproved of anything he could imagine James Connolly disapproving of. My parents were such a different generation. Overlarge newborns are surprisingly common in Donegal. A jet-plane trail of pungency extended from both men and women as they walked by. It was hard to decide which was the worst, the overwhelming perfume of the women or the sweat of the men.

I told my aunt though. My aunt drove me to Dublin Airport in the end. I was pleasantly surprised that her indifferent tolerance stretched to actual practical help. I think she liked being part of a conspiracy that excluded my dopey mother. The second secret adoption in the family, or Christ only knows, maybe the tenth secret adoption in the family, for all anyone told anyone else. With the help of the college doctor, who seemed well used to aiding in the cover up of student pregnancies, I told the college a different lie, and they allowed a deferral of my final year on vague medical grounds.

He finalized the paperwork for me right before college reopened in September. Nobody in Ireland studied abroad in America. It was the Yanks who came to our colleges for a semester. But you have to proffer a lie in Ireland, even when everyone is aware that it is one. All those strapping six-foot young lads I know in Donegal who seemed to have suffered absolutely no ill effects from their premature births.

Rich Yanks know loads about how the English starved the Irish and speak with great familiarity about Bunratty and Ashford Castle. A hatred of the English and the desire to stay in their former castles always came as a package. The spaces that mere acquaintances got to see - the entry hall and the formal room - were often the nicest in Donegal homes. In Connecticut, the most welcoming rooms are the spaces the family relaxed in. The kitchen, the bathrooms, what they call the TV room. Their attitude to the sharing of food was another puzzle.

The Moores hosted their friends for food often, but straight out told them to bring starters or dessert to the meal. No one blinked an eye at what would have made someone a by-word for tightness in Donegal. At the same time, Mr. Moore gave away most of the jams made from the fruit in his garden. It struck me in the end that New Englanders were frugal, but that it was a choice. In Donegal, frugality was mostly a necessity.

The Market for Virgins by Paul Jaskunas

It has been autumn most of my stay here. I like that. I think I will use that phrase when I am back in Donegal to annoy the locals. The countryside here is heavily wooded and there are wild mammals everywhere. I thought that only Ireland was pretty, just like the Tourism Authority tells us.

And I thought I knew America from watching all that telly. The reality of America was surprising. A bad surprise at first, but it has grown on me. And it suits our pockets to believe the bull shite. Today I will be checked into the hospital and induced so as to be able to return to Ireland before the end of my three-month holiday visa. My last contact with Dr. There are many check-ups during pregnancy here.

Because, I suppose, there are choices that can be made as a result of them. I pack my meagre belongings into the college rucksack I came with. Almost all of it is stuff I brought with me. It looks like Donegal. If you took away the banjaxed cars, the electricity poles, and every sign of business or habitation. This is what they dream of, surrounded by the beauty of the Connecticut countryside. Their sweetness breaks my heart a little, and I wipe away a tear.

They are good people. Anna wrote us that the agency is cancelling the programme. Ireland is changing. Girls are more and more likely to keep their babies and raise them or even live with the father.


Maybe she, too, has found it all to be a charade in the end. So, why are we all going through this rigmarole? What are we afraid of? This also includes how the business has changed and what makes it unique. Look no further than cooler brand Yeti, which beautifully illustrates its vision and purpose in incredibly popular videos. Customers eagerly spend hundreds of dollars on pop on Yeti products. One way to make sure that your brand is staying consistent is to develop a vision statement.

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Barone agreed the next step after self-discovery is understanding your target audience from a genuine human level. Hocks, too, recommended defining how the brand connects with people. This insight helps guide interactions with customers and forge stronger relationships. Indeed, Mura said a great brand story can create a true fan base as long as it is supported by facts and actions. Not only have I seen brand loyalty increase exponentially, but I've seen some of the most outspoken critics become the biggest brand advocates. This is where the strongest brands are formed, she added.

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As a result, Gleason said the brand became an authoritative voice on pediatric health, and search engines better understood the site's relevance, which resulted in higher rankings. Villegas said the signature story that represents a brand could be a standalone story or multiple stories that are part of a broader narrative. Their story began in a renovated gas station in Burlington in and, over the years, they have built a global brand in part by keeping true to themselves and their values. Hocks recommended keeping your brand story simple. What problem is your company trying to solve?

How did your company solve that problem?