Let’s imagine that one day you go up to a vending machine, with the intention of buying a Mars chocolate bar. You put your money in, press the right buttons and expect to get one bar of chocolate out.
If the machine delivers exactly what you expect, i.e. a bar drops down into the collection tray, then there’s nothing very interesting that can be said about this exchange between you and the world.
Like so many press releases where essentially there’s no story, it’s the total lack of deviation from anyone’s expectation that tells you there’s nothing to talk or write about. No matter how many lunches you buy your journalist. “Man buys chocolate from vending machine- read all about it?” Don’t think so.
But it’s only when the machine doesn’t react according to your expectations, that there comes the beginnings of a story-line and communication.
Write down how the machine could behave in ways you’re not expecting, and what would be the communication and storyline consequences of this?
If, for example a packet of class A drugs plops onto the collection tray, what happens next? What would you do? Who would you tell?
What becomes clear is that as the machine, or the world departs from your expectation, you have to communicate this to someone. In the process your behaviour is changed. Instead of going on to do whatever you were going to do after eating your snack, you now have something else to do. Maybe become embroiled in an international espionage story.
Change in expectation, change in behaviour, story, communication are all related.