June 30, 2015
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
In honor of the Fourth of July, we found ten inspirations from America’s birth over 200 years ago that apply to content marketers today:
Congress appointed a “Committee of Five” consisting of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman to draft a document that declared independence for the United Colonies from England.
Lesson: Recruit a team to lead
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Lesson: What gets assigned gets done.
The original document was written on parchment paper. An estimated 200 copies were printed by John Dunlap, referred to as “the Dunlap Broadside”, on July 4, 1776, of which 25 are still known to exist.
Lesson: Document your strategy
Independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776 but Congress approved the Declaration on July 4. The Declaration of Independence was signed on August 2, 1776.
Lesson: Persistence generates progress. You don’t have to have everything figured out and squared away before you start down your path. Build consensus, agreement and approval along the way.
When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it caused a riot.
Lesson: Build consensus for your mission so that everyone understands your purpose.
There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.
Lesson: A common purpose unites people with many differences.
If you were a member of the Second Continental Congress in 1776, you were a rebel and considered a traitor by the King of England. You knew that a reward had been posted for the capture of certain prominent rebel leaders and signing your name to the Declaration meant that you pledged your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor to the cause of freedom.
Lesson: You have to step outside your comfort zone to change the status quo and create remarkable experiences
Francis Scott Key wrote the words that would become the national Anthem after seeing soldiers at Fort McHenry in Baltimore raise the flag after a crucial was with British forces. It was the sight of these “broad stripes and bright start” during the War of 1812 that inspired him and gave new meaning to the American flag. Key’s words were later put to music and decreed the national anthem in 1931.
Lesson: Look around you for inspiration to tell remarkable stories in new and different ways.
The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island, which began in 1785.
Lesson: Create remarkable experiences for your audience and they’ll keep coming back again and again.
In case you’re curious, it’s estimated that people eat approximately 150 million hotdogs on July 4th each year. And to because I’m sure you want to know, here’s the real story on how hotdogs are made.
Happy 4th of July, everyone!
About Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.
Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.
In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds - Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking.
Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.