There’s been a lot said about corporate storytelling (some by myself) and its efficacy in helping businesses connect with audiences. What I want to stress is that I don’t think corporate storytelling is a silver bullet, or the be-all and end-all of corporate comms, but I do think it goes a long way to improving how companies think about their external messaging and ways to reach all their audiences.
Done right, storytelling can bring freedom and growth to a company’s communications. Done wrong, it can be restrictive and lead to a serious loss of trust amongst audiences.
Below are three essentials to remember when you’re crafting your compelling company narrative:
Fluff. Blather. Chaff. Filler.
We’ve got a lot of words for when what’s being said isn’t straightforward, honest and clear. And when what’s being said doesn’t meet those criteria, it doesn’t warrant our attention.
Well, when you pepper your About Us page with corpospeak and jargon, wrapped up in an unrealistically positive view of your business, it’s exactly the same. People turn off. They discount you with a shrug. They presume what you’ve said is untrue.
When you tell your company story, make sure you are clear, use the sort of language you would use when talking to a friend and try to explain the ‘why’ of your business instead of the technical ‘what’.
Structure is important. A narrative ‘thread’ helps lend credence to your communications and helps guide your audience from the ‘A’ of introduction to the ‘B’ of understanding.
We naturally engage with any piece of writing that has a beginning, middle and an end. It feels familiar to be taken on a journey and also makes anything we read a lot easier to remember. There’s a very good reason memory experts use stories to recall seemingly impossible strings of information.
Appeal to the heart
People like stories. They like to feel part of the story and that it was written just for them. This is no different when it comes to your business.
With the right narrative, you can make every customer, employee and investor feel like an important part of your business. Write about people and experiences, not processes and market share, and you’ll make those responsible for making your business great feel amazing.
Next thing you know, they’ll be telling your story for you…
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