The Importance of Storytelling to Get Your Company’s Message Out
(By Heidi Raphael) Storytelling has been going on since the beginning of time. From sharing wonderful memories at the dinner table to passing on a family recipe that’s been handed down over generations, stories play an important part in our lives. They are personal and have meaning.
What’s your story? For companies looking to stand apart from their competition, storytelling is a great way to communicate a message about your organization in a real, relevant and relatable way.
What makes your organization unique and sets you apart from the competition? Who started your company and why? What year was it founded and what was taking place during that time? Do you have a big anniversary coming up?
There are plenty of stories all around you. Don’t be afraid to get to know the women and men working in your organization. Walk around the office and talk to people. Find out what are they doing both within and beyond their immediate roles in the company? Has someone invented a new product or started an internal mentoring program? You may find an employee who volunteers with a community group or has started a nonprofit organization. Some may have unusual hobbies or collections. Why not tell their inspiring story and share it with their peers? It’s a great way to showcase the “soul” of your organization!
Understanding with whom you want to share your story is important. Whether it’s the media, your audience, business owners or community leaders, make sure to tailor your messaging accordingly, based on what you want to accomplish. Keep it simple and conversational. Companies like Budweiser have done a great job with this!
Press releases, features, op-eds and interviews are among the many traditional ways of getting the word out. However, compelling and captivating audio and video are also very effective ways to tell your story. Why not create and post a short video on your website, YouTube and social media or create a podcast? Do you have a video monitor in your lobby or hallway; if so, take advantage of it!
Be sure to also share your story with your employees through your internal communications systems. Employees are the lifeline of your organization and your ultimate evangelists. You may want to consider creating brief talking points that employees can post in their workspaces or post on their intranet homepage that they can share with clients, partners and the community.
In addition, your sales team should absolutely bring your story to light by sharing it with your clients via newsletters, presentations and speaking engagements in the community.
At the end of the day, the way you tell your story will be remembered. Make it last!
Heidi Raphael is a veteran broadcasting corporate communications and marketing specialist. She can be reached [email protected].