The Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling plays a critical factor in the success of every organization. And it is our responsibility as communications professionals to not only create these stories, but to share them in a way that drives positive action, enables change and improves engagement.

Storytelling is about more than sharing the latest product release or announcing a new hire. It’s about establishing trust-based connections with people in a manner that brings our corporate narrative to life. For PR professionals, these relationships are with journalists. For Marketing Communications professionals, they are with customers and prospects. And for Employee Communications, they are with colleagues.

Tip: Use narrative techniques such as metaphors, personification, imagery, and alliteration to help your audience better understand your story.

The story you tell should be one that is built for these connections – not for your company. Your ultimate goal is to create something compelling that people want to be a part of, as well as share with others. And to do this, you need to know your audience, e.g., what motivates and influences them. Keeping this in mind will enable you to develop a story that supports your corporate narrative, while making people feel or think and empowering them to take action.

Tip: Identify what your audience wants (aka the WIIFM factor) and use this to anchor your story.

Today, we have a wide range of communications channels available to tell our stories, from email campaigns and intranet posts to Town Hall meetings and videos (and, of course, social media!) Regardless of the medium that works best for a particular audience – as every audience is different – the key is to be consistent with your messaging. Any holes in the narrative will make your story appear inauthentic, which is the fastest way to lose the trust of your connections.

Tip: People like to watch, read, see and hear stories. Align your messaging across all communication channels to build trust, appear credible and help your audience remember your story.

Storytelling has the power to bring your corporate narrative to life and enables people to identify with your organization. It can build customer relationships, reinforce a corporate culture or steer an organization through a time of significant change.

Learn the art of storytelling to make your messages more relatable, and your subsequent communications activities more engaging.