Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS] Sharing an organization’s story really shouldn’t be this difficult

Christoph

April 18, 2017

Strategies


Chicago in April

My conference presentations and workshops constantly evolve. But all of them build on the concept of sharing stories for long-term success and with the customer in mind. Before heading to Chicago in April 2017 to speak at a global sales conference I designed a new exercise. It’s part of evolving the learning experience for attendees.

Often I do a version of this exercise: 

I ask attendees to share a personal story with their neighbors. Often the room is filled with smiles and engaged conversation. It usually is hard to get their attention back to me. That’s the whole point to show how stories work and  engage.

But at this April 2017 conference I added another exercise immediately following:

I asked attendees to now tell that same story or a similar story from their companies’ points of view and voice.

I tried to set it up as an easy task and said “this one will be even easier.”

Of course, I knew that wasn’t that easy of an exercise. I even had one attendee wave me over and say that he couldn’t figure it out. That it was too hard. I just listened and he said: “maybe that’s the point of the exercise. It’s harder than it should be.”

It is. The whole point was to show how unnecessarily hard it is to tell organizational stories. And this wasn’t even a live event. This was just practice so to speak.

When I asked for volunteers to share their stories the first person started by saying: “this was so hard. So much harder than the last one.”

Book me here to speak at your company or conference event to learn how to tell better organizational stories. 

Of course it is so hard because many organizations have way too many levels of approval to share any kind of organizational stories.

And we didn’t discuss running this by the communications team even.

The mood for the second exercise was much different as well. They weren’t too many smiles and more barriers. Should I be sharing this?

It was really a good example that we need to make things simpler. We need to make the process easier. We need to actually allow our employees to share our stories. They already share them anyway. How do we make it a formal process that can be implemented and scaled for the good of the company, customers, prospects and the employees and also future employees.

The other thing is that second exercise was way more energy draining than the first one. In fact one could argue that the first one wasn’t energy draining at all. It was energizing. But during the second one we had to think too hard and too long and wondered whether or not the story could be shared.

Storytelling really works best when it’s done in a simple process. For example, I’m sitting outside at a café in Chicago and  I’m dictating this post to my phone. In a moment I will read it again and then publish.

I didn’t have to run it through 15 channels of approval. I just determined it’s a story worth sharing  and I’m sharing it. Period.

I understand that there need to be some checks and balances in corporate communications. Somebody ultimately still has to be responsible for what the stories are that are being shared. But how about one check and balance. And how about making it nimble and maybe even accepting. Find a way for the stories to be published and align  them with business goals.

They don’t need to be filled with marketing  gobbledygook. Just share something that establishes your organization as a true and authentic subject matter expert and in the case of recruitment as a place that people actually want to work. Just be sure the stories are authentic  and true.

Establishing that intentional culture of storytelling is a lot of work early on but once we get going the corporate oversight should go down and results should go up.

Contact me here to hire me to help your organization with the implementation

Chicago selfie: 


Don't miss the next blog post:

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Christoph

Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

Related Posts

The No. 1 career killer for content marketers (and inbound marketers) is …

This phenomenon is probably not news to anyone in marketing: People stay with organizations for decades and they remember the print-only days at the organization. Or people stick around for months! “Hey, new kid! How come that 20-month project isn’t showing results in month 2? Buh bye!!!” I’m currently working in my second longest stint […]

Read More

Why people need to stop hating on reply all emails

I was dictating the above headline to my phone  in the car with my wife driving who without hesitation groaned and said “oh I hate reply all emails.” And I do agree with her to an extent. I’ve been part of many crappy and annoying reply all emails. People instead of having a conversation or […]

Read More

June 26 – Free upcoming webinar

Click on the image for more and to register:

Let’s talk!

Updates in your inbox! No spam!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Hire your next content marketing strategist here

Is it okay to swear in blog posts?

My Authentic Storytelling Book

book cover crop

"Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success" discusses why you, your organization and anyone really should consider sharing authentic stories with each other ... READ MORE

My customer service book

Confirmed talks

Druck

Berlin, Germany
June 29, 2017

Raleigh, NC
Aug. 22, 2017

sao-paolo

Annual conference
Reno, NV
Oct. 8-9. 2017

Austin, Texas
Oct. 23-25, 2017

book now

Speaking feedback

Top twitter accounts to follow for marketing

Top 10 Content Marketer

on Klout 2016

klout





Official PayPal Seal

Quotes

social media book

Stories from the Social Side Book

%d bloggers like this: