Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Story alignment: Would that “internal” story work and make sense “externally?”

Christoph Trappe

August 11, 2014


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This is an interesting question, I think. Usually, when there’s a need for two versions, the actual internal story isn’t all that positive. In a true authentic culture story, alignment is a moot point.

When it comes to story alignment a few questions come to mind:

  • Why is there an internal story AND an external one?
  • Which one is more accurate? (Probably the internal one.)
  • If the external one is more positive than it should be, is it actually messaging?
  • Can anyone share the different external story with a straight face? People probably can with the accurate one. Of course, accuracy is also part perception for each individual.
  • Can anyone actually keep track of which story is supposed to be external and which one isn’t? I have seen cases where people would use one set of words to describe a situation internally, they would often default to those same descriptors when sharing the different external story on the outside.
  • Or, if the stories don’t align, do we just default to sharing no story at all?

Story alignment in authentic storytelling isn’t about messaging the most perfectly spun story.

It’s about deciding what your actual story is. Then share that. If you don’t like the actual story, the most authentic way would be to:

  • Determine why not.
  • Change our actual story – the purpose for doing whatever it is that we are doing.
  • Then share that new story.

But, but, but, it’s so much easier to come up with a message. “This sounds good. So that should be our story. ”

And inauthentic stories can work in the short term. They can even help lead to short-term financial success. But what if they are found out? Relationships can suffer and long-term success might not happen.

In addition, it’s almost impossible for people to share inauthentic, untrue – even partially – with their networks long term.

So why not determine what we stand for, live our story and tell it authentically?

What’s your story?

Tweet me at @ctrappe.

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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