How storytelling can help your organization show off their ‘human’ side: #CommChat recap

typewriter storytellingThough it has been a powerful communication tool for centuries, more and more organizations are understanding just how important storytelling is for engagement. Just take a quick look at your social feeds or your favorite business blog and you’ll see how communicators are using stories to support their brands.

How can you create a story that connects with your audience on an emotional level, that they will remember for years to come? And what are some of the benefits for adopting storytelling in your next communication campaign? Here are a few highlights from last week’s #CommChat discussion, where your fellow communicators shared their insights on storytelling dos and don’ts.

For a complete recap of the discussion, check our Storify page. IABC #CommChat is every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Join us next week for a discussion on collaboration in the modern workplace. Be sure to check @IABC’s Twitter feed for updates.

Stories should be authentic and relatable

Communicators warned against relying on gimmicks like animals and children for the sake of striking an emotional chord. Instead, share real stories that your audience will be able to identify with.

Let your audience drive the story—from the content itself to the communication medium and channel

Understand how and where your target audience will likely see your story (Facebook video? blog post?) and know what they care about. Your story will fall flat otherwise.

The benefits

Storytelling allows you to share your company culture and your “human” side

Participants emphasized that by sharing stories, you are showing your audience that there are real people on the other side of their screens. Stories also offer a chance for people to understand your company on a deeper level.

Storytelling can inspire loyalty and trust among your audience

Once your audience can see that your company is made up of authentic individuals like themselves, they are more likely to trust you and remain loyal.

Finally, storytelling can inspire action

Merely saying that you have the best product offering or that your nonprofit is a worthy cause to donate to may cause some of your audience to tune out. But showing this in a story (remember the first point about authenticity though) will more likely trigger the desired outcome you are hoping for.

Caroline Cornell

Caroline Cornell is associate editor for IABC’s content department.

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