manshakinghandsCorporate Storytelling can be utilized through an organization both internally and externally. This blog provides guidelines in crafting your story so that it can be delivered not only verbally but also in visual communications. To serve as an example, let us take a look at using storytelling as it relates to human resources – making your HR manager a corporate storyteller. Remember this just one of many applications for:

  • marketing is telling your story to targeted buyers
  • training is telling your story to your employees
  • reporting is telling your story to your management, shareholders, and similar stakeholders.

Please read another blog on storytelling,“How to Solve the Biggest Problems with Corporate Storytelling”.

The Storyteller benefits

So let us take a look at some of the benefits storytelling could provide to our example HR manager. The following is provided by David Armstrong who as COO of Armstrong Industries implemented storytelling into his human resource department.

  • If storytelling does noting else – it will allow you to have a friendly employee manual (yes, there are so many legal concerns when developing employee document) that shows new hires how you do things and what the company believes
  • Storytelling can create jealousy – people will read about the perks and benefits in your organization and will want to work for you.
  • Storytelling puts you in charge – You are the author. You can select what stories or topics you will include and what morals of the stories should be stressed
  • Stories may help your competitors – yes but better competition make your organization to be better.

How to Write a Story

The rules for writing a good corporate story and becoming a corporate storyteller are similar to writing effective blogs, web pages, newsletter content, etc. Content is king! So if we return to our human resource example here are some best practices. These can be applied to other corporate storytelling topics.

  • Use an enchanting title to inspire your employees to read it.
  • The title should also help remind you what the story is about
  • For visual applications bold print and enlarge the size of the first letter of the first word. this reminds people that they are about to read a story.
  • For the HR application – use your company name often.
  • Everyone likes to see their name or organization name so use employee titles and company name – often.
  • Use dialog between people to add life to your story.
  • A quote will help your reader understand the story
  • A famous person’s quote adds credibility
  • Every story should have a moral. The moral helps the reader to understand what you want learned. This is your chance as a leader, manager, owners et. al. to teach, promote change, provide support, encourage risk-taking, etc.
  • Use italics or bold print for the first line of each moral. For the busy reader, it saves, time. It can also be a summary of that moral.

womantalkingStorytelling Results:

Organizations that have implemented storytelling into their HR function (remember we are using the HR department as an example) share the following benefits:

  • Stories are simple – you do not need advanced degrees or be a lawyer to understand them.
  • Stories are timeless – stories have been around for thousands of years. They are not just a fad.
  • Stories are excellent trainers – they let people know the kinds of things that will get them promoted or get them fired.
  • Stories are great recruiting and hiring tools – organizations like Disney and Nike rely on stories especially about their founders, to help recruit and train their new employees.
  • Stories are fun – and what is wrong with having fun at work?

 

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