Every day, countless new startups are emerging in today’s market and changing the way that our professional landscapeOne of the recurring challenges for internal PR teams is continuously coming up with new angles for telling your company’s story. It’s especially difficult when you’re on the inside and often too close to an organization to effectively zoom out and think from a reporter’s perspective. Once the story topics directly related to your company’s core message and newsworthy announcements have been exhausted, brand storytelling requires a lot of creativity to consistently find new ways to provide insightful, fresh content for journalists.
THE HIDDEN DIMENSIONS OF YOUR COMPANY STORY
The good news is that almost every brand has more dimensions to their company story than are immediately obvious. Remember that it’s not products and features that make compelling stories– it’s people, communities and problem solving that make a story capture a reader’s attention. When you start brainstorming beyond your product and the key message of the company, there are many other places where inspiration can be found (and still tied back consistently with your core message and values). Below are just a few of the unique dimensions of a brand’s storytelling that are often overlooked, but can powerfully communicate a whole lot about your company story in a way that garners media attention.
COMPANY CULTURE & OFFICE ENVIRONMENT:
Workplaces are often a breeding ground for great stories of human connection, team building, quirky office traditions and other things that make your company stand out. These stories can showcase the true character of a company’s workplace, its management and how it lives out its values everyday. This is great for connecting with the hearts of potential customers, and also for attracting talent to an organization.
BACKSTORIES OF TEAM MEMBERS:
A company is more than just products and services– it’s the team behind it and each of those team members has their own unique journey. Taking the time to showcase those stories not only makes your employees feel seen and recognized, but also is one of the best ways to communicate the values your brand lives by and to cultivate a more personal connection between your customers and your team. People want to do business with people they like and relate to– not faceless brands.
YOUR FOUNDING OR FUNDING STORY:
Almost every company has an interesting and often untold story of how the organization got started. Or maybe your path to securing funding was full of twists and challenges. It’s surprising how few companies use the story of how they got started in any of their brand material. Readers love a good success story, especially when it includes overcoming significant obstacles. Telling that story in an engaging way, provides a way for customers (especially in B2B) to relate to you and even attracts new talent.
COMMUNITY SERVICE STORY:
One of the best ways to communicate the values behind your company story is by sharing any community contribution and activism that your organization feels strongly about. This is another great way to inject a human-interest dimension into your brand storytelling and connect with customers, potential employees and the media on common causes that you care about and are willing to use your platform to help support.
CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORIES:
Earlier we looked at showcasing powerful stories about members of your team. The same can be done about your customers. Look at the customers for whom you’ve made the biggest impact. There is no better way to sell your company story than through tangible results. Creating a story around your customer who faced a problem and how you helped them overcome it with meaningful results (the bigger the results the better) is a great way to tell a story that is entertaining and educational while also infusing your company’s core message. Just seek your customer’s permission first, of course.
YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE:
Every company faces problems and setbacks as it grows. The larger you grow, the bigger those challenges become. What’s more, many other companies are or will be facing the same challenges you’ve already overcome. Take a story from one of the biggest, scariest challenges your company has successfully overcome to date and identify exactly what the challenge meant to your company’s survival, how you came together as a team to identify solutions and then how you implemented to overcome it. Engage readers further by sharing some tips for others who are facing the same challenge based on your direct experience.
REMEMBER, BRAND STORYTELLING IS A PROCESS
Remember, these are just six of the myriad creative ways out there for identifying an entertaining, insightful or provocative story that makes your brand unique. As with any marketing program, you refine brand storytelling through trial and error. Get your team together, brainstorm ideas, package them into pitches that you can share with reporters and continue to refine your company story until you find the winners that garner attention.