Storytelling – A vital ingredient for Corporate Communications

A Corporate Communications professional is expected to be an expert in writing skills, social media techniques, and public speaking which are major contributors towards succeeding in this work area. Besides these, there is another significant component for Corporate Communications pros: the art of storytelling. Corporate communications does not need to be dry, plain and boring. Corporate communications helps in reshaping the environment for more strategic storytelling that embraces creativity and amplifies the voice of the customer, resulting in bringing the brand closer to the customer.

Storytelling must be considered as one of the most effective ways to communicate any message around a brand/organisation and is a very important tool for interactive bonding. Effective storytelling actually affects a listener or reader’s brain—it activates more areas of the brain than purely factual content. A good story told in an effective and relatable manner, can yield great results for a brand by winning more customers/clients. This indirectly results in generating revenues for the organisation.

In other words, storytelling is important to public relations strategies because it allows companies to better connect with their audience and ultimately stimulate the audience’s feelings, ideas, and attitudes to align with their marketing goals. While telling the story a Corporate Communications leader must keep in mind the ultimate goal, and must not deviate from the focus by turning it into a casual story. The agenda, objective, expected achievements, effects, etc., must not be compromised upon. The story must adhere to the described bottomline.

The role of the communications leader is to prepare the organisation for change. Strategic use of storytelling is an effective way, when done right, to help solidify people’s support for the change. A story that is strategically aligned with business objectives shows people what to aim for, rather than what to avoid. In essence, the audience wants to know what role they will play in the whole process of change.

Storytelling in a corporate setting is a powerful tool possessed by a smart, well-versed communications professional. It builds trust with the clients as it primarily involves putting the clients before everything. It engages with people effectively and encourages them to share their stories to align with their own. It persuades clients to listen and to make sense of the story and how it benefits them thereby promoting a specific brand.

There are various marketing and sales tools which every strong brand makes use of. These are used with the prime focus of earning revenues and garnering attention for the brand. These tools get complimented through effective corporate communications strategies of which story telling must be an important component. A strong brand relies on the narrative of a story. A good story narrative alternates between problem and the easing of problem, which is resolution. If you want to grab the clients’ attention, talk about the clients’ problems first and then offer solutions to those problems by the means of your brand. Another approach is for the brand to tell them about who they are. They may tell their origin, struggles, defeats, success very well through stories, and the clients can relate with these stories.

But corporate storytelling needs to be different than the types of stories one hears with great details at parties or when chatting on the phone with a friend. Corporate storytelling needs to be short and quick. It cannot have too much detail. It should also be clear and simple, without mixed messages. Indeed, simple, clear and disciplined stories often do the best.

Ritu Bararia
Ritu is a Corporate Communications leader, Mentor, Author, Public Relations Evangelist, Thought leader, Advisor. She has nearly two decades of working experience having spearheaded Communications, PR and Corporate Affairs with corporate brands such as Kingfisher Airlines, The Park Hotels, Bird Group.

She quit her corporate career in the beginning of 2018 to try her hand at various related things within communications space. She turned into a published author in 2020 with her maiden book ‘Little Joys of Communication’.

Currently Ritu is Senior Director at SCoRe and, Executive Director Communicators Guild – India (CGI).

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