Why Storytelling?

The human brain is wired for stories.

 

How Storytelling Can Benefit Your Business:

 

The human brain is wired for stories. There is no better way to draw someone in, to inspire and enthuse them than to tell them a story. Through storytelling, people are connected to one another, and to the bigger picture. Data that had previously been lifeless suddenly becomes real to people, inspiring them to action. Stories give them something to care about, and it drives change in organisations and in client relationships that is impossible without the true engagement storytelling delivers.

The Effect of Storytelling on Employee Engagement:

According to a recent global study, 70% of employees are disengaged at work. When there is no engagement, there is no buy-in. Disengaged employees are either actively looking for a new job, or they're passively doing the minimum effort required not to lose their jobs. If you have ever had a disengaged employee, you will be able to relate to the frustration that comes with managing someone who doesn't have the company's best interest at heart. This is detrimental to company morale and growth. Every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. These costs may include severance pay, unemployment claims, exit interviews, recruitment costs, training costs, lost productivity, lost engagement in other employees, customer service errors, and the cultural impact on the organisation.

 

Storytelling has been proven to increase employee engagement. Engaged employees want to come to work, they feel part of the bigger picture, they feel that their contribution matters. Consequently, they give more, share more, and actively seek ways to further the company's mission. The feeling of purpose that storytelling creates is priceless. These people aren't just employees, they are company ambassadors. Leaders can use stories to convey vision and get employees enthused. Stories don't just connect the employees to the company, but also to one another and to clients. When employees feel that they are actively making a difference in the lives of others, they are driven to contribute more and to be more invested in outcome. 

 

 

 

 

  • Who the founder is as a person, and how the company got started.

  • How your product or service makes a tangible difference in the lives of your customers. Identifying purpose moves employees from doing their work because they have to, to doing it because they can see the impact it has on someone's life. This can be in testimonial- or case study form.

  • Profiles on different leaders in the organisation, showing their human side.

  • Communicating your company's Why - Watch Simon Sinek's powerful talk on Finding Your Why.

  • Stories about employees going above and beyond the call of duty. These stories inspire other staff members to give more because recognition is a reward.

  • Forward-thinking stories about what it will be like once a certain goal has been achieved. Using the power of visualisation to create an expected outcome in the mind of your employees.

  • Relationship building. Employees generally only know each other on a surface level. The feeling of empathy and comradery grows when employees share their personal stories.

  • Storytelling can provide content with which customers can become brand advocates. 

Types of Business Stories:

How Storytelling Can Benefit Your Cause:

Nonprofit storytelling is used to do fundraising, and to raise awareness for the nonprofit's cause. In a nonprofit context, one person's story is representative of a multitude of stories. Unfortunately, not all those stories can be told, but telling one person's story is a powerful way of engaging your audience. The audience connects with that person's story and their plight. Using storytelling in this context gives a face to your organisation, and compels your audience's attention. Though the use of statistics is helpful, it's not nearly as effective as using the combination of statistics and storytelling. Storytelling has been proven to be an effective way of engaging audiences in the nonprofit sector. 

Our Storytelling Process:

The Strategy Meeting:

The strategy meeting is where we listen to your story, and together we determine what your goals are. You tell us who your target audience is, and then we brainstorm to see what kind of story would best convey your message. We find out what the 'why' is, the reason you're telling your story, and dig a little deeper to find out what's behind it. We look at options and decide on a medium, whether it be a singular method of communication like video or a written piece; or a body of content that can be shared on various platforms.

Finding the Story:

We interview those who may have an impactful story to tell. If you're telling a business story, it could be staff members or customers. If you're raising awareness for a cause, it could be someone who has been personally effected by a situation or an event. A story is not an opinion or an editorial. It is not a sales pitch. We always look for stories with high human interest that speak of empathy and evoke emotion. We are not afraid to ask the difficult questions. We find stories that draw people in and that stir their hearts. These stories naturally move your audience and, where appropriate, inspires them to action. 

Crafting the Story:

We create the content that tells the story. It could be an article with a photo, a video, or various forms of content specifically adapted for use internally and on various social media platforms. 

Distributing the Story:

Depending on your needs, we either give you the content to distribute, or we do it for you. Once we've agreed on the platforms and the distribution schedule, we share your printed material or online content. 

The Next Step:

If you've read this far, it's clear that you see the value that storytelling can provide your organisation. Contact me to set up a strategy meeting, and let's get together to tell your stories powerfully and authentically.

Good stories help you see, great stories make you feel.
Johannesburg, South Africa | marinda@heatwavestoryagency.com | +27 83 280 4468
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