Humans are infinitely interesting creatures. That explains the boom of selfie culture, and why even huge profit driven international conglomerates love to memorialise the days when they were (allegedly) just two guys named Steve tinkering away in a garage.
If you want your publics to connect with your product or service, you have to trigger an emotional response by endearing them to the people behind it and what they’re all about.
Often, the best way to do that is to let people tell their own stories. Take this National Disability Insurance Scheme video, which follows “stirrer” James on his journey to NDIS registered disability services provider and business owner. It wouldn’t be nearly as powerful without James’ enthusiastic, warm voice and the reflections of the young people with disability he supports to live more independently.
Telling your organisation’s story in a human way doesn’t necessarily mean getting your Director to explain how they started the company; it can be more subtle and indirect.
Consider these examples:
The first season of Ebay’s Open for Business podcast tells the real stories of entrepreneurs as they get their start-ups off the ground. By providing a direct, low cost channel between small businesses and their consumers, Ebay is often integral to their success. By producing this podcast Ebay highlights their role as start-up fairy godmothers and align themselves with the small fry underdogs we all love to champion, despite being a company worth nearly $37 billion as of May 2017.
SUKU home is a Melbourne based homewares, bedding and textiles label that uses their online journaland social media presence to tell an organisational story around leisure, creativity, reflection, travel, and more. By interviewing creatives and employees about their relaxation habits and sources of inspiration, publishing travel blogs, and releasing music mixes, SUKU weaves a rich narrative that’s about far more than bamboo bed sheets.
Dr Leong Tan’s journey from Malaysian rubber plantation worker to Gold Coast brain surgeon garnered over 10,000 like, 1500 shares and nearly 500 comments, all without paid boosting. Whether or not the idea of brain surgery makes you squeamish, it’s impossible to read it and and not feel inspired.
Time to play investigative journalist for the day. Grab a dictaphone (or iPhone recorder since it’s 2017) and scour your workplace for your organisation’s next human story. But first, some final words of warning...
Remember that facts and figures and a strong narrative aren’t mutually exclusive, but more powerful paired. Include research and statistics within your anecdotes and stories for credibility.
To be effective, human stories must first be authentic. Don’t bother fabricating or co-opting a human story, because you’ll be ousted out sooner than you can say“Pepsi!”