Convergence of Thoughts on Storytelling for Internal Communications

Not long ago, Nishwa Ashraf asked readers of The Melcrum Blog if they prefer the communication on the left or the one on the right:

The one on the left is obviously a story, while the one on the right is essentially a platitude intended to convey a company value.

Ashraf suggests asking three questions when considering using storytelling as part of a communications strategy — but I’m inclined to turn that suggestion around and ask these questions of any communications vehicle:

  1. Would you remember it tomorrow?
  2. Could you repeat it in six months’ time?
  3. Did you understand the core message?

For example, look at the two approaches above, and ask yourself which you’d be most likely to remember tomorrow, able to repeat in six months, and which is most understandable. I’m guessing the story would win out for most people.

About the same time as Ashraf published her thoughts, Tony Quinlan, principal and chief storyteller of Narrate, set forth some guidelines for folks who want to introduce storytelling in their companies (it can be hard to get buy-in, as I discuss here):

  • Use an external practitioner
  • Use enticing language
  • Rationalize your budget
  • Form alliances with other stakeholders

For more about each guideline, see Quinlan’s full post.