Are you practicing one-armed marketing? Are you still waiting for the media to cover your story? Are you still banking on your PR firm to make the right connections to get that story covered or establish that all-important blogger relationship?
If your only strategy is to sit on the side lines and outsource your story to others, you are practicing marketing with one arm tied behind your back. This is a call to action for DIY story generation and distribution,
We all know the msm options are shrinking by the day. We also know the Internet is a big fat pipe with lots of distribution possibilities. So, why aren't more companies proactively taking charge of their storytelling?
Some enterprises are already doing that. You may have heard the news last week that the Los Angeles Kings hired a former sports reporter to write about the team on their web site. Reactions ranged from smart move to laments about the demise of objective journalism. The Kings aren't the first team to do this nor will they be the last. You want your team stories covered and the media options are scant, do it yourself. Kudos.
But for every Kings team there are other companies sitting passively on the sidelines waiting for someone else to tell their stories. I think the fear of needing to produce hard metrics and substantiate ROI has a lot to do with this. But I also know that, too often, there isn't a company process in place to generate the right kinds of stories that can be told directly on websites, Facebook pages and other social media options.
Where does your company weigh in on this? Do you need some incentives for where to find the right types of stories? Do you have a storytelling process in place?
Let's start the process by making it easier to create those stories. Stories can be more than hard news about product launches and company financial results. They can be more than interesting customer case studies. What if we re-brand the entire concept of story around Clay Shirky's idea of "creating a shared experience." What story possibilities does that open up? What experiences can you share based on best practices, customer insights, or even quirky, off-beat stories that showcase the human side of your company?
Need more incentive than that? Here are some suggestions for putting more process around DIY story generation:
- Hold a weekly story meeting with marketing, PR, customer intelligence and any other team members who can bring a mix of perspectives.
- Set a goal of five new story ideas per week and then assign people to develop them.
- Create a Wiki so folks can input their ideas to further develop stories.
- Recognize that some people on the team are better storytellers than others and let them run with the ball. Others will be better at placing stories or listening to social media conversations. Don't have everyone doing the same thing.
- Think about ways you can repurpose a story, i.e., a customer case study that also could be told a different way on Facebook or as part of a CRM discussion.
There's never been a better time to tell a good business story.