Authentic storytelling has never been more important as companies navigate the pandemic landscape. Stakeholders are absorbing significantly more information than usual, which means corporate communicators must be precise about where and when they will communicate, to whom. More importantly, the content behind the communications must be authentic, truly relevant and, ideally, hopeful. With a thoughtful approach, most companies can find stories at the intersection of those qualities.
Here are three examples of companies who found honest, compelling stories in the context of the pandemic and coming recovery:
- sPower blogging about how renewable energy is needed now more than ever as local economies rebuild
- NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar with an empathetic, relevant video message to the solar industry
- Hawaiian Electric spotlighting employee safety in a positive but realistic video
While companies should be tactful in such communications, they needn’t stay quiet. They might instead consider the following seven recommendations (all based on the tenet of adding more value and chasing fewer ambulances):
- Uplifting stories that comfort or provide stability during times of uncertainty
- Employee safety stories that show transparency
- Customer wins that show company growth amid uncertainty
- Community giving and purpose stories
- Meaningful product launches
- Continuity plans that might reduce anxiety for customers or investors
- “News-jacking” that adds to regulatory or societal developments (be most careful with these to ensure your story is truly additive)
In fact, brands can find ways to communicate about completely unrelated topics provided they are still relevant and target the news appropriately. A Harris survey for GCI Health found that 93% of respondents were interested in non-COVID-related content.
Silverline Communications has prepared a suite of materials on this topic. If you’d like to receive our recovery toolkit or discuss ways to refresh your storytelling program, please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.