Why Telling a Story Matters Most in Effective Communications

Why Telling a Story Matters Most in Effective Communications

Often, despite lots of strategic planning and the best of intentions, communications plans fall flat. This is because even the best communications plans can become muddled with stakeholder assessments and key messages – none of which move the needle on audience engagement. If this sounds familiar, chances are you’ve quite literally lost the plot: the storytelling. 

Storytelling weaves a narrative that engages an audience and connects them to something beyond themselves. If you’re not thinking through the bigger purpose, you’re probably just communicating. Consider the following.   

Key Differences Between Communicating vs. Storytelling

Communicating asks the question: “What’s in it for me?”

Storytelling answers the question: “How does this make me a part of something important?”

Communicating follows a top-down cascading message structure.

Storytelling includes authentic content that may be crowd-sourced, organic, and/or two-way.

Communicating is push-focused.

Storytelling is pull-oriented.

Communicating is static and single-use.

Storytelling is dynamic and continuous.

Communicating is focusing on what you need your audience to know and do.

Storytelling is about how you want your audience to feel.

Now, not every communication needs storytelling – a system outage notice is just that, a notice. But if you want to move an audience in a direction, make sure you’re telling a story that makes that specific group feel connected, respected, and part of something bigger than themselves.

At IRI Consultants, we help organizations implement effective storytelling techniques into their written and verbal communication pieces to help enhance employee engagement and satisfaction. Contact us online today to discuss the next steps, or give us a call at (313) 965-0350 to learn more about how our storytelling approach can take your communications to the next level!