• How do you tell the story of a brand?

    Story telling is emerging as a key skill that senior corporate affairs professionals need to have in their toolbox.

    Brands in the modern world must create and present captivating and genuine content to tell their company's story. The market is looking for honest stories infused with a sense of empathy.

    The idea is not to tell a tale which starts with once upon a time and details the struggles of the protagonist followed by a happy ending.  Instead, make it personal – something that people can relate to. 

    For example, Coca-Cola recently ran a campaign called Taking Home Happiness. 

    At Dubai International Airport , which has thousands of passengers waiting to board their flights, Coca-Cola surprised travellers who had excess luggage with a five kilo baggage tag, meaning they would no longer have to pay extra to carry the extra weight. 

    However, the way the company communicated the message via social media was the real art – a video first portrayed how exciting a time it is for ex-pats flying back home to their loved ones, followed by their disappointment after finding out that they had excess baggage. Next came a quick look into what they would leave behind – a doll for a little girl, clothes for mum and other items that had emotional value and finally, the video captured the happy tears rolling down the passengers' cheeks when they were handed the tags. 

    According to author and Harvard Business Review blogger Bronwyn Fryer being articulate is key.

    "If you can harness imagination and the principles of a well-told story, then you get people rising to their feet amid thunderous applause instead of yawning and ignoring you," she writes. 

    In a similar vein Dan McDougall, an award-winning international foreign correspondent turned media strategist, says stories add credibility.

    The journalist, in an interview to online magazine PR Week quotes the example of a German multinational software corporation he was helping. 

    Mr McDougall found that the company was developing an app to encourage people to donate blood.

    According to him, that was a stellar idea that the company had not yet explored. His company then made a film about the plight of those waiting for blood and how the technology could offer a solution.

    "Brands often don't see the stories right under their nose or they're just too afraid to go there," he explained.

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