Why Narrative Matters
Want to hear a great story?
Well, I don’t mean to slight you, but I don’t have one. I got you hooked though, right? Everyone loves a good story – so much so that we’ve preserved our entire human history in one form of narrative or another (even the word history has “story” embedded in it). It’s no secret that we are social creatures who communicate primarily through narrative – it’s how we tell the world who we are, where we come from, and where we want to go. It’s why we ask someone we’ve just met, “So – what’s your story?” Obviously, narrative is everywhere. And not only does it apply to friendly conversation, but it also applies to business communication.
Meaning over marketing
Now, more than ever, narrative is crucial to a company’s success. An article in the Portland Business Journal notes that the millennial generation is hyper-aware and hyper-concerned about why a company was created, why it should be invested in, and what it can do to help the consumer directly. This generation yearns for “meaning over marketing” and narrative is what they rely on to supply the meaning that might help them connect with a company/organization on a deeper level.
A large part of what PR does is to help a company or organization tell their story in a way that fosters public interest, admiration, and trust. Because not everyone is a great storyteller (see: the friend that always laughs before the punchline and makes it completely un-funny when you finally get there) but everyone has a story. Sometimes all you need is a little help from someone who knows how to tell your story the way you would want it to be heard.
And emotional pull
Stories make us cry, laugh, sigh, scowl, smirk, and even fall in love. They foster relationships by catalyzing a shared experience between two or more people. Likewise, a good story told by an honest company has the ability to bring business and consumer closer in a positive way.
So why not use the power and potential of narrative to your advantage?