I love how this course brings together storytelling with strategic planning and audience analysis (especially psychographics, which I don’t track as much as demographics). Bridging these three things has been a real revelation to me because, in my work, I often focus more on things like post themes and timing rather than how to tell the story itself.
I always put effort into the quality of my writing, of course, but I have a pretty straightforward style and don’t think much about the beginning/middle/end structure that was encouraged in our posts here. It’s been fun to bring more creativity and authenticity to my online writing. What I’ve especially loved is thinking about organizational storytelling from a different perspective – as a way of making an organization’s brand more like (effective) personal branding and centering it around reputation rather than products or services. That has already started to transform my work.
The questions in this post in particular inspired me to think more deeply about the history of the organization I work for, and how we might be able to tell our story in more human, interesting and relatable ways. I’m really excited about that and feel like it’s something I’ll be able to use in my approach to the new blog we’re launching later this year.
But I think the most influential content in the course for me was this post about personal branding. Without meaning to, I had started to use the plastic, jargon-y, news anchor writing that he condemns in his write-up – as well he should. It really is the bane of the marketing world. Authentic, human communication is much more compelling. People don’t read you unless you’re really saying something, after all. I would say the personal branding post and the personal brand exercise reminded me that my work has to be guided by my gut as well as my values.
As I look back on some of the content I’ve created at work recently and see where I could strengthen it with what I’ve learned in this course, I look forward to honing our voice and our brand. When a unique voice emerges, the audience gathers around it. It’s a process of magnetism that happens when you’re true to yourself and your place in the world. I feel inspired to work toward that.