By Nana Rodaki, Senior Account Director
Imagine you’ve been preparing for a big company announcement, such as an important customer win, a product or service launch, a new market entry, or a strategic change of direction. You have created all the marketing assets, scheduled a press conference, and lined up several media and industry analyst briefings.
Are your spokespeople ready and comfortable to deliver the key messages of the announcement?
Now, imagine you are the spokesperson. You’ve been tasked with briefing journalists and analysts on the news and what it means for the company and the industry. You’ve been handed the briefing backgrounder with the relevant information on what to expect.
Do you feel confident you’re telling the right stories to the right audiences in the right way?
There’s an old saying that states, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.” Although ‘ruling the world’ is too big of an aspiration, we can agree that those who tell good stories rule the narrative that matters the most to them. This is a key objective for any company that is about to make an important announcement — controlling and shaping the direction of the narrative around the announcement:
- What do you want your audiences (for example, media, industry analysts, customers, and partners) to take away from this announcement?
- What key messages do you want your spokespeople to deliver?
- How can you make the stories you tell about your announcement more relevant and compelling?
The companies that make successful announcements support all their spokespeople, regardless of whether they have received media training or have previous experience telling their company story. The narrative and company messages will continually evolve. Similarly, spokespeople need to know they are well-equipped and prepared to tell these stories in the best possible way.
However, we need to make an important distinction between media and storytelling training. Although there is an obvious overlap, storytelling training is a much broader exercise that arms spokespeople with skills, strategies, and techniques to help them become great storytellers in various social settings, from media and analyst briefings to company presentations, industry events, panels, and press conferences. This is not a one-off exercise; it should be factored into the prep work ahead of any important announcement or big event/tradeshow.
Most importantly, storytelling training provides the opportunity for spokespeople to practice what they want to say about a specific announcement and the particular messages they want to deliver. It is a safe space for them to create and test soundbites, personalize the story through anecdotes and experiences, add color and humor, and practice responding to potentially challenging questions.
All this is done with the help of storytelling experts who understand the specific industry landscape and how to navigate it. In this way, the spokespeople feel confident and ready, and by empowering them to create and tell good stories, the announcement becomes more compelling and impactful.
Storytelling is an art, and mastering its power for a specific announcement or company occasion requires practice rather than a tick in a single training session box. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can empower you to tell impactful stories and drive more value for your business.