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L.E.A.D by example: the art of corporate storytelling

Alex Davies, Director at Hanover Health, considers the art of corporate storytelling and how we must challenge our clients to achieve a powerful narrative.

As an industry, we suffer from a bad case of jargon-itis. Many of us want to tell compelling stories that move our audiences, but a lot of the time end up saying nothing at all. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be like this. We can talk like the very people that we so often talk about – patients.

For me the art to crafting a powerful corporate narrative is to answer the question: so what? What difference does your business make to the world and, frankly, why should anyone give a damn? Forget the jargon or convoluted sentences that please a committee of reviewers but can’t be understood by anyone else: why do you exist? What is your purpose and why does it matter? Start with that, and then everything else will follow.  Yes, you can have three pillars that underpin your overarching reason for being, but cracking your ‘why’ is unquestionably the most important part.

Often when we ask businesses what their ‘why’ is they respond with, “to be a leader”. This is all well and good, however in many instances, companies are demanding to be seen as a leader in areas that they aren’t always leading in. To remedy this and to help extract what exactly they can define themselves as “leaders” on, we developed the L.E.A.D criteria. This sets out what it takes for a business to truly act as a leader in a given topic:

L stands for Learned

You’re a credible expert in a subject and can speak on it with authority

E is Engaging

You have an opinion, something interesting to say that resonates with audiences

A is for Accessible

You’re willing to talk about it externally and have spokespeople who are capable and confident

D is Decisive

You can move quickly, offering your experts at speed and reacting to the external agenda

If you can deliver on all of the above elements, you can be deemed as credible leaders and are well on your way to having your story established. So how do we craft this into a compelling corporate narrative?

Introducing the 3D approach: Define, Develop, Deliver

At Hanover Communications, we follow a ‘3D’ approach to help brands to tell their story most effectively:

Define: …clear and understandable messages that avoid corporate slogans and speak to audiences about what matters to them

Develop: …inventive and engaging collateral and static representations that clearly articulate the agreed messaging

Deliver: …the final piece of work, for example, an exciting launch event that brings the new strategy to life and excites audiences

This is designed as a really simple step-by-step process to help businesses to craft a powerful corporate narrative and determine the most appropriate assets and means to communicate this to target audiences.

So the next time you being to write a brief with the words “we want to be seen as a leader” or  “we’d like people to think that we lead this or that” challenge yourself to question it through L.E.A.D. Alongside the 3Ds, this criteria has proved successful with our clients to date and they’ve appreciated the challenge.

10th March 2020

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Hanover Communications

+44 (0)20 7400 4480

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