What is abundantly clear is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to control any message or any story - even if it is one that a company chooses to put out into the ether. In an age where anyone can be a storyteller with a few characters and a wifi connection – the narrative a brand decides to tell is now, more important than ever. As is having the foresight to foresee any potential negative conations and being ready should a fire be lit.
With the United Arab Emirates aiming to double its economy over the next decade, it's time for businesses across the board to get creative with how they operate and communicate. The D33 Agenda means that those not able to put a compelling and insightful story out into the market, will simply not be heard. Here’s our advice on how to make sure that that isn’t you.
Story telling tips in a digital age:
- Building and preserving trust: Trust is key when it comes to building relationships. People want to know that your company is honest and reliable. This requires one to be transparent, responsive, and consistent with communications. Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia is a great example of a brand that’s earned the trust of consumers, sitting on top of the 2021 Axios Harris Poll which ranks corporates by reputation. The firm has achieved this success by being transparent about their production practices and initiatives to protect the planet such as the "Footprint Chronicles" program, which allows customers to trace the environmental impact of their products.
- Empowering your team: Strong internal communications is the foundation of a positive corporate reputation. When team members feel informed, engaged, and valued, they contribute to a positive perception of the company and reduce the risk of reputational damage. Firms like Google and Etsy have earned global recognition as the best places to work at, which has in turn increased their overall brand value.
- Embracing digital and social media: These platforms are no longer just for consumer brands to use to communicate. They are important channels for corporate communications, which companies like Emirates and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) are tapping into quite effectively by sharing visually appealing content and regular news and updates and are reaping the rewards of an engaged audience.
- Creating human connections: We all like to connect with real people. Show the human side of your organisation and the people behind it to foster stronger, more meaningful relationships with your customers and other stakeholders. Virgin may stand as one of the best global case studies of a brand that’s aced this connection by using the friendly and approachable personality of its founder, Richard Branson.
- Managing crisis communications: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of communicating effectively during crises. Many firms came under fire for how they managed the pandemic, while companies like Amazon and Zoom stood out for the prompt positive actions they took – something that would go a long way in ensuring their positive reputation and long-term success. Companies need to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to unexpected events that can impact their reputation and bottom line.
As a new year lies ahead, remember that a strong story can be your company's secret weapon to succeed in the ever-evolving business landscape. Let’s face it, the world is constantly changing, so now’s the time to be bold, stay true to your values and mission, and take some risks when it comes to telling your corporate story. Make 2023 one for the books – an epic tale that will keep people engaged and eager to learn more.
Need some help nailing the story? Come and talk to us.