Businesses of all sizes need multifunctional external communication strategies. Savvy companies know that beyond the basics of their products and services, they must engage with stakeholders about their positive impact on society and their views on pertinent public issues. Added to this ever-increasing depth and reach companies must have to make an impact is technology that continually changes the way we communicate. Business leaders rely on external communications to increase retention and recall of their messages with the purpose of solving business problems, such as increasing market share, recruiting great talent or building relationships with new customers.
So here are three trends in external communication and how you can incorporate these into your company messaging for greater impact.
Storytelling isn’t just for bedtime anymore. We all know the power of storytelling as a strategic business tool. Business stories express values, organizational culture and purpose. For example, Tom’s of Maine, a popular line of natural toiletries, shares the story of its transformation since its humble beginnings. Co-founders Tom and Kate Chappell used a $5,000 loan to create a company that marries spiritual values and commercial success. Now a multimillion-dollar organization, Tom’s continues to carry out its original mission: to respect individuals, their communities and the environment.
Storytelling is also a great way to highlight team wins, inspire overcoming obstacles or unite people around a cause. The TOMS shoes story started in 2006 when CEO Blake Mycoskie visited a small village in Argentina and found that many children had no shoes. As a result, Mycoskie founded TOMS, a shoe company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. The company’s story resonates with its customers because it lets them know what they can do to help and how to do it. So, what’s your story?
Our complex business world is flooded with data. Data used judiciously increases your believability and strengthens your story. When used without careful forethought, however, your stakeholders will be less than impressed, assuming their eyes are still open. The age-old idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words” still holds true and has morphed into infographics, illustrations and data visualization to transform corporate-speak and data into clear and persuasive language to identify your brand and get your message across. Whether you’re presenting a proposal or pitching ideas, high quality visuals tell your story faster and more intuitively—which your stakeholders will appreciate. Did you see the last Apple launch presentation? See what I mean?
So you’ve carefully crafted your business stories and made them visually engaging. From social networks and mobile apps, to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and augmented reality experiences, which digital technology is best to get your external communication out there? It’s tempting to want to fit your story into the latest innovation, and not considering such tools can result in missed opportunities. You will serve your business best, however, by staying focused and choosing technologies that make the most sense to the company. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do cool and useful communications for your customers. For example, Lord & Taylor and Rite Aid use beacon technology to send on-the-spot promotions and product information directly to customers’ phones based on where they are in the store. Using the right digital methods that are meaningful to your stakeholders and their interests will elevate customer experiences to help your company achieve competitive advantage and make you a force to be reckoned with!
With so many ways for a company to reach its stakeholders, business leaders must establish the scope for external communications based on the goals they want to achieve. Getting guidance from a professional business communications agency can also help. For more information on how Vitiello Communications Group (VTLO) can help you tell your story and reach your external stakeholders in engaging ways, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-238-6622.