Brand Journalism is a vehicle to let your biggest fans talk about the impact you've had on their business, brand, or cause. And it spreads that message through one of the oldest forms of communication ... storytelling. Too many times we undervalue what can be transferred between people when the message is couched inside a story.
Stories still matter. No matter what you're selling.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to write a book about incredible people doing amazing things. The book was titled: Unconditional Love: Radical Stories, Real People. Through this project, I told the stories of ordinary individuals who did radical things to help real people. The publisher liked the book so much that they decided to make a documentary out of it.
(Note: You can view the trailer below or click here to watch.)
I started the project with little more than an idea. The only requirements were:
I needed to to find 20 people who said yes to an opportunity to help someone else in need.
And that work must have expanded into a larger, sustainable organization.
The challenge sounded impossible yet exciting all at the same time. There weren't a shortage of people and organizations to research. But finding the right mix was tricky. Nevertheless, I found every one of them. And each of them changed me through their stories.
All of these brave individuals began with an impulse to help and ended up with a full-fledged organization that is helping them carry out their dreams on a level they never imagined when they first said "yes" to a person in need.
Every brand, business, or cause has stories to tell.
Each story you tell contains a high measure of inspiration that makes the listener want to join you in doing something that matters. Storytelling isn't limited to nonprofits, causes, and churches. Every business is changing someone's life in a meaningful way. Sometimes statistics are effective at aiding the storytelling process. But are you confident you're really leveraging the power of brand journalism to advance your organizational goals?
If you're new to the concept of brand journalism, you can read an introduction I put together to get you started. In the age of influence, stories are your most precious assets. Find a way to capture them, categorize them, archive them, and use them regularly. It will change how people perceive you and will create a level of support you can't get any other way.
Every brand, business, or cause should be doing projects like Unconditional Love. Your stories don't always have to end up as a book or documentary. The delivery mechanism can be as simple as a social media update, an illustration used during your next keynote or board meeting, or a story you share over coffee with a key stakeholder in your success. Whoever, whenever, or wherever, just do it! I promise you'll benefit from it.
READ THIS: Stop talking about the nuts and bolts of what you do and start talking about how you are changing lives.
Brand Journalism allows other people to say things about your brand in a way that's different from pie charts and graphs. And others can often get away with saying things about you with credibility that you can't necessarily say about yourself.
Take the time to interview your support base and discover their unique stories. Then find a way to share them across all your established and emerging content distribution channels.
Very often your clients, customers, and donors want to tell others about the difference you've made in their lives but aren't sure exactly how to do it. Don't miss this opportunity. Give them a microphone.
Are you talking about yourself, or are you providing pathways for others to tell their story about how your brand, project, service, or cause has changed their lives—forever?
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