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6 Key Elements to Crafting a Strategic Narrative

Jun 23, 2022 Samantha McGarry

A great story is more than your organization’s firsts, bests and onlys, more than your products and services, more than your new ideas.

Your story has the power to establish a new market, captivate investors, attract and retain top talent, change the status quo and even advocate for social justice. To do this, it has to be a human story, one that quells fears and sparks hope. It must have tension, courage, and a unique point of view.

A good story makes you feel; a better story makes you think; the best stories make you take action. Here are six key elements to craft a story that resonates:

#1: Lean into emotion.

Purchase decisions don’t form in the mind, they form in the heart, and facts don’t create emotional connections. You must understand what fuels your audience (what do they stand to gain?) and what causes them friction (what fear or pain do they need to alleviate?) Weaving both the fuel and the friction into your story creates the compelling tension needed to connect with your audiences emotionally.

#2: Understand that it’s not about you.

Sorry to say this, but your story isn’t actually about you. It’s about your audiences and what matters to them. Reframe your narrative with your customers at its heart and it’ll be better received.

#3: Ask “”Why now?””

Every good story needs relevance or it’ll fall on deaf ears. The key is to identify the intersection between your expertise, what’s written in the media and trending on social, and what your audiences care about.

#4: Establish your credibility.

Why is this your story to tell? You need to assert your authority in order to anchor your story in trust.

#5: Find your revelation.

This isn’t your tagline. Your revelation sits atop your entire comms playbook. It’s more than one pitch, one angle, one abstract. It’s the north star that weaves all the components of your story together into one compelling “”aha.”” Ask yourself these questions to find the answer: What do you believe? What is the change you are calling for? Why does it matter? If successful, how will the world operate differently in five years?

#6: Be comfortable with change.

A company’s story changes over time. The ways we tell that story do too. So whether you’re an early-stage startup crafting the first version of your story or a legacy player rewriting its story to find its competitive advantage in an evolving market, you have an opportunity to [re]shape the narrative and tell the world what has changed and why it matters. Remember, your story is the catalyst for your entire business strategy.

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