I love to tell stories. I have my entire life. I guess I never outgrew it like lots of kids do.
In my book Content Rules we talk about the idea of companies having brand journalists who join the team with the focus of creating content for them. I know Eloqua has done that with great success and I’m sure there are others out there.
I’ll never be a journalist because a journalist is suppose to be objective in their reporting and I’m someone who will always have an opinon and will share it. Because of that, I believe there is a place for a new kind of position at companies and organizations. One of a Storyteller in Residence.
I can already sense a few rolls of the eyeballs out there, but hear me out.
There are artists, executives and entrepreneurs in residence right now. Most are not full time positions, but each provides unique services and exposure to the company/organization they are working with.
What if they started bringing on people who could help them find and craft their stories. Agencies could use this person to work on a variety of projects from pitching new clients to insuring that well thought out stories were made part of current campaigns. Non-Profits and schools always have new stories to tell and the world wants to hear them. B2B companies who still don’t (for the most part) understand why content is important to them could finally be shown the light.
The reason for an outside storyteller, is that most employees are so close to the subject that they are blind to the stories that are right in front of them. They see them as boring day-to-day happenings or nothing that anyone would want to hear. Those are actually the things that people do want to hear because it allows them to start developing a relationship with whoever or whatever the story is about.
The best people to hire for this would be those who are not stuck in any one medium. In today’s world the great storytellers can work in whatever medium is right for the message. Sometimes this will be a visual narrative, other times a photo essay and sometimes a good old bunch of words that together tell the story. I meet people who fit this description every day and most of them are looking to do more of it so there is a talent pool to pull from.
Humans crave stories. It is what kept us around the first campfires and made us paint on cave walls. They entertain us. Stimulate us. Give us a sense of connection with whoever they are about.
Stories are more than what is found between the pages of our children’s books. Stories are powerful messages that when done right can deliver amazing results for you and your company.
Am I crazy to think this is a good idea? Are there companies out there already making this happen?
What do you think?