Harness the power of the personal story

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

One of our clients recently shared an amazing story of a patient who underwent successful medical treatment for issues she’d been dealing with most of her adult life.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with this woman learning about her story and how her issues weren’t easy to talk about in casual conversation.

The whole experience made me step back and really marvel at the power of the personal story. She was brave to step into the spotlight in the hopes of helping others.

Fast-forward several weeks and this theme popped up again as I was reading Brené Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly.” The book covers so many wonderful topics, primarily focusing on the power of vulnerability.

You might be reluctant to share personal stories about certain elements of your business or organization for fear of being criticized or just simply being told “no.” But the positives often outweigh the negatives, and there are lessons to be learned even from the negatives.

People want an outlet to share their stories – that’s why so many personal blogs exist and one of the many reasons why social media sites have flourished. Want to focus more attention on telling success stories about your business? Read on for a few tips to get started.

Use what you have. We live in a review-happy society with platforms such as Yelp, Google, Facebook and many more offering opportunities for people to rate their experiences. If people have already reviewed your business, repost or promote the positive comments. Reach out to those people to see if they’d be willing to be featured in more in-depth content.

Make your subjects comfortable. Yes, when people tell their stories, your brand or company will be promoted. But, ultimately, the goal is to help more people through beneficial services or products. Explain the end goal very clearly to the people you’re featuring and assure them you won’t include any details that make them uncomfortable.

Don’t make it too promotional. We should all strive for transparency in our communication, right? Thankfully, there are truth-in-advertising laws to help regulate those efforts. With health care, for example, there are federal and state laws that determine how doctors and hospitals can market to patients. Be aware of what you can and can’t say, and allow your clients or patients to help serve as your referrals.

Carefully select how and where you want to share the story. Success stories and testimonials should live on your website and can be repurposed across different platforms. Make sure to monitor the comments when sharing personal stories on social media. And if your subject is willing, share the story through a press release or contact media sources to reach a wider audience. Certain snippets of their feedback also can be shared on promotional materials for specific products and services. Chartwell Agency has a 15-year history of helping businesses and organizations tell their stories. Contact us to find out how we can help you communicate your success stories across multiple platforms.

– Melissa Westphal, Communications Strategist

Hand-Crafted by Dooley & Associates