TUESDAY 21 MAR 2023 9:24 AM


Richard Neve, managing director at Cognito Media Amsterdam, explores the power of great storytelling.

It's not money that makes the world go round, it’s stories. As any salesperson will tell you, share a great story and the money will follow. Too many companies try to engage their audience through their 'corporate story'. But is that story authentic or artificial? Does it contain magical ingredients as we know them from 'the hero's journey'? Is there any connection made? What basic elements make this story exciting?

Good stories are good to hear and share. But great stories bring people together and they're a great way to build trust for an organisation. Great stories are the ones you remember well, because great stories are about the recipient. About a memory lost, a lingering thought, an emotional observation. Smart storytellers – including the readers of Communicate magazine – know their audience well and are masters in embedding little gems in their story, so the audience will know the story is about them. Yet, in today’s business-to-business comms we come across few companies that do understand the genuine power of ‘the story and its recipient’. Most continue to boast about their unique features or splendid service or about how big, innovative, efficient or powerful their organisation is. They do not offer any incentive for their audience to listen right until the end.

Others change their narrative far too often. And throw away the brand heritage that has been built over the years. Another common mistake: tell the story only once, in one place. They do not understand that their story might not have been read, heard, seen by their audience in the first place. On a daily basis, there is so much to do: work, play, rest, Netflix, LinkedIn – and taking the trash can out. Hence, share the story – rinse and repeat.

So please, fellow communicators, make the story about your audience, make it a great one, stick to it and keep telling it, on all kinds of channels. Ah, you need help? We at Cognito are storytellers who craft meaningful strategies, gripping stories and unforgettable experiences. Let us communicate what’s next – and let your story travel the world.