One of the things I’ve been doing more of lately than ever before is talk to companies and corporations about their communication strategies and how they approach their own stories. It should probably come as no surprise, since the companies I’m talking to are very much not in the media sphere, that the knowledge about storytelling is lacking to a certain extent.
What I’ve been a bit careful about dropping on them is my firm opinion that transmedia storytelling methods would be an invaluable tool for each and every one of them when it comes to figuring out their stories, their strategies and their ways of communication. There are three major benefits as I see it:
- It will help with figuring out the authentic voice of the companies and it’s representatives. Since transmedia storytelling methods include story world building, character descriptions, timelines etc, they will help anyone using them build a strong foundation to base stories and strategies on. Corporations and companies are often caught in a kind of limbo – they don’t want to be seen as irresponsible or impulsive, and they certainly don’t want to give offense. At the same time, they run the risk of being so bland that even the information they provide fails to raise any interest. Using transmedia in this sense would help them find other outlets and other possibilities, perhaps on other media, perhaps through sidekick characters, that would let them reach intended audiences and raise interest in the company as a whole.
- It will help when it comes to tangling with an increasingly multimedia world. These big companies are quite busy churning out big products for a global market. They know they need to make people more aware of them and they know they need to be better than the competition, but skills concerning and knowledge about all the different media platforms and their possibilities and challenges are a rarity among them. Transmedia methods would help them figure out which media are best for what stories, and how different media could support each other in a way that makes sense.
- It would help them when trying to figure out future strategies and relationships with their customers. Everyone has an audience nowadays. At the same time, everyone has the possibility to be a producer, a voice that can create content for a global audience. It’s more important than ever to talk to the customer, or audience if you will, in a way that will make them produce good things about you. Transmedia methods will let you find your target groups, tell them the stories you want to tell them through the channels you want to reach them on, and increase your chances of achieving a favorable end result of the interaction.
I think the companies that get this first – the art of being ”humane” while still being corporate, being genuine and authentic and being able to foster an actual – and equal – interaction with the audience/consumer… they’ll be the ones coming out on top.