Jun 5, 2018

Story Banking 101

Stories are essential to the way we communicate as humans. They teach us memorable lessons. They give life to facts, figures and practices. They are compact, shareable and can drive all manner of social and behavioral change. So when it comes to business, why have stories been relegated to testimonial quotes, news posts and the occasional case study?

At Conveyor, we have a process to discover, develop and harness the power of stories on a company-wide scale. We call it story banking. Here’s how it works:

What Is a Story Bank?

A story bank is a collection of narratives that support a group, cause or business. But more than that, story banking is a system of collecting and leveraging these stories in the most effective way possible — by making sure they align with a business’s audiences and themes.

  • Audiences: The people you want to reach with your stories. If you have customer profiles that’s a good place to start, but stories are a great way to connect with collaborators, partner businesses and potential employees as well. A good exercise is to generate a list of audiences, then see if those audiences can either be broken down into more specific groups, or used to identify larger trends in the people you’re trying to reach.
  • Themes: The topics your business wants to address. Often we find that these are generally understood in an organization — but rarely collected — so a story bank is a great place to get them organized. What can your business speak to with authority? What do your audiences care about or want to know? The intersection of these will highlight your most promising opportunities for story banking.

With audiences and themes established, you can go out into the world and connect with, listen to and collect stories from your customers, collaborators and team members. These “story leads,” as we call them, can then be developed into fully-fledged stories and assets.

Why Does Story Banking Matter?

Beyond the fact that stories are "essential to the way we communicate as humans,” stories are just plain good for business. And a story bank is even better.

A story bank lets you shift from talking about your business (chances are you’ve already got a working website or brochure that does that just fine) to talking about the impact your business has on the people you serve and interact with every day.

A story bank also provides a visual structure of your audiences and themes, and a backlog of strong, organized and strategic content for your promotional needs.

Lastly, it forges stronger connections with the people whose stories you tell, and fosters word-of-mouth promotion as those stories are told and shared.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’d like to start a story bank, you’re in the right place. Our blog has resources that are devoted to storytelling, interviewing and strategy that can help you hone your skills. If you’d like a hand kick-starting your story bank, we also offer half-day workshops to equip your team with all the tools you'll need. Just click here to get in touch.

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