What is CSR Communication? And what is the purpose if it is not about creating action and change? Too many CSR communication efforts today strive for the minimum and “just enough” to get noticed for their efforts. Given the amount of investment in CSR, isn't it time we expect greater results than just more information?
This is the 7th and final post of our 7 part post series regarding the humanizing of brand stories. It explores why not all brand stories are created equal. Nor do they have the same social value. The social currency value of content and value of a story will ultimately depend on the perceived authenticity of the story itself, and the share of human versus manufactured voice, within brand communication.
This is the sixth of our 7 part post series regarding the humanizing of brand stories. It’s about how source and sentiment can make the difference in creating either information that merely explains “what” or “how” versus actual stories that engage through their ability to communicate purpose and reason for being. What defines the difference? There are four key areas of disconnect which fuel or weaken a brand’s story engagement potential.
THEME #4 of Post series on Humanizing Brand Storytelling Brands born out of a business culture that is more open and social will endure and succeeds far beyond business/brands who rely on a closed, control-minded business strategy for growth
We synthesize what we learn and observe in order to better understand and connect. Contrast this approach to what happens in business. Ironically, the default response is to break down through analysis. This process of re-interpretation is meant to simplify information – but in the long run it produces a distant and simplistic understanding of the customer. The difference is not only philosophy and methodology. More importantly it is proving to be a significant business disadvantage.
When the Weinreb Group's "Pioneers of Sustainability" report came out last month, it highlighted the top trailblazers that sustainability professionals had nominated and selected in a vote. All six chosen for the honor were men. The reaction was immediate: Emily Miggins, longtime leader in food industry supply chain sustainability, commented on Marc Gunther's original post about this research: "I was there when this party got started as mentioned above, and there is a collective women's voice missing in media coverage of women in sustainability and it's disappointing."
As human beings, we know that aggressive communication doesn’t bring people closer. Instead, it repels most people away and undermines the chance for dialogue and relationship. Yet somehow when it comes to the communication and marketing of brands, this very basic human principle is perceived as a weak and ineffective approach to building business. In brand marketing the merits and impact of mass media align more with the concepts and success principles of manufacturing than that of human/social dynamics.
Many of the story themes that were once regarded best practice and believed to be useful, we now know via social media as ineffective in generating meaningful and enduring interest. The new tradition of storytelling is less about what “THEY (corporation) want people to know,” and more about the stories that people can relate to on a human level.
We all know how much we can learn about ourselves through the eyes and feedback of others. The same holds true for brands when seen through the eyes and exchanges happening between people. Conversations are going on every second about a brand - but the majority of these conversations are happening amongst people - not brand to people. Whether topics are introduced by the media, influential voices or consumers, brands for the most part are either the outsiders listening-in or completely disconnected from such conversations.