The tricky art of keeping attention - how to use storytelling in internal communication

Building belonging, or a sense of support and security, is the secret to a strong organisational culture and strengthening employee engagement.  

Brand engagement is only possible when employees are part of the daily internal communication. This is why the traditional hierarchical management model no longer works. It is not enough just to speak to employees - a two-way exchange of ideas is necessary. What counts is dialogue and interaction. 

This is where storytelling comes in, i.e. the sharing of stories from professional life and beyond. It can be an anecdote from work, a description of a trip, anything that employees want to share. Storytelling is a great way to build connections, both between employees and the product itself or the organisation's core values.  


How do we make our story interesting for the recipient?  
Think about your audience  

It's worth looking at your content through the eyes of your future reader. Don't put too much emphasis on how to present the story, instead focus on how it will be received. You should pay attention to your audience's goals and concerns and address them in language and style that they will fully understand. Putting the story in context will add credibility.


Nobody is perfect!

Life, including professional life, does not consist of successes alone, and the challenges and problems you face are most interesting. Every success story includes descriptions of the obstacles that had to be overcome. Including these elements in the text will make the content more authentic and readers will identify with it more easily.


Don't overload with information 

The simpler the message and its lighter form, the better. A reader who encounters a wall of text filled with technical nomenclature will have difficulty relating it to reality and his own experiences. If we want to convey something interesting and meaningful to employees - we don't have to "flood" them with information. By allowing recipients to join in the discussion (e.g. by asking for their opinion), you can find out what they really want to read (or hear) about and what their reactions to your content are.


Be honest and authentic 

Real, personal stories, get the most attention. Be honest about the problems you want to solve, the challenges you and the company face, and the potential risks. Honesty will help keep your organisation communicating even in the face of negative events, and will also help build audience engagement.


Keep the message varied

The art of storytelling is based on creativity. There is no set structure or requirements. Stories from professional life can be interspersed with customer case studies, personal stories, news of personal successes or stories about pets. It is worth betting on different forms of communication, mixing texts, photos, infographics, animations or films.