A CSO, Chief Storytelling Officer, is the latest C suite craze for top brands around the world. Some of the more recognizable brands to embrace this position include: Microsoft, IBM, GE Aviation, and Nike.
A Chief Storyteller’s job is to tell stories. These stories create unity between internal messaging and external marketing and sales. A CSO works with different departments (and sometimes their own creative team) to develop plot lines that build trust and loyalty with consumers.
We are living in an era where traditional PR and marketing tactics are becoming less and less effective. Consumers no longer pay attention to this messaging. Pushing products and service offers onto consumers is no longer a valid option. Storytelling methods approach consumers differently. Storytellers interact with consumers socially. The concept is working to humanize brands and organizations in the consumers mind. Creating and sharing stories without a sales pitch strengthens trust and captivates audiences. It makes people feel that there is another side to their favorite brand. The most successful storytellers weave values into company culture and embed these into the brand itself. This way, the story is cohesive internally and externally making it easier for both parties to support and nurture.
Brand stories do not rely on just written word. With the average consumers attention span lasting only 8 seconds, it is important to share the story visually as well. A complete story draws from photography, graphics, video, and other means of communication that will connect with several audiences on multiple levels.
Whether or not you put up a job posting immediately for a Chief Storyteller, you should at least consider the story associated with your brand now. Aligning company objectives with the mission is a good place to start. From here, work to have your brand educate, inspire, and kindle positive action for employees and consumers alike.
In today’s world as a business, “to survive, you must tell stories” – Umberto Eco
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