Last month I was invited to the Corporate Content Awards. It was the first time I’ve been, but the third year the event has run. I have to say it was one of the best organised and professional awards events I have attended – and the food was good too! I took three things away from the evening (and my client took away 2 awards!)
There are many ways to tell a B2B story today. The range of awards and the innovative, high-quality campaigns that won them was extraordinary, and a reminder to any brand that they should be challenging themselves to always be looking for new narratives and new places to tell them.
My initial reaction when faced with an evening of 27 different awards was to groan and check that there was plenty of red wine on the table, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was each award category sufficiently defined to attract focused applications, but each celebrated an important aspect of corporate communications. So, from ‘technical’ awards like best use of Video, to audience-focused ones including ‘Best content targeted to an investor audience’, each showed how effective corporate communication teams are utilising new technologies and channels in innovative ways to build profile.
Owned platforms provided the infrastructure for many campaigns. Although social and traditional media relations, as well as paid campaigns were all important, the majority of winners leveraged owned channels and the foundation of campaigns. Using content, whether written, visual, video or audio to draw an audience in and create a community was a common approach. Finding the right issues, and the right language to do this was often the defining feature of a winning campaign.
Which underlines the third learning. Effective storytelling is still crucial to communications. Even the most technical narratives, including that of my client, a leader in sustainable data centres, need real human interest and emotional resonance to connect. I always counsel my clients to find the people in their narratives; both the people you are talking to, and the people the story is about. By building a really clear image of both these people even the most technical and dry subject can be given emotional resonance.
So, my advice – do 4 things with your corporate narratives this year…
- Try new channels and new approaches to help tell your story; where could a podcast or animation add value, or even reverting to a printed hard-copy?
- Don’t neglect the platforms and audiences you already have and own. Think of them as your foundations.
- Find the people in your stories and put them at the heart of corporate communications.
- And finally – consider entering the Corporate Communications 2021 awards – it’s a good night out.