Thanks all for the great comments and response to the ‘Creating Transformative Citizens’ two-parter that I published literally MONTHS apart. This has given me a whole new motivation to blog more, blog better and perhaps most importantly, blog regularly!
The past ten months at my (dare I say it) #firstjob has really taught me a lot – not just in terms of how to get the most out of a workplace but also in terms of the specialization I seem to have inadvertently chosen for myself. Getting into content development occurred in some kind of freaky coincidence, and though my focus at work has shifted slightly towards online marketing, at heart, I am still a content girl. This is probably because of the on-going love affair that I have had with writing and words (starting age 10) but also because of one integral aspect of content which I think so many people fail to recognise – that of story telling.
Because here’s the thing. Each piece of content produced, through whichever medium, tells us a story. Whether it is about how a product can change our life, or how a situation played out, or what a particular solution can be; these are stories giving us certain world-views about certain issues. When seen in this way, a piece of content gets transformed into something far more powerful than what we possibly envisaged it to be.
This is particularly poignant when it comes to providing content for non-profits. Non-profits thrive on good storytelling. Since they work closely with people, in many cases being heavily involved in changing their lives (and hopefully for the better), the potential for story telling becomes great! This doesn’t mean embellishing the actual work of the organisation to make it read as a good story. Instead, it calls for a proactive eye, being able to see the real life stories of people even as they play out in front of us. It’s challenging, but what a fun challenge!
And so I count storytelling as an integral part of my work as a communications/content person! It’s a way for me to engage deeply with the work my organisation does. At the same time, it helps me detach myself from what’s going on around me – helping me understand perhaps more clearly, whether the work we are doing actually impacts people the way we would like it to. The stories of people we impact, systems we create, processes we set down all come to a natural conclusion. Some are not pretty, some look great, but they are all chock-full of learning. And discovering this story helps me see the world for what it really is!
And thus I look for the story in everything happening around me at work (and for that matter, outside work as well!). Whether it is through official communications, office gossip, people’s testimonials, outsider views, they all contribute to building a narrative around issues. And being able to thread this all together to come out with something real is the challenge. I believe that when we start doing this, our content will become a rich source of perspectives from the field. And it might inspire similar initiatives across the world!
I would love to know what you think as well!