15.2% of Fortune 500 Blogging
Defining Public Relations For Social Media

5 Principles For Writing Corporate Stories

I've been captivated with the idea that blogging resembles new journalism, the style of journalism developed in the 60's where writers wrote about the facts but also described their response and reaction to those facts; subjective writing instead of objective.

Writers who include: Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion and Michael Herr developed the movement.

Marc Weingarten's book "The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight," records the exploits and history of the uncoordinated literary movement, and here Lee Eisenberg provides a review of the book in the New York Magazine.

I wrote about my favorite example of how new journalism relates to blogging in 2007, I also had a section on new journalism in my book, “Strategies and Tools for Corporate blogging”.

"I was thinking that blogging in many circumstances is new journalism in action. Here's an example of a blog that I think really illustrates new journalism at work. http://drgreiver.blogspot.com/ Dr. Greiver is a doctor who writes her blog about her practice implementing an electronic medical record system. Many bloggers attempt to be objective but also express their opinion, except with blogging instead of the journalist reflecting and reporting on subjects. The subject and writer are one and the same."

Reading Bruce Temkin's "Use Storytelling To Define Your Culture," I found this article useful because Bruce suggests telling stories about corporate achievements will have more success in cementing employee passion for customer service than management telling people not to do something. I believe stories are so important because when attempting to motivate people to follow an idea its less about pure facts, and more about how people relate to those facts, and that style of writing where the relationship with facts is described is new journalism. You don’t have to use social media to write your corporate story, but social media technologies do provide a good platform for writing a story that unfolds over time, and one where the audience can participate within the story.

Bruce annotated a magazine article from Costco about telling tales, here are Bruce’s five principles for writing good corporate stories.

    * Identify what stories you want; select key elements of your culture.
    * Craft powerful stories; look for good stories and then write them down and perfect them.
    * Use an employee’s name; specificity is good and it helps boost morale.
    * Keep it short; if it’s too long, it’s hard to remember and repeat.
    * Use and re-use the story; don’t be shy in retelling the story.