The Cactus and The Storyteller

It’s a prickly story indeed, but the world loves cacti as ardently as it loves corporate storytellers. Whether they are natural, artificial or a gold plated pendant found on a charm bracelet, cacti are intriguing. Similarly, corporate storytelling is the mantra by which all communicators in the business world live by, and it is admired and executed in a variety of forms.

Corporate storytelling is a strategy utilised in branding and marketing a product or service. It could take the form of a client interview, a fictional narrative that illustrates the story of the company or even a cartoon series! In our eyes, the connection between corporate storytelling and cacti is strong. In both cases though we are rarely told what to avoid. So, here are our prickly suggestions to consider in terms of corporate storytelling. And of course you are also about to learn how to show more love to the solitary cactus on your windowsill.

Recognise different varieties
It’s a sea of cacti out there, and we hardly take time recognise which practices best suit their growth and well being. It’s good to know the differences between the Rebutia Cacti that are found in Bolivia and Argentina and also the impeccable Mammillaria Cacti that produces flowers as pink as cotton candy. Similarly as mentioned before there are different ways you can tell the story of your company or a product that is to be launched. You can use animation, cartoons, interviews or a creative blog post as long as you recognise each of their strengths and use them appropriately.

Keep it simple

When structuring a story for corporate purposes it need not be a masterpiece in the vein of Nostromo or War and Peace. Create a lasting impression by avoiding the excessive use of complicated plot twists. The best corporate stories are simple narratives that provoke engagement and in turn leave an indelible mark in the minds of its audience.

Keep it separate
Are you growing many cacti in your back yard? If so, don’t plant them too close to each other because the roots of the cacti could get entangled and curb the growth of the group. In the same way, when developing your corporate stories make sure you define your key messages and not use more than one or two of them in each corporate story.

Help them grow

Cacti are visually stunning, especially when certain varieties are in full bloom. It’s hardly mentioned but cacti require a lot of attention. The right amount of water and a suitable compost play a significant role in their growth. When structuring a narrative to promote your Company, think about its future. Will the information, ideas or images look dated soon? What would give your corporate story longevity? Perhaps the inclusion of lessons learned or the promise of an update further down the line.

Help them multiply
The beauty of cacti is that from a single plant you can eventually create an entire garden if you choose to. Simply snip and pot. In the same way, consider whether you could recycle the narrative. Your audiences have different needs so the article you just published might be better appreciated as an ebook or a humourous video. Every day new forms of storytelling are introduced through social media networking sites. So, it’s best to mix, match and experiment. Some stories require sequels and brand consistency is something that you must keep in mind so it’s best to facilitate the propagation of your stories as much as your cacti.

The world seems to be tirelessly in love with corporate storytelling and this certainly is an exciting prospect for all storytellers. So it’s time to create potent stories that will be forever embedded in the memories of your audience. Who knows – they could live to be a 100 just like certain varieties of cacti.

© Copyright July 2017
The ideas discussed here may be used, adapted or built upon for academic or commercial purposes provided due credit is given to Smart Media The Annual Report Company as the originator of this work.

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