To continue our ongoing series on “Strategic Narrative Development: Elements of Success,” we’ll take a look this week at actually creating a strategic narrative statement. Last week, we discussed the elements most important to conducting a workshop and developing a category: gathering the right people, thinking at an industry level, using the workshop for discovery and not to answer questions, and to hold an extensive discussion that allows the team to consider all its options when building a category.
The next step, after conducting the workshop discovery session and deciding on a category, is to create the actual strategic narrative. Similar to the traditional “positioning statement” formula, we’ve developed a similar formula that can be used to help guide the creative process. A strategic narrative statement requires an understanding of the industry mega-trends, a clear offering at the industry level, why it benefits the industry or category, and, ultimately, help advance the industry-at-large.
Our template follows as such:
“As a member of the _____ industry, COMPANY NAME sees _____ as a major mega-trend impacting our industry. We believe the _____ industry has the opportunity to _____ LEADERSHIP ACTION _____ to _____ benefit _____ in the future. To advance our industry, COMPANY NAME offers/pledges to _____ CONTRIBUTION _____ that will help _____ ORGANIZATION+BENEFIT. By supporting _____ CONTRIBUTION _____, COMPANY NAME will help the _____ INDUSTRY BENEFIT _____, ORGANIZATION BENEFIT _____ and INDIVIDUAL BENEFIT.”
As you can see, the statement is mostly outward facing, acknowledging important industry trends that need to be taken into account, but most importantly, highlights the benefits that the offering can bringto the entire industry, and can potentially be replicated or used by other companies in the same industry.
Here is an example of a basic strategic narrative statement we drafted based on the elements mentioned above:
As a member of the Public Relations industry, Catapult sees the rise of social media and content marketing as major mega-trends impacting our industry. We believe the Public Relations industry has the opportunity to lead the development of strategic messaging and content creation to help organizations communicate more effectively today and in the future. To advance our industry, Catapult offers the Strategic Narrative Marketing framework to help organizations establish new market spaces and industry-level messaging that helps differentiate it against competitors, attract meaningful awareness and drive desired business objectives. By supporting Strategic Narrative Marketing, Catapult will help the Public Relations industry maintain ownership of corporate messaging, help customers become market drivers and help PR practitioners assume a more strategic role in their jobs.
If you look at the template and then at the strategic narrative statement example, you will notice that all of the elements are accounted for. The mega-trends are social media and content marketing; the industry opportunity is to lead the development of strategic messaging and content creation; and the industry benefit is the offering of the Strategic Narrative Marketing framework.
Now, ensuring that your company or organization has carefully chosen its words, its industry offerings, its positioning in the market, and its understanding of the trends today and in the future, are the critical components of a strong strategic narrative statement. But using the template offered here is great first step in that process.