The Gatehouse Blog

Digital storytelling – a great tool for internal communicators

Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking to a potential client about developing an internal communication campaign based around digital storytelling.

It’s a great idea and one that’s got me really excited about the potential of this tool. 

As a way to engage employees, to cut through corporate bullshit and to capture the emotional side or organizational life, digital storytelling takes some beating. And considered alongside recent developments in social media (see my recent post on YouTube) it’s an idea whose time has come.

Good stories, however they’re told, are memorable, attention grabbing, entertaining, creative, social and personal. Those are important characteristcs to every internal communicator.

Furthermore, storytelling has near universal appeal – it can be used to engage with all sorts of employees, from (see below) bus drivers to management consultants. 

There’s a wealth of research that backs this up too- from the critical incident technique used in psychology, to the application of stories in knowledge management.

But whilst the principles of storytelling are becoming more popular inside organisations, there still aren’t many examples of digital storytelling being used by internal communicators.

That’s a shame. It’s a really powerful and, thanks to video streaming, a highly cost effective tool.

It won’t suit every organsiation (for a start you have to be willing to let employees tell their stories without corporate spin), but if you’re willing to give your people a voice, it’s something to give serious consideration to.   

Here’s a couple of superb examples of employee-driven digital storytelling:

And here’s a few additional links on the subject:

  • The BBC Wales Digital Storytelling initiative
  • Tech Head Stories – an enormous collection of additional weblinks on the topic
  • Digistories – the website of Barrie Stephenson, a former BBC producer who now offers training in digital storytelling techniques