Storytelling can help to reinvent the culture within an organisation as well as the face it presents to the outside world.
Elma Peters, Saft’s global head of communications, says: “Saft has a family type culture where people stay for years, but [when I arrived] it wasn’t a culture where people were empowered to tell the company stories.”
Now she is working on making the wider Saft workforce storytellers and brand enthusiasts.
“My vision is that it’s not only comms telling the stories in a year or two, but we will have other people from within the organisation who feel empowered enough to go onto social media and be the storytellers. We’ve a few people doing it now, and some are really getting into it,” she says.
“Internally as well, we’ve started with more storytelling and people are rallying around that. A few weeks ago we had the first ever cross-Saft internal comms campaign, a safety week, where we provided a tool kit and then the divisions rolled it out in their own way. So they all went on our internal social media saying what they were doing, and the creativity was amazing.”
Peters is also setting up a taskforce of employees and retirees to find the most interesting tales from 100 years of innovation and success ahead of Saft’s centenary celebrations next year.
“Their task is story mining, then we’ll help them pick the good ones and turn them into the stories,” she says.
She added: “People here have started to challenge themselves as to the sort of press releases we put out, how we tell stories. I just want the people here to think about themselves as storytellers – we’re all responsible for content, but communications needs to lead.”
And for her personally? “I think it’s really important for communications people to continue to feed their minds and their creativity. You need to always go outside and get inspiration and ideas from different sources. How to do things the best way, to illustrate the story, because data is one thing, but people don’t engage or interact with data, you’ve got to make people dream a little bit.”.