People power: why employees’ personal stories are most impactful

People power | What’s your story

Last month, See Media launched its #whatsyourstory campaign, with the aim of helping organisations to identify their people power stories and the most effective ways of telling them.

See Media focuses on finding creative public relations themes for clients, and working on the strategies, plans and tactics that enable them to stand out from the crowd.

To be successful, all of these activities rely on one thing: storytelling. And this doesn’t always need to be huge, organisation-wide narratives – sometimes the personal stories of staff members can more powerfully communicate their employers’ key messages.

For example, this comment piece, published by Inside Housing last month, tells Sonya Holmes’ story about what she learned about returning to work following maternity leave.

Sonya is head of HR at See Media client Fortem. The reason her comment piece was interesting to a commissioning editor was the fact she is in the position to use her own experience of maternity leave, and of being working mother, to implement policies and practices that benefit others in her organisation.

By sharing what she learned, particularly about the importance of structured keeping in touch days, Sonya had the opportunity to promote best practice amongst Inside Housing‘s readers.

Fortem prides itself on being “people who care” – this includes caring about its clients, their customers, members of its wider communities, as well as its employees.

Throughout 2018, See Media worked on several award entries for Fortem, and it went on to win high-profile accolades, including being named ‘Employer of the Year’ at the Women in Housing Awards.

Sonya’s comment piece demonstrates that the organisation continues to strive to do even more to ensure it retains its talented female employees.

Her personal account of how she was promoted to her current role just five months before her baby was due, and how Mick Williamson, managing director of Fortem, worked directly with her to put everything in place for the year she’d be off, is a far more impactful way of communicating the organisation’s approach than, say, Mick writing a blog on this subject.

Through #whatsyourstory, See Media is hoping to help lots more organisations to identify the personal stories that will help them to deliver their most important messages, and fulfil their PR objectives.

Even the most outstanding organisations have room for improvement. Empowering employees to share their personal stories is a PR move that signifies an employer is open to new ideas, and to making positive changes that can make a real difference to people’s lives.

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