Capitalise on your history

This article appeared in Cambridge News | January 27, 2015 | p.33

Make the most of your past, says marketing man Jonathan Steffen, who has launched a new offering – the Narrative Capital Framework, which he describes as a unique communications methodology that helps organisations derive maximum value from their history.

“Organisations can positively influence their fortunes if they have a strong sense of purpose that goes beyond the day-to-day requirements of their running business,” he says.

“Communicating that higher purpose can be a challenge, however. Whatever claims an organisation makes for itself have to be credible and engaging if they are to have a positive influence. False assertions of purpose will only backfire in a global communication landscape that is growing more sceptical by the minute.”

He adds: “We define Narrative Capital (a term he has trademarked) as the positive potential of the story of an organisation or individual. Using our proprietary methodology, we work closely with our clients to identify, validate and shape their narrative capital. We then help them to refine this into their unique purpose story.

“This provides our clients with a proprietary, authentic and validated account of their raison d’être which can positively influence all their communication activities and enhance their reputation.

“The method is based on academic research and over two decades of corporate practice. It will be of interest to business leaders and communication heads who are looking to reframe their purpose in the light of events such as corporate restructuring, changes in business strategy and the launch of new products and services.

“It creates an authentic and compelling narrative of identity and purpose – and that is something that more and more organisations are looking for today.”

Jonathan Steffen’s company is based in Sheraton House, Castle Park, Cambridge. He is a graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, with an honours degree in English language and literature. Before establishing his current company, he founded, a decade ago, The Corporate Story (which is also trademarked).

Jonathan’s publications on behalf of corporate clients include Tomorrow’s Answers Today: The history of AkzoNobel since 1646 (AkzoNobel, 2008); Micronutrients, Macro Impact: The story of vitamins and a hungry world (Sight and Life publications, 2012); and The Road to Good Nutrition: A global perspective (Karger, 2013). His essay Stick or Twist: Or, What Has the Company Ever Taught Us? appeared in Crisis, Credibility and Corporate History Ed. Alexander Bieri (Liverpool University Press, 2014).

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