• 3 Questions to Ask Before Drafting Your Chamber Story

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    People recollect stories even when they don’t remember what they ate for their previous meal. In fact, research from the London School of Business found that listeners who were given a message with statistics alone retained only 5% to 10% of the information, but when the statistics were part of a story, they remembered an astonishing 65% to 70% of the material. Storytelling also evokes emotion and inspires action. Through telling your chamber story you can become more memorable, help people feel more connected, and entice others to follow your call to action. Not bad for some simple copy and messaging changes.
    But how do you draft an effective chamber story so that your words resonate and the message appeals to your target audience?
    In this article, we’ll cover the preliminary work you should complete before drafting your chamber story.

    Decide Who You Were, Who You Are, and Who You Want to Be

    This is a great place to start for any chamber because successful chambers have changed a lot in the past two decades. This exercise helps you reflect upon that as the foundation of your chamber story. When going through these three questions think specifically about the help and solutions you provide.
    One of the most effective tactics in telling a brand story is allowing those you help to shine, instead of making it all about you. This may seem counterintuitive because it’s supposed to be your story. But “your story” is about how you help the community. You are the voice of business. You are the assistant, the sage. In Star Wars, you would be the Yoda to your businesses’ Luke Skywalker. Telling the chamber story from this aspect, elevates the role of your members and makes you a critical assistant to their success. No hero can complete their mission without the help of their sage.
    Taking on an advisor position also showcases the hard work of your member businesses. It makes people feel good in the same way it does when the star of a stage production bows to the ensemble cast and encourages the audience to give them the accolades they deserve. The star is essentially saying, “Don’t overlook the cast. Let’s celebrate them.” When you adopt the role of sage advisor, not hero, you are asking the community to celebrate others.

    Who Were You?

    Think about your chamber in/around 2000 (or some other time in the past). What did you do for members? If you weren’t in the chamber industry at that time, consider what chambers used to be. Stereotypes of ribbon cutters in suits? List things the industry did. What did the chamber consider a success then? How did they achieve that success?

    Who Are You Now?

    Fast forward to the things you do for business now. Sure, the you of yesteryear and the you of today may both have wanted businesses to be successful, but what challenges are you helping with currently that weren’t happening then? Think about how far you (or the chamber industry) has come. Consider your current successes and challenges.

    Who Do You Want to Become?

    Finally, let’s talk about where you are headed. How will you help businesses in the future? What skills will you and your staff need? What are you currently doing that is positioning you for even greater success in the future?
    Answer these three questions and you’ll have fleshed out the foundation of an effective chamber story. Next week, we’ll fine-tune how that all comes together and the things you need to keep in mind when telling your chamber story.
    Christina Metcalf