Bringing your stories to life
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So, when is a good time to bring a story to life?

Microsoft UK’s corporate social responsibility team decided to look for ways to bring stories to life about the positive impact they make on society. They asked me to audit their web site, interview 40 staff and partners and write a report detailing stories, themes and key messages. The report grew into a book of 30 one minute stories about people around the UK whose lives had changed for the better thanks to Microsoft. The booklet made a significant impact on both staff and partner moral and stories from it are used regularly in presentations by board members, globally, as documented in this article published by SCM.


Succeeding Together, written by Nicki Hayes, commissioned by Microsoft

Storytelling struck such a chord within Microsoft’s SME business in the UK, that Nicki was recommissioned to interview 20 partners and tell their stories using their own words. The result, another booklet – Succeeding Together – was launched at the Microsoft Global Partner Conference in 2008.

“We saw a 25% increase in partner satisfaction scores after launching this book. We had simply forgotten to tell our story and to involve the people involved. Nicki really helped to bring our story alive in new and exciting ways.” Karl Noakes, Director of Partner Sales, Microsoft UK.


Stratus Technologies decided to bring the strengths stories of some of their ‘Hidden Heroes’ in EMEA to life in an internal online newsletter. The aim was to foster feelings of pride in a new team implementing a new strategy. They wanted to encourage staff to implement and celebrate the strategy. The stories received 23% click through rates, with 50% opening rates, against an industry average of 2.5% cick through and 25% opening rates.

“Nicki’s people profiles are always insightful and amusing. People look forward to reading them and even aim to be the next person to be interviewed. The stories have been so successful that we now use Nicki to write for our customer newsletters too.” Haitham Himoud, marketing manager, Stratus EMEA.


Discovering Our People, written by Nicki Hayes, commissioned by Waterstone’s

Waterstone’s decided to use storytelling to bring the work they were doing around values to life. I interviewed over 40 people about Waterstone’s staff who truly lived Waterstone’s core values of:

  • Passion
  • Service
  • Improvement
  • Respect

The result was a book of short stories “Discover Our People” celebrating the attitude and work of 15 staff members. It is being used as part of the new Waterstone’s induction programme to give people a flavour of what it is like to work at Waterstone’s:

“It’s a brilliant way to help people understand what Waterstone’s is like and to introduce them to a selection of our people who are great examples of our values in action.” David Ashley, head of learning and development, Waterstone’s.


There are, of course, different times for different stories. I’d be happy to have an informal chat with you regarding what kind of story may help you.