The art of storytelling: how corporate publishing can help bring your business to life

27 September, 2017

In an age of ‘fake news’, communicating messages in a way that customers and employees will trust is more important than ever for companies in every sector.

Corporate publishing is a highly effective way of sharing news, whether on a local or international scale, because it enables companies to speak directly to their target audience in their own words. A well-executed customer magazine can build a much closer relationship with consumers than traditional forms of direct marketing, while content-led internal communications offer a cheaper alternative to meetings.

In a survey of the German-speaking market , 98.1 per cent of respondents said that corporate publishing enhanced their awareness of the company, 97.3 per cent said it improved the business’s reputation and 96.7 per cent said it deepened connections with customers. To reap these benefits, however, you need a strong corporate publishing strategy that goes beyond the product or service you are selling. Instead, start by identifying the stories you have to tell, whether they take the form of employee testimonials, customer case studies or profiles of interesting people in the company. Ensure that your content is relevant and aligns with readers’ interests; write in clear, simple language; provide changes of pace with graphic elements and eye-catching imagery; and remember to create a two-way conversation with your audience.

Get your content into the right hands

While you may prefer to maintain control of your content to ensure its authenticity, many companies find it easier to outsource the production and printing of their publications, as well as the delivery and distribution. Asendia can advise on the best ways to ensure that your content has the broadest possible reach and is read by the most relevant audiences. Some companies may be able to sell on the newsstand – for example, a dietary-supplement brand might produce content of interest to the women’s lifestyle sector – but for others, such as a luxury watchmaker, it might be more appropriate to deliver copies to airport lounges or five-star hotels. Companies producing B2B magazines, meanwhile, can benefit from Asendia’s access to networks of specialist trade fairs prepared to stock relevant publications.

Local or global?

There can be significant advantages to increasing your international presence by delivering a corporate magazine overseas, depending on the location of your headquarters and whether you have employees or customers based abroad. It is vital, though, to be aware of cultural sensitivities in the countries targeted for distribution. For a publication planned for delivery in Dubai, for example, you need to ensure that models are photographed wearing appropriately modest attire. Content that appeals to a European market may not be so well received in Asia, so you may wish to consider not only the translation but also the localisation of your content.

Additionally, it is worth seeking advice about advertising opportunities in your target markets. Local companies may be interested in placing advertisements within corporate magazines, which can increase the publication’s perceived value.

Right time, right place

As well as deciding where to send your content, you need to think about when and how often you deliver it. Whether you choose to send out a fortnightly newsletter at low cost or invest in the production of a lavish quarterly publication on high-quality paper stock, keeping to the schedule you have set is non-negotiable. In some scenarios, there may even be immovable deadlines, for example, if you are printing content that will be delivered as a supplement to a mainstream newspaper or magazine.

With corporate publishing, you are likely to have bulk copies that are delivered via courier companies or sent out through subsidiaries, so you need a reliable distributor. Asendia has specialist transport solutions designed to ensure that copies reach subscribers, newsagents and other outlets on time, including a night delivery option that guarantees arrival before sunrise. Delivering on time can be especially challenging if you are shipping your print product overseas, but Asendia’s strong relationships with international customs offices minimise delays at clearance.

Beyond the page

The value of having a multi-channel strategy for your corporate communications cannot be underestimated. Internally, there is a widespread move to digital platforms as companies increasingly recognise the value of building a user-friendly, regularly updated intranet site. Whichever communication methods you choose, make sure you are telling a convincing story, and make use of external expertise to get that story heard by the right people.

To find out more about how Asendia can ensure the efficient management and distribution of your publications around the world, visit www.asendia.co.uk/press-and-publishing.

Stefan Ramseier

Head of Sales & Logistics, Asendia Press EDS