Words make stories and stories spread ideas, which is both simple, and complex. We believe our love of words shines through in everything we do and we specialise in drawing together the disparate threads of scattered conversations into something meaningful, powerful and, occasionally, beautiful.
Great story-telling stands separate and distinct from most of what we hear in organisations because the best stories are human, memorable, and concrete.
Stories give us enough context, data and detail to be able to begin processing information in a way that most of us have done since childhood – by absorbing what we are being told, weighing up its information and discerning what we can learn from it. Perhaps most importantly, it offers us enough data to be able to make a judgement about whether what we are being told feels, plausible, true, authentic.
One way to help an audience connect with complex subjects is to use a more familiar metaphor, as when a pharmaceutical company wanted to explain the importance of high-throughout molecular screening to its R&D programme. In a nutshell, this is an automated process for the company to test its archive of research drugs against the disease or target it is trying to treat. Scientists are looking for some sort of interaction in the laboratory before pursuing things further.
When pushed, the expert on this process said, “It's like panning for gold,” and, without needing to understand all of the science behind the process, the rest of the organisation understood what was involved and why it was important.
Above: An award-winning article from the Pandora Annual Magazine 2011
The challenge was simple: create and produce Pandora's first annual magazine.
Working with Mark Stevens we put together a team of designers and photographers, developed the concept, and then wrote all the content and oversaw the editing and design. One article, about an adopted girl and her parents, moved the client to tears when she read it, and scooped a 'Best Writer' Award of Excellence at the IOIC annual awards.
After three years of helping to embed the culture and values at pharmaceutical company Nycomed, we realised that there was something special about the organisation's spirit. We set about capturing that in a book we could share with employees, new recruits and others who were interested in the company. After 300 interviews in 15 countries, the story was distilled into 200 pages that capture why 'Everything Matters' at Nycomed.
For allergy immunotherapy company ALK-Abello, something was missing from their range of investor communication tools. They wanted something that, in between the financial results and corporate press releases, would give investors an insight into the unmet needs of allergy patients, the swift progress being made in allergy research and general news from the immonotherapy world. The answer was a web-based newsletter.
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