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How to tell authentic stories

July 19, 2018

By Simon Kearney, CEO

A colleague went to an event about authentic storytelling the other day. It got me wondering; what makes an authentic story?

For a journalist, it’s pretty straightforward. Good journalism is truthful and honest and the truth is, by definition, ‘authentic’. But what does authentic mean for brand content?

If truth is the holy grail of journalism, authenticity is what content creators strive for. One of the worst put-downs about any brand content is that it is inauthentic.

So how do you create authentic content? In a video case study, for instance, it means not scripting your subject’s answers. Let them express themselves in their own voice. In a blog, don’t insert boilerplate press release material or marketing-speak. Outlaw buzzwords and jargon. Real people don’t talk like that (or shouldn’t). Your audience will thank you for it.

For a brand film or TV commercial, authenticity is harder to deliver. The challenge is to convince the audience to suspend their disbelief and buy into the story. That can be achieved with great writing, authentic dialogue, engaging scenes and acting, together with a gripping storyline.