Identity: Defining your story

Identity: defining your story

As communicators, it's our job to find the best stories - but then what? How do you use those great stories to change public perception, or influence your local lawmaker? Simply put, great storytelling demands a consistent, powerful brand. It means looking at those great stories and defining what sets you apart, then finding more and more stories that fit the mold, and finally sharing them with common, meaningful messaging that makes people listen. Here in MI, we call that "Pure Michigan" - a beautiful vision of saltless lakeshores, narrated by Tim Allen, highlighting everything 'up north.' 80% true, 20% questionable, 100% successful.

Takeaway #1: create your brand platform

  • Ask yourself, what is your unique value? What sets your organization apart? What is your competitive advantage?
  • Your brand platform should include colors, personality tones, storytelling pillars & more - and you have to use it consistently! 

Brand basics: creating your platform

Takeaway #2: tell meaningful stories

  • Good stories are authentic, relatable and representative of your brand. Develop key relationships that help you find the best ones.
  • The stories you tell should build esteem and pride with your engaged base, and build interest in those outside the movement. Are your stories evoking emotion?

Anatomy of a great story & where to find them

Takeaway #3: drive brand cohesion

  • Each communication channel should reflect your brand - but they don't have to look the same. Know what works on each channel, and build unique content.
  • When someone arrives on your Facebook page, they should feel the cohesion if they visit Twitter or your website.

Brand by channel - what works where


Connect with an expert >> 

Grace Noyola, MAPSA

Grace brings a keen eye for visual design and brand storytelling to MAPSA's communications team.


Have your brand platform? Step 2: refine audiences

Find out how to adapt your story to talk to different community stakeholders

Understand your listeners