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Six Key Elements of a Well-Constructed Story Framework

Christine Drummond - photo

by Christine Drummond

Vice President

As part of our strategic storytelling series, Christine Drummond talks about the importance of a story framework, and the elements that make it such a powerful tool for research projects. Watch the video now or read the transcript below.

A story report framework aligns teams and builds an inspiring story narrative. When developing a story framework, Christine recommends that you ensure the following six elements are present:

  • The first is a clear link back to key research questions or hypotheses. Defining the “what” of the research serves as a touchstone, reminding teams about the core questions the report set out to answer.
  • Second, the report will clearly define how segments or subgroups of interest will be explored. Identifying the “who” gives an added level of focus to reference.
  • Third, it opens with a broad perspective and moves to the specific. This “top-down” approach paints the project in broad strokes, allowing for changes, nuances, and added details as the project moves forward.
  • Fourth, the framework includes a high-level format outline of the story — such as an executive summary, infographic, or snapshot — and identifies how detailed findings will be presented. This organizes the team around the direction of the report specifics.
  • The fifth indicator to look for is a map of the initial report story. While the story might change slightly when the data comes in, this map, or outline, gives shape to the story and what it will look like to ensure all angles of the report will be addressed.
  • And sixth: A successful story framework details where all pieces of the research, including survey results or a discussion guide, will fit into the final deck. Knowing where and how the pieces fit together creates early opportunities to strategize on how to structure and design materials, so when the final data is in, teams can efficiently lay out results against the outline.

The story framework serves a critical role in any research project, creating a roadmap teams can follow so they can stay focused on delivering insights and growth strategies.

Related: Read Christine’s blog, The Importance of a Framework to Drive Strategic Storytelling.

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