Articulating an organization’s history in a cohesive way is no easy task. Most companies simply produce a series of stories, some tangential, that bring to life the overall narrative of how the organization started and survived over many years. However, each story must be accurate and authentic. More importantly, it has to have a flow, with elements of comedy or drama, to keep it engaging. Storytelling must be memorable—more than a series of dry facts and figures—so that it can be retold again and again, sometimes from different angles, to suit a variety of situations the company might face. History Factory is the leading expert in producing content banks: storytelling resources that accomplish these goals—and more.

What is a content bank?

Pictured: a screenshot showing a company timeline for Pacific Life on their website. Creating a content bank makes it easier for companies to create authentic content like this based on their own heritage.

A content bank is a curated, organized and easily accessible resource that contains the core company narrative and relevant stories, images, multimedia, quotes and artifacts. It’s the ultimate go-to source for anyone who is creating content based on their history. Just as a brand book is the bible for management of a brand, the content bank is the bible for expressing a company’s history effectively. More importantly, a content bank helps to present the company’s history and experiences in a way that supports where the company is headed.

Why does it matter?

Telephone is a party game you may be familiar with. One person whispers a phrase in the next person’s ear, and each person passes on what they think is the same phrase to the next person. Invariably, what started as “Sally sells seashells by the seashore” becomes something like “Sully slams seaplanes on the Hudson.” It’s an effective illustration of how word of mouth is prone to error, intentional or otherwise. A content bank minimizes that potential for error by providing a reservoir of approved content that’s been vetted and polished for dissemination. It promotes a common understanding and use of the most important content in an organization’s history.

How is it used?

Pictured: the brochure Huntington created for it's 150th anniversary to show the timeline of major milestones that occurred since the company's creation. Content banks make it easier to generate media pieces like these.

The uses of a content bank are varied, and include:

What does it look like?

Pictured: A screenshot of ISACA's 50th anniversary commemorative website. The main resource hub allows visitors to sort and filter the available content based on the year, the content type, the subject, and more.

A content bank can be a physical reference tool, like a guidebook, or a digital tool, such as a website. Digital content banks provide secure access in a convenient format for client users who may reference the guide from anywhere on the globe.

The content bank History Factory produced for Lockheed Martin was a multi-layered website with various chapters related to key messages and themes that the company wanted to highlight during a major anniversary.

For Pacific Life, the content bank took both physical and digital form, with short stories, timelines, image banks, videos, a quote bank, quizzes and fun facts appearing on a specially created anniversary microsite. Some of the stories appeared on pop-up banners that were displayed at the company’s corporate headquarters. History Factory also provided social media posts as part of the content bank.

For ISACA, a tech-focused professional services auditing association, the content bank focused on the global nature of the organization, which has more than 140,000 members on six continents. The stories, timeline and image bank can all be found on an anniversary hub that encourages members to share and comment on the stories and even submit their own. The hub is curated specifically to show the global growth from founding to present day.

Smart marketing

Using a content bank is smart marketing. It pulls key elements of your company’s history together in one place, ensures their consistency and accuracy, and provides a launchpad for a variety of users and uses. If you’d like help creating a content bank unique to your organization, History Factory has decades of experience. Contact us to learn more or visit our comprehensive guide to celebrating your company anniversary.

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