I talked about the communications savvy from UPS earlier in the year.
By applying storytelling techniques to a topic that typically falls under the dull category, UPS secured a feature in The Wall Street Journal entitled “UPS Thinks Outside the Box on Driving Training.”
I am a sucker for puns.
Lest you think this was a one-off success, check out the Bloomberg Businesweek piece called “Squeezing More Green Out of Brown.”
A terrific anecdote kicks off the story:
UPS managers are efficiency freaks. The company, for example, tells drivers to avoid left turns because they take longer than rights.
Who says that high school geometry class won’t come in handy in real life?
The story goes on to explain that UPS is outfitting its trucks with telematics systems that will monitor over 200 variables including how often and hard those UPS drivers step on the brakes.
I’m guessing screeching to a halt doesn’t go over well at the UPS HQ.
Why does UPS craft a story about internal operations?
Because the communications team recognizes the act of transporting a package from point A to point B isn’t going to crack a heavyweight business publication.
And you don’t find the UPS executives putting the kibosh on the efficiency story saying, “Tell me again how this type of story will bring in more customers and cause current customers to increase their spend.” They recognize any communication that shows the company’s smarts ultimately flows as goodness into the brand.
It’s also worth noting that UPS crafted the story with a strong visual element.
It’s not exactly an infographic but more sophisticated than the infoart found in USA Today.
Let’s call it “story visualization.”
The next time an UPS driver stops by our office, I’ll be looking to see if the ignition key is properly dangling from his or her pinkie finger (another efficiency technique).