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A Small Plate Menu for Corporate Histories

By Steven Ujifusa

I wrote last month about the secret joys of writing corporate histories. That's from the perspective of the writer; let's talk about the advantages for the client. Corporate histories add value because they lay out a company's distinct culture, provide important lessons from successes and failures, and give a sense of belonging to the employees.

A book-length corporate history—scores of interviews, extensive archival research, and hundreds of hours of meticulous writing and editing—is a serious project that requires significant resources. It can be well worth the investment, but the “book-length or nothing” binary is a false one: corporate histories can come in all shapes and sizes.

For companies that want to tell their story in shorter form, N2 has begun writing "magazine profile" corporate histories. Instead of getting the Walter Isaacson treatment, our clients can get the kind of 10 or 20 page profile found in a prestigious magazine, written and researched by our acclaimed team of writers, editors, and fact-checkers.

Length and depth vary according to client needs, but they generally take a couple of months to write. Along with the history itself, they also provide plenty of raw material (e.g., recorded and transcribed interviews) for other content creation (executive bios, press releases, employee literature/newsletters, training sessions and workshops). With a little help from our podcast team, we can also easily turn the interviews into an audio corporate history.

Whatever option you choose, N2 will provide a first-class product that will promote your company and preserve its legacy. As Winston Churchill put it: “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

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