If you are scared to raise a topic, chances are it's something people want to read about.
Poverty, racism, war... and Starbucks
A few months ago, Starbucks was one of the first brands to start a collection on Medium. They describe it as "Inspiring stories that nurture the human spirit".
There, readers can find a mix of stories written by Starbucks' officials and by Starbucks' employees (written under their own name). They talk about corporate matters, like green initiatives or store openings, as well as about personal experiences. The stories show the way Starbucks faces its responsibilities when dealing with tough and crucial topics in today's society: being homeless, being black, being a veteran.
Poverty, racism or war are issues not many brands would dare address blankly. Even though Starbucks' latest campaign, Race Together, was a PR failure (as I mentioned in a previous post), it was daring enough to plant in people's heart the idea that this is a brand who has strong values. And enough courage to live by them.
Build a mentor credibility
I couldn't encourage you enough to take a chance on people and share with them what you think of the hardships they're going through and how you want to empower them to overcome these issues. That's the true role of a mentor in brand storytelling.
Here is one example of the Starbucks collection. It was written by an official to cover a corporate campaign, but it makes you feel how real people were involved in the story...
"Growing up in Minneapolis during the 1970s, I was often the only black person in the room. In second grade I asked a group of girls if I could play with them. I was puzzled when one said, “no blacks allowed."
4-mn read: The hardest conversation (Medium)