Mine the History-Within-the-History

For livelier and more focused stories, dig for the history within your company’s history. Here’s an example from CorporateHistory.net’s 100th anniversary book for Dominion, the Virginia-based energy company. During the research phase we interviewed more than 50 people and had access to podcasts with at least 50 more. Many field reps told stories about mutual aid—the tradition of utility companies from different regions assisting each other in times of disaster. So we spotlighted the subject in a “Storm Chasers” spread (first page shown above). Our author, Heidi King, uncovered the company’s first recorded act of mutual aid: In 1938, eight workers flew from Virginia to Rhode Island to help restore electrical power after a hurricane. A photo scanned from a long-buried employee newsletter depicts the use of the airplane, astonishing at the time. Heidi’s research yielded a priceless quote, too: “The men never forgot they were gentlemen.” Always a great feeling to unearth a long-forgotten story! The spread also covered more recent storms, including Hurricane Katrina.