Storytelling is the new big thing in public relations.
Companies realise that stories develop a connection between the reader and the writer. If the story is effective, this connection will foster trust, admiration and excitement. These are three qualities which any brand would love to feature in their interactions with customers.
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However, the idea of implementing storytelling into a company’s PR strategy can be daunting to many people, as images of lengthy, convoluted story plans are conjured up in their minds. But in reality, storytelling is incredibly easy to incorporate into PR practice. Here are four tips for those beginning to implement these storytelling PR strategies.
Discover your target market
Different types of stories appeal to different demographics.
As with any PR strategy, before devising your campaign you must discover your target market. Focus groups, market research and surveys will help you determine who your current audience is. From there, you can decide whether you want to continue to cater to their needs or if you want to try to change your target market.
These time-tested PR methods are still necessary when crafting a brand story.
Learn from the masters
Storytelling is a skill that is easy to learn but hard to master.
Anyone can google the basics of story structure and discover that every story needs exposition, a rising action, the climax and a resolution. But, the mastery of this skill is few and far-between. In order to fully take advantage of the art of storytelling, seek the aid of someone with a proven track record of developing successful stories, corporate or otherwise.
An origin story isn’t your only option
Since the growth in popularity of corporate storytelling, a certain type of story has become the most popular: an origin story. Whether it’s Walt Disney’s start as a newspaper cartoonist, or the Silicon Valley trope of two coders starting their business in a garage, these stories have dominated the emergence of storytelling as a PR medium.
However, there are so many other stories your brand can tell. You could tell David and Goliath stories, where start-ups try to take on an unjust oligopoly. There is the classic quest of companies trying to improve their customers’ lives with innovative products. There are even comedic stories, like the Flo from Progressive ads, which attempt to take the tragic sting out of the tragic situations that car insurance companies often have to deal with.
Use data to tell your story
Data and statistics are the quickest story-delivery mechanism. If you hear from a company that in one year they tripled their profits, you know that there’s a story behind it, and you’re intrigued to hear it. Using impressive statistics throughout your story will give your story weight, as it displays the impact which your company has had on its surroundings.
This injection of raw figures and data will remind your readers that your story is not fiction and that they can take part in your magic slice.