No one can resist a good story. Why do we click on a catchy headline or keep reading past the lead? Because we’ve been drawn in. PR Professionals know that in the “attention economy” where consumer engagement is fleeting, the most effective way to connect with an audience is to tell a story.
The best PR Pros know how to shape narratives that have an emotional hook or tie to consumer values. Most “PR geniuses” are strong storytellers. Perhaps your company’s tale isn’t quite so unusual or moving. Most aren’t, but it doesn’t matter. There are always ways to unearth and craft stories that will interest and even inspire. As our CEO and Founder, Jack Murray, likes to say, “You are in charge of interesting.”
Beyond helping you build connections with your customers, storytelling can put you on the radar of national media outlets, influencers and bloggers. But remember, just because its news for your company, doesn’t mean it’s news for the media. Pitch a story, not a topic, product or service.
You are in charge of interesting
A tip to creating interesting stories is to look at all the angles, not just the cold hard facts. Aim for at least three story angles and instead of relying on press releases, pitch the following:
- Address industry trends, challenges or answer common questions related to your product, service or event.
- Create a user-generated campaign where you ask followers to share videos or images of them using your product or sharing positive brand experiences. Make a customer hashtag for your campaign so you can keep track of their stories share on your own social channels.
- Generate short stories about real-life examples of customers who used your product or service.
- Don’t just tell what you do, explain how you do it. Behind the scenes photos and videos connect with your audience on a personal level.
Not everyone is a natural storyteller. While you may not have the occasion to spin a deep or personal yarn, knowing the basics will help you shape even the driest material into something more interesting in the telling. There are plenty of people writing, blogging and podcasting about how to learn. If you would like to discover how we can help you to tell great stories, request a story consultation here.
Why stories work
Stories that tap into our emotions are the ones we enjoy hearing (and reading) and the ones we remember. Work to connect with your audience on an emotional level, be it through entertainment, achievement, nostalgia or something else. This will make sure that they remember your story and your brand.
Your origin story isn’t the only story. If you don’t have a fascinating origin tale, please don’t make one up. Once you’ve lost customer trust, it’s very hard to gain it back. Lead with something else, or think about your customer’s stories and share ow your company has affected them.
Look to your team for the “day-in-the-life” tales, memories, anecdotes and even photos of early days. Every picture tells a story and your business can too.
Studies have shown that effective storytelling will actually affect a listener or reader’s brain—it actively hits more areas of the brain than purely factual content. Also, as an audience listens to or reads a story, they will put themselves in the protagonist’s shoes and areas of the brain will light up as if they are experiencing the story themselves.
In other words, storytelling is an important PR tactic because it allows companies to better connect with their audience and ultimately stimulate the audience’s feelings, ideas and attitudes to align with their marketing goals.
How does one become an effective storyteller? Storytelling can’t be mastered overnight. It takes practice…but it is worth it as there is nothing more powerful than making your content and news relatable to your audience.
Here at All Good Tales we are doing great work for brands like Ancestry.com, Failte Ireland and DAA, to name just a few. We are building brand newsrooms, executing exciting PR strategies, and training key staff how to source, structure and tell great stories. For a free consultation, please click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.