When it comes to presenting engaging content to the media & your target audience, telling a story will always be more effective than simply just presenting the information. Data, graphs, and statistics are great, but they often don't inspire and excite your audience to take action. Developing a storytelling approach is a great to connect with your audience in a meaningful way and also helps your stories get featured in publications.
Businesses and organizations have the ability to express the complexities and uniqueness of their brand in several engaging ways. You can narrate the origin story of their business, describe how products or services were made, or even share stories on how your organization has impacted individuals in a way that would pull on the heartstrings of readers and viewers.
Storytelling has a pattern that human beings are naturally wired to recognize, make a connection with, and be more engaged to take action after hearing. Stories evoke emotions, humanize your brand and help you to stand out from others in your industry. And there’s a science to back it up!
Stories Evoke Emotions
Stories evoke emotions, and the science to back it up takes place in brain activity. Studies show how parts of the brain light up when a person hears a story they connect to compared to when they see information presented through dull data like charts and graphs. The empathy hormone, known as Oxytocin increases in the brain when a person is moved by a story. Emotion is like a glue that connects people with everything in the world. This allows humans to develop their thoughts, opinions, and ideas with the stories they consume.
Stories Humanize the Brand
Organizations that tell stories about their brand, humanize it. The brand acquires more personality. Your brand becomes more relatable the more your audience is able to understand who you are through the stories being told. Instead of focusing on selling a product or service, give the audience a simple way to make an authentic connection with your brand and the services you offer.
Stories Help Brands Stand Out
PR storytelling can be used to differentiate a brand from others in its industry. Every brand needs a way to stand out and every brand has a unique story to tell. What's important is, how you present your story and information to the public. A great way to find unique stories within your company is to have your employees, clients, and other stakeholders share stories about their association or the impact your organization has made on them. Whether its sharing that your company is a great place to work, or a client sharing their amazing experience with your services or products, storytelling will help your brand stand out.
Essential Components of a Story
Now that you understand the importance of PR storytelling, it’s time to start developing your story. No matter what story you’re trying to tell, every single one needs to have these essential components: who, what, where, when, why and how of every given topic presented.
There needs to be an individual or "character", a problem or mission presented, then a journey to resolving that problem or completing that mission, and finally a powerful conclusion to end the story with. A conclusion that will resonate and leave your audience willing to take the action you intended them to.
The following are 3 ways your organization can improve and strengthen its brand through PR storytelling.
Incorporate relevant and current events into your story to make it more newsworthy: Find ways to tie your story in with relevant events going on and make your story more newsworthy to readers. Stories like that are focused on current events also help to attract journalists. For example, prioritizing mental health has currently been a popular and relevant social topic being discussed in the media. If you’re telling a story about the services you provide, see if there’s an honest way to connect your services to improving mental health in your community and describe what that journey was like for them.
Use real people in your stories: Stories that include the people behind the organization brings life to a brand. Using real people with real stories will help your audience connect and identify with the info they're sharing. When trying to grab the attention of the media, craft compelling stories about how a staff member became a part of the organization, clients that were positively impacted by your services, or feature alumni who finished a program and became a better person from it.
Have an honest and authentic tone: If you’re not telling stories from an authentic tone, it will be easy to spot and turn readers away. Share your stories in authentic and meaningful ways that will depict to others what your organization truly cares about. Even though these stories are partially shared with intentions to promote, sell, or drive engagement, the story shouldn’t sound like a sales pitch. The true purpose should be to connect with your audience on a human level.
Keep these ideas in mind when it's time to craft your next story for a press release or your next outreach campaign. By understanding the importance of storytelling and incorporating these techniques into the content you present, you will see a great improvement in your communication and overall engagement.
If your staff doesn’t have the capacity to spend the necessary time developing strong and compelling stories, contact us for assistance. We understand the impact stories can make for any business and develop an effective storytelling campaign for you.
Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.