Storytelling Is At the Heart of Effective PR

Red book, close-upI have been reading a lot lately. Really, way more reading than I was doing in previous months. From the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times on the weekend, to amNY and Metro weekdays, and a slew of business and advertising trades in between, I have been trying to immerse myself in two of the professional areas I have the most passion in: small business and media.

Despite the fact that many of the publications that I have been reading have their own unique audience (For anyone who hasn’t done it yet, check out FT Weekend. Honestly, one of the best papers you will read.), the underlying fact of the matter is that each and every one of them tries to do the same thing at the end of the day: tell its readers great stories in a compelling medium that they enjoy. Even if those are stories about the rise and fall of the stock markets (WSJ and FT), or about a local subway stop flooded for the 26th time this year (amNY) or an article about how DDB continues to struggle to adapt to the digital age of advertising (Ad Age), they are still stories with facts, figures, info and surprises.

Why do I bring this all up now? Because we are communicators. Even if you don’t work in PR, you are a communicator in some way, shape or form. We all are. It’s human nature to want to tell, hear, read, view, etc. great stories. And being the excellent communications professionals that we are—trained and highly experienced—we need to keep storytelling in mind throughout any communications strategy development and in any outreach work we do.

The fact of the matter is that reporters/bloggers/producers have to tell great stories. That’s what their editors and their audiences demand. And the easier we make it on them to tell great stories by communicating to them the interesting value points of our client’s and organization’s stories in a compelling nature that actually grabs their attention (think of how the great stories you read as a child really kept your attention for hours on end), the far more likely they are to want to tell those stories.

There has been a ton of talk recently about developing vibrant online communities, or creating content that really drives the story of a company and empowers the public to become involved with a brand. That’s all well and great, but really what this talk involves is a sophisticated way of explaining what people have been doing for decades: finding ways to tell and experience great stories.

So, the movement we are seeing now to empower our audiences with great stories isn’t anything new. What it is, though, is a movement to go back more to our roots; a movement to help all of us have deeper connections with what we were all born to do: tell great stories.

What thrilling story are you going to tell today?

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