Keys to Powerful PR Storytelling

What is storytelling? It’s the act of sharing information in an informative and often entertaining way. Storytelling usually embraces the senses and the emotions, and it connects readers and sometimes listeners to the message. Think about Aesop’s fables. Each fable had an important message, a simple message, which was more readily communicated by sharing a story than by simply saying, “Greed is wrong” or “slow and steady wins the race.” While you may not be teaching morals to your audience, you can increase engagement and enhance public relations with storytelling.

There’s Power in The Truth

Whether you’re writing a press release or engaging on social media, storytelling is much more powerful when it’s true. People all around your organization are doing amazing things. They’re also making mistakes. Share the stories of your customers, your employees, and the people that you know. Use their stories to illustrate a point that you’re trying to make. For example, if you’re talking about how to manage the high cost of starting a business then you might give an example of someone that made mistakes and failed, as well as an example of someone who took the right steps and succeeded. It helps illustrate the point you’re trying to make and connects readers to your material.

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It Can Be Brief

Storytelling doesn’t have to be long-winded or elaborate. You can tell a story in just a few short words. Within the body of a press release you simply don’t have endless word count to play with. You have to keep your story to a paragraph or less. Work on brevity. Quotes are an exceptional way to tell a story in the person’s own words. They also add interest and emphasis to a press release.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

You already know this. You know that pictures tell stories. What you may not know is that you can and should leverage images in your press releases and other public relations and marketing content. Journalists and media representatives prefer releases that have videos and images. And content is certainly shared more often online and on social media when it has images in it. Remember that while a picture of your product is great, a picture of a customer using your product is even better, and a demonstration of a customer using your product takes your material to the next level.

Know Your Audience

It’s all fine and good to start telling stories in your content, including your press releases. However, if those stories don’t connect with your readers then they’ll be ineffective and a waste of your time and theirs. That’s not a good outcome! Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the goals of your content, as well as the intended audience. Align your content with your goals and make sure your material is relevant to your audience. They’ll connect in a more meaningful, and ultimately a more profitable, way.

Storytelling isn’t just for the fiction aisle at the bookstore. It’s a powerful and effective marketing tool. Use it in your content, your sales copy, and in your press releases and public relations messages.

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Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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