Storytelling In Media – What It Is And Why You Need It

Storytelling can be the one thing that transforms your media materials, such as press releases, from okay to awesome. Storytelling is as old as human history, and has recently become the focus of attention by savvy business owners and marketers who understand that a good story is what the media really wants.


The importance of storytelling

Storytelling is what the news is all about. A good journalist will always try to tell as complete a story as possible in the fewest number of words. The 6Ws formula is one that many journalists use as a checklist to be sure they are telling as complete a story as possible:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. Where
  4. When
  5. Why
  6. How

Who was involved, what happened, when it happened, and so on.

Storytelling in press releases

A good press release should operate on a number of levels. The first is the story in the sense of why the item you are presenting to journalists is newsworthy. What is the big story behind the press release and why should be people care?

Storytelling as a marketing tool

The second aspect of the press release is to give journalists enough background information to give them the impression that you are ‘the real deal’, someone worth paying attention to.

If you are a sole proprietor of a business, there’s no need to be embarrassed about being in a company of one provided you tell a good story. For example, a recent press release at LinkedIn told the story of an engineer/inventor from New Zealand. He had become so concerned with plastics polluting water and coastlines all over the world and harming marine life that he decided to do something about it. He created a portable machine that can transform the unwanted plastic shoveled up from the shore into bricks that can be turned into houses.

The bricks strongly resemble Lego bricks, so there’s no need for cement to hold the bricks together. He has tested his machines extensively in Hawaii, where people are clearing the beaches of tons of washed-up plastics and using the device to make affordable housing for the families living there.

Pretty interesting, eh?

Why this is a good story for a press release

There are several points that make this story noteworthy. It is short, explains the 6 Ws, and also has a feel-good factor and a bit of a wow factor, as well. The story is interesting, unusual, and something a lot of people can identify with, namely, plastic litter everywhere, and what could be done about it.

It is also newsworthy. The inventor is creating a crowdfunding page so that those who want to get in on the ground floor of this remarkable invention can do so by going to the website he links to. If you click on the link to the website they give, you will also learn that phase 2 of the project will be machines that make the bricks to the exact specifications in terms of size that commercial builders use to construct houses. In this way, they won’t need to change all of their designs, so they’ll be much more willing to use the new bricks.

Make sure every story you tell has a point

If you are going to give background on your company, make sure it has a point. It should also add a new dimension to the press release to make people see that you are worth paying attention to.

Create your story and keep it consistent. See what actual effect it has on your intended audience. Then see what a difference adding a little background story can make to the pickups for your press releases.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

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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