SOAPBOX

Importance of Storytelling in PR.

We all grew up with stories. Many of us still remember the childhood storybooks that resonated into adulthood. One of my personal favourite stories is the Giving Tree.

Storytelling is a common and shared human experience that transcends culture, language and time. Storytelling is also at the heart of public relations and communications.

In PR, we pitch products and services to journalists. We also pitch ideas to clients and bosses. In order to tell a great story, you must first understand your audience and in PR, knowing exactly to whom you’re communicating makes a world of difference. The most creative, convincing and appealing pitches are ones that are considered, just like how some stories are memorable while others are forgettable.

The idea of storytelling is a huge in social media. After all, aren’t tweets just mini stories bundled up in 140 characters or less? Applications like Storify allow you to weave a narrative by tapping into your social networks – for example, this story of recent weather in New Zealand was compiled through snippets from Facebook and Twitter.

Last month at the inaugural TEDxHumberCollege event, Brock Warner, a featured speaker, spoke about storytelling in fundraising. A quote of his struck a chord with me:

“As caretakers of the stories, we’re responsible for communicating the human element.”

This insight makes complete sense as a story is most effective when it is emotionally appealing.

An example of highly effective storytelling by a brand is Google Chrome. (Google… classic overachiever or what?!)
Here’s an example video. This one is called “Dear Sophie”:

Google Chrome effectively connects its product and service to the human element by portraying “real people” and their stories. Pretty genius, right? I don’t know about you but my nose is definitely tingling…

So the next time you communicate – whether it’s a press release, a pitch or a video – keep the human element in mind to deliver effective and poignant messages.

How else does storytelling factor into PR and communications? 

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4 thoughts on “Importance of Storytelling in PR.

  1. Such a great example. The Dear Sophie commercial is so poignant and very sticky. The human element is essential to ensuring people see value and feel a connection with whatever you’re pitching.

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