Storytelling in PR: Here’s what you need to know
Updated: Jan 25
Storytelling is today’s most important content marketing tool. It not only tells a brand’s story, but connects its values to audiences in a simple, yet effective way. When PR and corporate communication professionals use stories as a communication strategy, it helps build brand authenticity and trust.
But what’s so special about story-telling in PR?
Connections! Through stories, people understand each other better and are able to form better relationships. The difference between just telling a story and telling a great story is how your audience remembers it. Getting audiences to pay attention to what a brand has to say is like winning only half the battle. The other half involves holding their interest and staying relevant by putting out stories that echo current trends in the PR industry. Corporate storytelling eliminates the need to solely rely on traditional marketing tools to communicate a message or launch a product. In fact, being a natural form of communication, it fosters a sense of customer loyalty and conveys messages in a fresh, yet relatable way that audiences can connect to.
What makes a truly memorable story?
Think of a brand that made an impact on you through an advertisement or marketing campaign. Now dig a little further and ask yourself ‘What about the campaign stood out?’, ‘Could I relate to it?’ and ‘Did it have an impact on how I will engage with the brand in the future?’ Chances are, that if a brand has made an impression on its audience, they used storytelling as a form of communication. A memorable story has 3 simple features:-
It moves audiences
The effectiveness of a story will depend on the emotions the target audience feels when recollecting the message. An example of this is Google’s digital video ad that tells the story of an old man from India who reconnects with a childhood friend his granddaughter manage to track down via Google Search!
It is relevant
Adding value to a story requires effort and perception. Corporate communication and PR professionals can shape and drive audience perceptions through the stories they tell. A relevant and well-crafted story has the potential to steer change and even catapult a brand to fame.
It is backed with data
Nothing firms up a story better than facts. It not only adds a statistical element to storytelling but also brings each part of the narrative to life. Data in storytelling is the sweet spot between building an emotional connect with the audience and providing them with factual information. It helps people make better decisions and gives brands an opportunity to create stories based on consumer data.
Data Storytelling IS the secret sauce
Global brands are embracing the strengths of both data and stories in the communication strategy. A whopping 92% of consumers want brands to make ads feel like a story! Without data, stories are incomplete. The left-brain/right-brain myth talks about the idea that someone is either creative or analytical, good with words or good with numbers, but definitely not both. PR and corporate communication professionals are now required to be both creative and analytical when sending out brand messaging.
In fact, Infogram found that stories with data visuals received 34 percent more social engagement! Although data sometimes come across as dry and a bit boring, storytelling helps liven it up by using the power of words.
Every brand has a unique story, they just need to know how to tell it!