There are many different devices you can utilize in your public relations strategy to enhance your message and reach customers on a different level. One such device that is often overlooked is storytelling.
As you will see below, storytelling makes your public relations more unique, more memorable, and more entertaining. They can also help convey your message more effectively and stir up your user’s imagination where simple marketing and brand messages can’t.
What is The Purpose of Storytelling in PR?
When a business creates a PR strategy the aim is to improve their brand image, reputation, and awareness. What better way to do this than to craft a story and weave it throughout your marketing and digital media? Storytelling is perfect for this and it has three key purposes for PR:
Engage the public’s imagination
Oftentimes PR messages fall short because they daily to capture the public’s imagination. They can be boring, forgettable, and bland. Why should someone take notice of your PR messaging when there are hundreds of other businesses writing exactly the same stuff?
A story woven into your PR message helps stimulate the imagination. Perhaps this could be a recurring character who you develop the personality of and put in different scenarios in your media? Maybe you could place your business in a fantasy setting, or create an analogy to a particular story genre.
There are endless possibilities, but the main point is that the customer’s imagination will be engaged and this means your PR message is more likely to sink in.
Create memorable brand narratives
How many big businesses can you think of that have used storytelling that sticks in your mind? I can immediately think of a few – the meerkats from Compare the Market and the shenanigans they get up to.
Or what about the Christmas John Lewis adverts that always have a fantastic story complete with music? These are just a few examples and they are incredibly memorable because of the storytelling. The characters, themes, music, and plot are all things we remember, even years after the campaigns have ended.
Helps push across your key message
Oftentimes when using digital PR services you will create a key message that you want to push in your public relations strategies. This could be an emphasis on affordability, the quality of your service, or the eco-friendly nature of your business, for example.
Storytelling can help develop your key messages and make sure that they have maximum impact. The aim is to leave no doubt in the public’s mind what your company excels at and why they should trust you/and or use your products/services.
How to Use Storytelling in PR
You should now have a clearer idea of the potential benefit of public relations storytelling, but how exactly do you do it? There is no set procedure but there are two key elements – crafting that compelling story hook, and then utilizing it consistently across your media channels.
Think of a compelling story that customers can relate to
The hardest part is to think of something compelling that customers will remember and/or can relate to. Some examples of things you could base your storytelling on include:
- A character.
- A recurring individual.
- A developing plotline that continues across multiple PR releases.
- An analogy.
- Real-life examples of your business.
Characters are perhaps the easiest to write. You can draft a character or recurring individual such as a person, an employee, or even a cartoon character. Your public relations media could then involve that character in different scenarios like in a story.
Alternatively, you can run with a specific theme or plotline and develop it over a series of multiple press releases and media pieces so that customers get invested – like a soap opera.
Creating a real-life storyline is often highly effective too. For example, you could use real customers and tell the story of their interactions with your products/services and how it positively impacted their lives.
Be creative! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try new and unique ideas that will really stick in the public’s mind.
Utilize it across your different media channels
With a story created, it’s time to use it across your different media channels. This should include your website, blog articles, social media content, video content, and any physical media you use for public relations.
The key is to be consistent and make sure the story is the same across all channels. This enhances your PR message and makes sure that everything is cohesive. You can also get creative and tell a progressive story that unfolds across your media outlets.
For example, the story could start on your website, move forward on your blogs, develop further, and finally conclude on your social media posts. Use your media channels as a storyboard or a canvas on which you can get your story and PR message across.
Storytelling Can be Incredibly Effective at Enhancing Your PR Message
As you can see, storytelling in PR can work wonders and take your message to new levels. If you were struggling to create a positive impact and boost your reputation in the right way, weaving a story into your PR message is the way forward.
The story should be consistent throughout your different media channels such as your website, social media posts, and promotional content to produce a cohesive PR strategy that will resonate more with your customer base.