The Advantages of Storytelling
If there's one specific tactic PR professionals need in their strategy, it's storytelling. According to the Global Communication Report 2017 by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, digital storytelling will be the most important trend for PR professionals in the next five years, ranking above social listening, social purpose and big data. (PS – USC’s Fred Cook also wrote an ebook about the study’s findings which you can download here).[HL(1] The fact that digital storytelling is the top trend just proves how much change the PR industry has experienced and will continue to go through over the years.
As a storyteller in PR, you dig for relevant information and present it in a way that takes your readers on a journey, keeping them intrigued from start to finish. Here are a few of the many advantages of storytelling:
Represents the brand's personality in a creative way
Before you start your storytelling journey, get to know your audiences. This will lets you represent the brand's personality through storytelling with ease. Each story will be unique, but you'll have the opportunity to pinpoint your brand’s personality so it becomes memorable and entertaining for the audience.
Sparks emotion in your clients
Storytelling is the perfect opportunity to evoke emotions. Base your stories on real events, but never stretch the truth or over exaggerate just to convey emotion, as it will come off as fake, cheap and unprofessional.
"Humans have always loved good stories" Max Tsypliaev, CEO of Comindware, told Forbes contributor Steve Olenski. "And professional marketers use that fact to their advantage. Do not write fake stories, and never claim a story is true that everyone knows is not."
Keeps your audience intrigued
As with any book you dive into, you'll either:
- Be tempted to read an entire chapter or finish the story in one sitting because it's so good that you can't put it down.
- Close the book and move onto the next story because it's boring.
The same goes for storytelling as a PR professional. This tactic can be used as a sure-fire way to keep your clients coming back for more, but only if you know how to keep them intrigued. Be mindful of the language you're using, and don't just drown your audience in statistics. Don't be afraid to get creative! Not sure where to get started for a topic? Your social listening tool[HL(2] is a great place to start to identify topics that are more interesting (and engaging) for your key audience.
Giving your readers an experience they'll remember encourages them to continue doing business with you. Get ahead of the trend and introduce storytelling into your strategy immediately.