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PR’s role in Storytelling: A Power Tool

In communications, storytelling is an essential tool. Some of the greatest ad campaigns were those that told stories so compelling that you couldn’t move on without knowing what happened at the end. Apple’s “Your Verse” spot shared individual stories of iPad users and earned over 2 million views on YouTube. Storytelling can make waves in print and digital ads too. But when it comes to really getting your story across, Public Relations is the most effective communications tool. Here’s why:

In essence, storytelling is what we do. Consider a press release. When we write a release we write it with the intention of sharing news, but in a form that supports the client’s brand and story. Breaking news about a clients’ new product or service gives PR pros the opportunity to shape the brand’s narrative, whether it be a brief or long lasting message.

Public relations gives brands a forum to speak about details – and what good storyteller doesn’t share the details? Pharmaceutical company commercials having to rattle off a long list of a drug’s side effects after explaining its benefits doesn’t seem like the best way to tell a story either. Traditional PR tools make it possible to relay a brand’s back story while still being able to manage the conversation.

In the era of transparency we live in, major corporations are now encouraged to disclose more of their activities, like their sustainability efforts. Public relations is frequently a trusted source of communication in this process. For obvious reasons, social media is the first place consumers go when they want to voice their opinion. This type of engagement makes it possible for companies to speak directly to their audiences on a personal level. Beyond that, consumers often rely more on what a journalist or other 3rd party has to say about a product or service than the company itself.

With this said, it is important to always consider the story you are telling. Thinking carefully about the story before you release it can mean the difference between a successful campaign and a crisis.

Written by Caprice Johnson – ADAM FRIEDMAN Associates LLC – Sound PR’s NewYorkCity-based PRGN partner

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