Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
Or so the old Indian proverb goes…
Stories have been part of human culture for thousands of years. We hear and tell stories everyday and PR is no exception.
Unlike adverts, placing articles in a magazine is not paid for. PR is different from advertising, it calls for different techniques. The material we pitch must speak for itself; it must be interesting enough to merit inclusion in a publication and must strike a chord with its readers. So instead of broadcasting information, we use PR storytelling to engage and educate our audiences.
In our case, we often have to explain something very technical (for example, software for an oil refinery). PR storytelling provides a good way of packaging information because we need to put it into a context that is accessible: how the need for something came about, problems it might solve, any new technology it uses. A story may tell the reader about a gap in the market and how it can be filled or an industry problem and how it’s solved. It demonstrates what is relevant and unique and puts it into a narrative that is both interesting and easily digestible.
PR storytelling is a fundamental tool in communicating via any medium. As Stella Lee points out in her blog, storytelling is just as relevant online and in social media. After all, what are we doing when we tweet, blog or update our Facebook status? We’re telling a story – what we’ve done, what we’re doing or what we’re going to do. The overwhelming popularity of these outlets shows people are interested in these stories, so much so that they often log on everyday to read them and write their own.