A guest blog from Practice Member Rosie Hamilton on the 5 steps to successful storytelling:
The core definition of PR is ‘the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics’. As a PR practitioner my role has changed dramatically over the years. When I started out I used to just write press releases, speak to journalists and send them off to the press. Job done! Nowadays we are all much more accountable to our stakeholders and the role is as much about listening as it is crafting messaging.
But how do we get our audiences to listen to us? Thanks to our enforced lockdown, the online chatter has got even louder as brands compete to engage a captive audience. Yes, you’ve got it. Storytelling. We were all children once, and the bewitching steam train journey to Hogwarts has no less power now than it did in 1997. For a while, the big executives in the grey tower blocks forgot about the magic of storytelling but nowadays all you have to do is look at a few Christmas ads and realise its potential.
Here are my 5 top tips for storytelling success:
1. Be authentic. Churning out a load of statistics to show how brilliant you are is really boring. Telling a story about how you overcame a hurdle in your life and learnt from it as a result is much more engaging.
2. Create a structure – context, action and result – to give your stories a framework.
3. Use emotional intelligence to create a hook in your story. This is all part of the listening process – if you understand what matters to your stakeholders then it’s easier to make an emotional connection.
4. Be funny. Let’s face it we can all do with a laugh at the moment and humour, when used in the right way, is a memorable way to capture attention.
5. Use your platform. As business owners we are in a position to share our platform with others who are less widely represented and whose stories are no less engaging.
Rosie Hamilton is the Managing Director of Bees Knees Marketing, a PR and copywriting consultancy www.beeskneesmarketing.co.uk