Storytelling PR

Connect. Engage. Influence.

By Lauren George, APR

Before joining the CCG team back in September 2014, I spent several years in the communications department of a large nonprofit organization. It was there I learned that storytelling is at the heart of effective PR. I learned that when you stop trying to sell your message, you start engaging with your audience.

Why is storytelling so powerful? As humans, we’re naturally drawn to learning about the plights of others. So by focusing on impact through storytelling, you’ll connect with your audiences’ hearts and minds. And nothing is more compelling than that.

Getting started. Mine for captivating testimonials. For example, do you have an employee who has a heart to help others? Or a customer whose life was positively impacted by one of your services or corporate social responsibility initiatives? Once you identify and interview these people, you can share their stories in the following ways:

    • Videos. Just watch this. And maybe grab a tissue.
    • Podcasts. While videos obviously have the advantage of being highly visual, audio stories can pack just as much of a powerful punch, when done correctly.

An excellent example of connecting with audiences through audio is “Serial,” the podcast that put podcasts on the map. What made this program so successful? The answer is simple. The producers did a stellar job at executing powerful storytelling techniques. They made us really care about the characters. We identified with them. We empathized with them. And, because of this, we tuned in week after week because we wanted more.

  • Repurpose. As always, make sure you’re integrating these stories and repurposing them to use in your internal and external communication strategies, including (but not limited to): media relations, social media, internal and external newsletters, website/SEO and direct marketing campaigns.

Of course, the art of storytelling started centuries ago as word-of-mouth communication. But in today’s world, there are hundreds of different platforms to use to share your story, and it’s important to be savvy and identify the channels that work best for you. As our digital world continues to evolve, one constant will remain: Storytelling will always be the most effective way to connect with your audience.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *