Storytelling is often missed when companies focus on their public relations plans. But the critical component is the cornerstone to any successful company or public relations campaign. In a world that is obsessed with traditional press releases and predictable promotions the ancient art form of storytelling adds the personal touch people are looking for.
We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us that they’ve experienced. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a narrative about events?
When we are being told a story, though, things change dramatically, according to researchers in Spain. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.
Today’s online media is just a format for digital storytelling. Everyone gets hyped up on being involved in every aspect of social media they fail to notice that they are lacking the strategic message to make the tool useful. Companies today think if they have an online newsroom on their site that they are filling the social media purpose. Online news rooms are nice, but ask any journalist and they will tell you the first place they look for, “the next big headline” is in blogs. So what is a blog…its the old art form that dates back to tribal fires, epic poems, books…its “Storytelling”.
Having worked for several companies during the explosion of social media, the companies that allowed story telling as part of the public relations arsenal, really skyrocketed and raised a significant amount of funding. One CEO decided that storytelling was too “whishy washy” and he needed to focus more on “sales” speak. On that day the company not only lost the heart but also lost direction on their mission. Years later they no longer exsist. Coincidence…probably not.
It’s a bold step for any organization to cast aside old tactics such as press releases and try new things to capture attention. Thats why its important for a company to tell its story with appeal and credibility to its audiences. “Sell” tactics don’t work in storytelling or online for that matter. The days of the salesman have significantly changed. If a company plans to succeed in this new digital age they must speak to the people not at the people and they must engage the people in conversation. Tell your story, connect with your audience and watch as your public relations campaign improves your bottom line.
By Kim Plyler, Pres/CEO of Sahl Communications, Inc. (SahlComm). Kim has more than 20 years of public relations experience. For more information log on to www.sahlcomm.com.