Steven Briggs, PR Specialist, @ Article-Writing.co
Human beings use stories to make sense of the world. The strange sensations we feel when we hear a good story, known as emotions, give the world meaning and clarity. If you show an ad for a new product to a customer, they may not have much of a reaction. But if you tell them the story behind the product, why it exists, and the people who built it, that customer is much more likely to take out their wallet.
Check out this infographic from Adweek. The chart shows how storytelling can increase the value of a product or service. Based on the results, telling a story about a customer’s experience led to a 5% increase in perceived value. The study was conducted by Origin/Hill Holliday and sampled 3,000 online panel participants, balancing the group by age, gender, and region of origin as outlined by the U.S. Census.
Cleary, storytelling has a role to play in marketing and PR. All you need to do is find your story and share it with the world.
Finding Your Story
Every story has a few things in common. There’s usually a main character that wants something and they have to overcome certain obstacles to get what they want. Take a look around the office and you’ll find plenty of characters that fit this description.
As Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller at Microsoft, stated at the Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Disney World in 2016, “Entertain them. Fill the story with characters, texture and ups and downs. But don’t just tell any story. Tell a great story. Take them on the Hero’s Journey.”
Running a business is inherently stressful, challenging, and all together rewarding. It’s full of heroes, do-gooders, overachievers, and day dreamers. You can write a story about your company’s founder, CEO, inventor, digital publisher, or someone else that plays a vital role at the company.
Weaving a Narrative
Once you have a story that you want to tell, you can start funneling it out to the world via press releases, social media, or some compelling blog posts. Every piece of content that is shared with the world is an opportunity for you to tell your company’s story. When you sit down to write, try focusing on an arc or a series of events that lead to a satisfying conclusion.
If you’re writing a press release for a new product, instead of listing off all the product’s features, you can talk about why the company decided to make the product in the first place, the needs it fulfills, and the challenges that you had to overcome to get it into the hands of consumers. Or you can try talking about one customer’s experience with the product. Start with a particular problem or a situation, then talk about how the customer’s life has changed since they bought the product. You can reach out to customers for testimonials, conduct a focus group, or engage with your customers on social media.
It all comes down to eliciting a certain emotion from your audience. Do you want them to feel compassion, rage, anticipation or joy? Whatever effect you want your story to have, it should feed directly into what you’re selling and the people you’re trying to reach.
As Peter Murray, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today, “In response to an emotion, humans are compelled to do something. In a physical confrontation, fear forces us to choose between fight or flight to ensure our self-preservation. In our daily social confrontations, insecurity may cause us to buy the latest iPhone to support our positive self-identity.”
Evolving Your Story Over Time
Every new product that your company launches, every event that your company participates in, or every time your company gets mentioned in the press is an example of how your company’s story is evolving. Capitalize on these recent developments and use them to further establish your company’s story.
With every new update that you release, try bringing it back to the same original story or mission statement that’s at the core of your company.
Think of your company as a long-running TV show. As the original premise fades after the first few seasons, reenergize your story by adding new details or narratives that will keep your audience on their toes.
The sky is the limit when it comes to telling the story of your company. If you’re having trouble turning your company’s story into meaningful PR, consider working with a professional content writing company like Article-Writing.co.
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