When most people hear the word storyteller, they think quite obviously of a person who tells a story. Maybe they think of a squire from the Middle Ages, an author of fairytales or a young girl sharing her poetry at an open-mic night. But, what many people do not associate the word storyteller with is a public relations professional.
In the public relations world, being an effective storyteller is just as important as being a great writer. Storytelling is about telling the story of your employees and your company. It is about sharing with your audience what you want to be known for. For example, McDonald’s relies on storytelling to explain where its food comes from, its commitment to children’s health and nutrition and that half of senior management starts at the cash register.
PR practitioners craft messages and present them in a way that is compelling to their publics. Especially with media channels so saturated with content, it is essential to make messages that stand out in the minds of consumers. To do this, PR practitioners must understand their audience and where they get their information.
In today’s digital world, consumers want companies to be authentic, transparent and relatable through social media, blogs, etc. By telling your company’s story and engaging your audience, individuals will feel more of a connection to you and are more likely to become invested in your product/service.
To be an effective storyteller, PR professionals must use the following techniques:
- Make an emotional connection.
- Make your message relevant to your target audience’s wants and needs.
- Make your messaging stand out to fight the clutter.
- Make your messaging consistent throughout your company. All of your employees should be aware of the messaging and use it when talking to the media, new business prospects and clients.
- Be honest at all times – Never distort the facts. If you don’t give your audience the truth, they will find out in a matter of seconds on the Internet.
- Humanize your company by being relatable.