Storytelling is an integral part of experiential marketing. It makes materials more memorable and touches readers in a way factual reports can’t. Why read a list of product features if you could read a customer testimonial? Storytelling can be a potent tool in public relations, but it’s not easy.
To craft better stories, try these guidelines:
Plan out a compelling plot. Most well-known stories follow the same basic plotline. In the beginning, you introduce the “protagonist.” They typically have a problem that must be solved. The plot tells the events from the journey to resolution and explains how the protagonist has changed at the end. What’s the story you need to know on behalf of your client? Think about that question and turn your facts and events into a compelling storyline.
The story has to be relatable to your brand. However you want to portray your company, you need to incorporate brand elements into your communications. It should be entertaining (humor is a great way to elicit positive associations with your brand) but could also have a positive or inspirational message tied to it. Use language your readers would use to relate the story to their friends.
Tell the story to a friend. You know a story is interesting if you can tell it to someone else, and they want to hear the ending. We tell our friends and family stories about our workdays, vacations, and other events all the time. Before you start writing, practice telling the story to someone else. It can help you capture different angles to the level you wouldn’t “get” unless you said it aloud. Engaging in a conversation about the story with someone else will help you find critical points and become more creative with piecing together the plotline.
Cut out unnecessary details to have one apparent problem and one clear solution. Avoid the “and also” statements that can drag a story on too long. Even if you want to add multiple key points, stick to one premise so that your readers can easily follow and understand what you’re saying.
Examples of Brand Storytelling:
- Talk about your company’s founding – what inspired you to start your business? What struggles did you have? What was the turning point in becoming successful?
- Talk about the meaning behind your brand – What does your company stand for? How did you come up with your name and logo? Why do all of your employees follow a specific practice? What makes your company unique?
- Talk about a cause your company supports – Why are you passionate about this particular cause? Does your organization have a social mission? Who inspired you to contribute to this mission?