If you’ve ever seen Finding Nemo, Blackfish or any Nike commercial, you know what it’s like to be emotionally moved by a good story. You’re suddenly inspired and may feel the urge to save the entire population of killer whales or instantly gain a burning desire to start working out. What usually lies behind that feeling of emotion or inspiration is a beautifully written story with well-developed elements. That’s why, as PR professionals, it’s important to utilize superb storytelling skills in order to move your audience the most. If you tell a powerful story, people will not only listen, but be inspired to act.
So how does one actually tell a better story? Try these quick tips to sharpen your storytelling skills:
Develop killer story elements.
Every great story has a plot, characters and a compelling theme. With the help of a powerful plot and pivotal characters, readers will be able to feel like they are a part of the story. This creates a sense of empathy with your readers and will help them visualize themselves using the product described in your story. By building an emotional connection with your audience, it becomes much easier to motivate them. If you want to drive your readers to action, remember to use killer story elements.
Why does this matter?
Something to remember when writing a story for your audience is “why?” Why is what you’re writing important to your readers and why should it matter to them? Will it teach them something new? Will it provide them with helpful tips? Will it be fun for them to read? Always keep your readers in mind and keep your stories relevant, relatable and compelling. People are constantly on the hunt for stories that surprise them as well as teach them something and at the end of the day, relevance is key.
Increase credibility with facts and figures.
Doesn’t everyone love a compelling image or a stunning statistic? If I were to tell you that the average age of regular Facebook users is really young, it doesn’t sound all that interesting. Now, if I tell you that over 5 million Facebook users are under the age of 10, it becomes a little more riveting. There’s a reason behind those numbers, which is why it’s important to use your data to tell a story. If you use facts and figures that are hard to refute, they will, in turn, help your story establish credibility.
Keep it real.
When telling a story, it’s important to speak the truth and stay true to your brand. If your characters and ideas don’t align with your overall brand, your audience is bound to catch on. By maintaining brand consistency and honesty, your audience will trust your business and be confident in your product or services. If you keep your story real, it will help avoid any confusing aspects and prove to be more effective.
Persuade influencers to tell your story for you.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways for a business to make a connection with its audience. Use events and experiences to show your audience what you stand for instead of just telling them. Using experiences can effectively increase customer retention as people begin to identify with your brand. Audiences are often moved to action when they become emotionally invested within a story. By creating content that triggers an emotional response, it’s more likely that your audience will remember both your story and your company, driving them to share your story with others.
These techniques are just a few good ways to help develop your abilities. The best PR professionals are those that use storytelling to connect with their audience. Readers want to feel as though the products and messages that you developed were created specifically for them. Start breaking through the clutter by telling a story that no one has ever heard and use it as a way to embed a unique message into the memory of individuals.