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How to Tell Your Story Through Public Relations

A successful marketing or public relations campaign should center around a story. Whether you’re telling the story of the launch of your company, how you doubled sales in six months, or the people behind the brand, there’s a story there, and it’s one your customers care about.

Why Stories Matter in PR

So when you’re publishing a press release or pitching news to a reporter, why do you need a story? Let’s consider the alternative: no story. If you were to read the following example, which would pique your interest?

New Brewery Opens on 1st Street

or

Local Entrepreneur Overcomes Physical Handicap to Launch City’s First Brewery

Probably the second example appealed to you more. With just the title, you have more insight into the news (a new brewery opened), as well as curiosity about who this local entrepreneur is. Storytelling is as simple as that. Even if you don’t think your brand’s story is noteworthy, others will. That’s why it’s important to flavor your public relations efforts with that story.

Telling PR Stories - Hot Story

Picking Up the Story Thread

Every piece of news has a story. If you’re issuing a press release about your company donating a percent of sales to a local charity, dig deeper. What made you choose that charity? Maybe it’s a cause that’s personal to you. That’s something that will help people empathize with you as the business owner.

When thinking about your news, get to what’s behind it. Sometimes it takes a while to find that thread, but it’s well worth it, since your news will be more of a human interest story.

Personalize Pitches

It’s uber hard to get the attention of the media, especially when your news is drier than toast. But if you spend more time building a rich story around that piece of news, you’ll be more likely to grab a reporter’s attention. Also consider the audience. If you see a lot of bootstrapping entrepreneur stories on a given blog, that might be the best angle to take your story to appeal to a writer there. This also helps you take a single news announcement and create different stories for each journalist you pitch. That way, no two stories are the same, and everyone gets what they want.

PR Storytelling - Personalize Pitches

Where to Begin

As I said, sometimes it’s difficult to find those stories when you’re so close to the action. So one idea is to talk to the people you work with. Ask them what they think your company’s story is. What makes your brand unique, and what do they think customers and/or journalists would be interested in?

Keep a database of answers, and refer back to it whenever you’re looking for an approach for a PR pitch.

Another idea is to write out a paragraph (handwrite it if it sparks creativity) explaining your news in a non-formal format. In your own words, how would you explain the news you’re excited about? What makes it so relevant? A story will likely emerge when you’re wearing your creative hat.

Using storytelling in your public relations will succeed in making your news more relatable. And that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? A way to connect with our audience.

Want to see which PR tools can help you tell a better story? Get that and more at Kellye Crane’s on-demand webinar. Watch now!

Photos: Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig, Steven Ritzer, Nick Kenrick (Creative Commons)

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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