7 Steps to an Effective Story-Based Communications Strategy


Harness the Power of Storytelling in Public Relations and Marketing

Tell a story and you’ll attract attention and interest. Simply present your messages and you’ll only elicit disinterest and yawns. Why then do all of us marketing and PR professionals spend so much time discussing messages, managing messages, and getting messages out? I suspect it is because we all know that communications, like any endeavor, requires content and a purpose – and messages are the building blocks for communications. Where we often fall short is in the execution of relaying those messages

The PR Power of Storytelling

The business of high-tech marketing and PR is complex, and the information that we deal with often requires active listening on the part of our audience to comprehend what’s being said and then interpret – in real time – what this means to them. An amazing transformation takes place when the same information or messages are delivered in the form of a story. Suddenly a connection is being made, and lasting communication is taking shape.

Repeatable is Unbeatable

Nothing is better than to hear your story, or pieces of your story, being repeated. This is the art of communicating through human experience. Testimonials and case studies are the most frequent methods that the high-tech marketing world uses to tell a story, and we all know these work very well. All company stories can benefit from being humanized.

Drama Counts

Heroes and villains are the staple of any good story, and your story deserves a little drama too. Technology challenges, competitor conflict, customers, global issues, regulatory policies, standards, and the like are all good characters for your true-life high-tech drama. Take a lesson from the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company. Both are respected media outlets known for their credibility, timely coverage and great storytelling.

Checklist for Storytelling

Okay, so you’re inspired to try your hand at building a story-based communications strategy. The following check points will serve to guide you:

  • A story is crafted to inspire, invite or provoke an external dialogue
  • A story is a context for collaboration. It must facilitate attachment to stakeholders’ own stories
  • A story is effective if it can be personalized by an audience for retelling
  • No matter how technical the content, a story must be simple enough to be instantly and intuitively understood without detailed analysis on the part of listeners
  • A good story plays equally well in different styles, from ad copy and white papers to LinkedIn influencer blogs and social media posts
  • A story must convey useful information no matter how short
  • Since the value of information in a story declines with usage and familiarity, a story must be continuously infused with new content

Find the novelist within and begin telling your story. I’ll be looking and listening for your stories.

Until the next blog post, happy storytelling!

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