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Once upon a time… how to make your storytelling impactful

by | Aug 26, 2019 | Analysis, Public Relations

Think about some of the things you will fondly remember forever. Chances are there were stories connected with them that touched your heart. Astute nonprofits recognized the power of storytelling way before corporations and have been leveraging that to secure large donations.

Why is storytelling so impactful?

Storytelling engages the listener. A well-told story grabs their attention and keeps it well after it’s over. And if it’s connected with a product, chances are that it also results in a sale. Remember when you made an impulse buy? It’s likely because something or someone pulled your heart strings. Done well, storytelling evokes emotion. It doesn’t have to be about a sick person needing medication or a starving child in a third world country. Stories can also engage customers and ingrain the memory in their minds.

Some companies don’t have to look far for stories

Sometimes, the history of the company and how and why it got its started can be compelling enough. If so, these can be woven into marketing materials.  You see this type of storytelling a lot with nonprofits. The mom who started MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, lost her 13-year-old after she was struck by a drunken driver. It since became one of the strongest advocates for stricter drunk driving laws as well as a source of assistance to victims and their families in the country.

If there’s no story to tell, think about partnering with a nonprofit whose clients might use your product. For example, if you sell infant car seats, consider a nonprofit that advocates infant awareness, safety, education, and protection. Think about aligning your marketing so that a portion of sales over a given period of time goes to the nonprofit.

Your marketing then would not only highlight the nonprofit but also the need for reputable products like your car seat in preventing serious infant injuries and deaths. The nonprofit would likely be pleased and helpful in identifying and recruiting some moms who would gladly share their stories for your dissemination.

How much more powerful would your marketing and sales be with such a partnership bolstered by a story or two?

Use your social media extensively to promote. Have links to these stories on LinkedIn. Use video and/or photos on Twitter and Snapchat as well. But in all cases, ultimately direct readers to your website. And be sure to designate a page on your website that features such stories, but in greater depth.

Make HR happy

Storytelling—good public relations—doesn’t only have to affect your sales. It can also be an important tool in recruiting new employees, especially millennials, the Z and Alpha generations. These younger job prospects care a lot more about a company’s culture and values than their predecessors. Some studies have shown that younger job applicants care as much about a company’s social culture than the other things older workers consider important, like salary and other benefits.

Tell the world

When you do find that good story, share it with all your publics.  These don’t just include your customers, but also your vendors and suppliers as well as your shareholders or owners.  Creating a healthy and good reputation is important to maintaining and growing your presence in today’s business environment.

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5W Public Relations: 5WPR is one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.

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