A PR Approach to Storytelling
There’s nothing like holding a brand new book.
Opening to the first page, greeted by the fresh paper scent; I escape into a new world as I flip through the pages of another’s mind. Growing up an introvert, stories were my favorite companion. Today, as I journey further into adulthood, I still find myself attracted to stories, whether it’s a book, an interesting feature article or people sharing their experiences. Hence why I love my job as a public relations professional. I get to experience and share my clients’ stories on a daily basis, and there’s no greater thrill.
Prologue: Working with a PR Professional to Tell Your Story
Being a great storyteller in PR boils down to one thing: reading. If you want media professionals to care about your stories, then your PR representatives must know what they’re talking about. The great thing about working with a PR professional is having someone dedicated to learning new, valuable information and cultivating deeper expertise in your industry. So before your PR representative distributes the next press release or pitches a new development, ensure they know how your news affects your business first. With an interesting angle or applicable theme to tie into your story, you’ll be surprised at how quick reporters will respond when they notice it’s not a generic, templated pitch!
Chapter 1: Careful, Don’t Make Them Yawn
Your PR reps did it. They found a trend that complements your story and they’re eager to begin pitching. This will surely win reporters over! But wait. Did you develop strong messaging behind the pitch? Is it coming off verbose or self-serving? While a creative angle will help you stand out, it is important that you and your PR rep don’t overwhelm with detail, tech specs and bona fides. Reporters want to know the gist of your story fast. They don’t have time to read your fairytale. Instead, ditch the lengthy diatribes and focus on the key messages that are valuable to the reporter. Structuring communications and interviews with finely tuned bullet points and soundbites will ensure your message isn’t the needle in a haystack. Keep it simple – and keep it focused.
Chapter 2: Be a Journalist’s Best Friend
Often, PR professionals want to reach out to as many reporters as possible. But remember, quality is better than quantity. A great PR professional knows when and where to find the articles and pieces relevant to their clients’ stories. They think, “if only my expert source provided insights in this article!” Well, it’s not too late to grab another opportunity. Your PR rep should study the reporter who wrote the article, develop an angle with you, and pitch your story to align with key themes and trends of the reporter’s beat. You want to connect with the right media contacts and ensure you haven’t wasted anyone’s time. PR reps who know who they are presenting to before blasting pitches will have a better chance to bolster coverage for your story, and establish media relationships.
Chapter 3: Storytelling Beyond the Screen
As the digital sphere continues to infiltrate our lives, we are inevitably glued to devices. It’s no surprise that we tend to overlook a world beyond the screen. Building lasting media relationships encompasses more than crafting the perfect email. Let’s not forget about the traditional stuff. After all, telling a story face-to-face offers the chance to leave a lasting memory. Next time your PR rep invites you along to grab drinks with media professionals, use the opportunity to build a rapport of your own. The best PR professionals will steer you away diving into your products and services, and get into character mode. This is their chance to highlight you as a thought leader. Recall an event or a study you recently participated in – this should be on a PR professional’s mind. Armed with a strong anecdote of your innovations and voila, they have a story to share! You never know the opportunities that may surface offline.
Want Paragon PR to tell your story? Contact one of our PR professionals and we’re happy to be your storytellers!