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In the communication industry you lately hear a lot about storytelling. Everybody is talking about the success of storytelling, whether it’s on social media channels, at conferences or in academic articles.

But what does storytelling actually mean?
The point of storytelling is to create interesting content around a brand or company which provides an additional value for clients. The stories should encourage the discussion and sharing and retelling of the content.

What are the basic strategies of storytelling?
Before a company can tell its story, it must make clear what its brand essence is and what vision the company wants to fulfill with its products. A story can only be successful if the company’s message is consistent with the products.

Successful stories can be characterized by similar features: they show the extraordinary in everyday situations, play with emotions and provoke a connection with the brand. Thereby, an extensive message shouldn’t be targeted on the characteristics of the product, but rather on general, common thoughts, emotions and situations. The narrated stories provide the frame, with which the brand and its products are strengthened.

Especially the use of a concise slogan can be particularly helpful to spread the business philosophy. A well-known example is the slogan “Red Bull gives you Wings”. Red Bull almost literally transferred this slogan with the sponsoring of Felix Baumgartner’s stratosphere jump. Not quite as impressive but still familiar and friendly is Sid, the mascot of our German partners’ client, who is always on the spot as a helpful bus driver on both the company’s web presence and events. Sid even has his own Twitter account where he tweets about funny competitions and promotion activities. This gives the company a personal touch and the client gets special insights. With storytelling, the messages can be communicated and multiplied because it’s not the product that is advertised, but a story.

Away from the brand – towards the client
Important in this is the paradigm shift from brand-centered to customer-oriented stories. To prevent mistakes, a clear communication strategy must be developed. The client must not be overwhelmed with information. Another goal is to evoke the right emotions because it can easily happen that, by means of a wrong staging, these emotions are not transferred to the advertised brand. This happens when the brand doesn’t appear as a problem solver or emotion activator itself. The use of stories is thus only reasonable, if it succeeds to transfer the emotions.

How does storytelling work in PR?
Conventional press releases are important, if the target is to factually inform the recipient. But not only can the pure factual information be transmitted, also the story of the company or brand can form press releases. The target of PR is to use the press release as a basis to simultaneously transfer both the story and the important information because only in that way it is possible to provoke an authentic conversation about the brand in public. It’s important to not get lost in the story. You should focus on the main message, explain the correlations and bring out the context of the products. When writing, it’s less about what, but especially about how. You should write just as inspiring, as you would tell a story.

Nowadays, storytelling is very important for public relations. Through the abundance of information on the numerous communication channels, it gets more and more difficult to place content that reaches the reader. Stories make it easier to be heard by the listener. Because a good story is willingly shared and stays longer in the reader’s mind.

This entry was written by our Worldcom partner HBI in Munich, was posted in Allgemein, Allgemeine PR Infos, Best Practices, PR and Marketing Trends, PR- und Marketing-Trends, Social Media, Tips and Tricks and tagged Integrierte Kommunikation, Marketing trends,Megabus, PR, Storytelling.

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