Humans have told stories for thousands of years, storytelling never gets old. Stories can make people cry, happy or nervous. Stories make people feel. So, what better way to craft brand perception than through PR storytelling? We’ve recently seen a shift in PR to a much more brand journalism focus. All eyes are now on PR storytelling, so of course we covered it in #MarketingMinds chat.

Q1. Why is PR storytelling important?

@LanaTBurgess believes that PR storytelling helps us to remain newsworthy by guiding us away from sales pitchy content- to content that engages and hooks the audience. We can ensure this by leveraging the audience’s interests and providing something that is both informative and valuable. @AdotIdotspace and @hdojcinova further explain how PR storytelling opens an emotional portal. @Richard_Y agrees stating that PR storytelling allows us to engage the audience by encouraging them to care about our message. Furthermore, as @tandrsolutions rightfully comments, PR storytelling allows our audience to relate to us and can therefore be very effective when trying to trigger a response.

Q2. What are your top tips for crafting the perfect story/ message?

@In4MationFK1 states that it’s important for our message to jump out. We can ensure this by keeping the value proposition in sight at all times. We must ask ourselves: Why is our message important to the audience? Why should they care? Let the answers guide the message.

@LanaTBurgess explains that by understanding the cognitive biases of our audience we’re more likely to craft an effective message and improve PR storytelling. PR storytelling is kind of like chess. If we put ourselves in the other player’s/ audience’s shoes, it’s easier to judge their moves so that we can easily defend ourselves if the likely move in unfavourable. But ultimately, @Richard_Y and @megan_j_hughes suggest that the art of PR storytelling is keeping the message simple and easy to understand. Use the language of the audience and avoiding jargon and buzzwords.

Q3. How can we test the relevance of our pitch?

@LanaTBurgess and @megan_j_hughes suggest we test the relevance of our pitch using social analytics. Our pitch should always be audience orientated, so if we know a certain piece of content has resonated well with the audience, then we can then replicate success for future campaigns. The use of media intelligence tools can help us greatly in determining relevancy by showing us key conversational themes to determine whether the message has had the desired effect. We can also look into search intent around key topics to understand related interests and context.

Q4. PR is about relationships, how can we woo journalists?

Chat participants are widely in agreement that there is no need to woo journalists if we do our homework first. Look into their beat, how they like information delivered and the needs of the publication’s audience.

Meanwhile, @In4MationFK1 comments that journalists can be our best friend or your strongest critics, so relationship building is important. @Richard_Y and @hdojcinova explain that honesty is the best policy as it helps create trust in us as a source. @LanaTBurgess and @JanilJean agree suggesting that we should take time to engage and connect on a personal level in order to build trust and respect.

Q5. How can we measure the success of a PR pitch/ PR storytelling?

@tandrsolutions suggest that we track the responses of our audience using listening tools so that we can see if our message has been received favourably; study the data and go from there. Meanwhile @LanaTBurgess believes that a true measure of PR storytelling/ pitch success is long-term relationship, not just a one off placement.