Why stories are the most important weapon in your armoury
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin…
We all love a good story – it’s why we get immersed in a good book, devour celebrity gossip, gasp at a TV cliff-hanger, queue to watch the latest blockbuster (in pre-covid times), and stay glued to the news. These pastimes all have one thing in common – we want to know what happens next.
A story is for life
Whether fact or fiction and no matter how we consume them, there is something innately human about our desire for stories.
From childish make-believe and bedtime reading, to box sets and social media posts, stories teach us about our own and other cultures and worlds, and transport us to places outside of our immediate reality. They provide a framework for our understanding, a means of escapism, and often impart a take-home message that stays with us long after the programme finishes or the book is closed.
It is this longevity that makes stories so powerful. I guarantee that we can all remember at least one story from our childhoods as vividly as the last conversation we had today. Stories not only stay with us but provoke an emotional response – we are inspired by tales of bravery and perseverance, feel grief at accounts of loss and sadness, are angered by stories of injustice, and smile as the underdog achieves the seemingly impossible.
The difference between a story and a good story
So, what makes a story? At it’s most basic it’s the classic ‘when, what, where, how, who and why’, but it’s how it resonates with its audience that makes a story so powerful.
The secret ingredient of a good story is the emotional connection that it creates.
5 top tips for telling tales about your business
Telling the right story to the right people can work wonders for your business.
A good story can be almost anything – from celebrating success to calls for support, innovation to an inside scoop, and case studies to customer reviews.
Here are my five top tips for choosing and using the right storyline:
1 – Remember the when, what, where, how, who and why
You don’t need to tell your life story or the entire history of your business, but remember to give enough context to make your story ‘real’ to your audience.
2 – Make it relevant
Choose a topic that people care about, that your intended audience will be interested in, or which you are particularly passionate about. Tap into the public mood or make a stand. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm!
3 – Involve your customers
If you have customers who are willing to tell the world how much they love your business – let them do it! Nothing speaks volumes about the wonderful products and services you offer than an authentic happy customer.
4 – Be yourself
If you’re not a multi-national company with a household name, don’t pretend to be. Focus on what makes your business special, and what sets you apart. Perhaps that’s your incredible customer service, your location, or a product that is entirely unique to you. Be proud of your business.
5 – Ask for help if you need it
Everyone has a specialist skillset that is unique to them. If your area of expertise isn’t writing, don’t panic – that’s what I’m here for. I wouldn’t know how to cut hair, arrange flowers, fit a heating system or service a car, but I can write a good story to promote your business. Just ask!
Got a good story to share? Get in touch
Start your business promotion story today – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07566 858354.
Someone once told me that I needed to ‘do my own PR’.
As a PR professional, that came as a bit of a shock to me. There I was, quietly doing a grand job of showcasing how wonderful other people’s products and services were, and being the supportive communications person I had spent many years training to be. However, very few people knew that, as I wasn’t shouting about it.
Many businesses find themselves in the same position – they understand their customers, they know their product and they deliver a great service, but in the midst of all that productivity, they neglect to tell people how amazing they are.
What is PR?
I think it’s important at this point to define what PR is, and what it isn’t.
PR is awareness, but not arrogance; it is promotion, but not pretension; it is visibility, but not vanity. Sharing your expertise is not the same as showing off. You should definitely do the former, and definitely avoid the latter.
I learnt a very valuable lesson that day – whether on a personal or professional level, PR is not an optional extra. You can only support your customers if they know that support is available, you can only share your expertise to help others if they know it exists, and you can only resolve their problems if they know that you hold the solution.
I am here, I know things, I can help
Now to the bit where I ‘do my own PR’ – I have worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes to help them put the right words in front of the right people. I have raised awareness, increased visibility, revamped brands and launched products, and I can do the same for your company.
If you are too modest or too busy to shout about your incredible business, let me do it for you.
About the author
Founder of WordPlay Creative, Emma Brown is passionate about PR, and firmly believes that the right words used in the right way can make all the difference – in business and in life.
When she’s not working, you’ll usually find Emma with her nose stuck in a good book (usually fiction but quite often recipes), putting her media training to good use by proffering constructive advice to TV interviewees (she’s not put off by the fact that they can’t hear her), or walking in the stunning countryside of the Blackdown Hills AONB.