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The Strategy Room

Meet Emily: Bringing Storytelling to B2B

By: Emily Wenstrom

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When people ask me what I do, the short answer is that I’m a writer. Then they ask what I write, and that’s where it gets complicated.

By day, I’m a public relations and content marketing professional. By early, early morning, I’m an author in the middle of releasing a fantasy series with a small press.

These pursuits may appear very different at first glance, and to be sure, over my years at publications, creative agencies and PR firms, I’ve written just about anything that uses the written word—press releases, white papers, blog posts, video scripts, magazine features, technical articles and a lot more.

But I’ve found that my fiction writing doesn’t just strengthen my work for clients, but that actually, it all comes from the same foundation.

Storytelling is the heart of compelling content, no matter what you’re writing.

Here are three ways storytelling makes a difference in public relations:

Add humanity

A good story breathes life into the facts and lends humanity to an otherwise faceless organization. People naturally connect to other people. By telling the stories of how a client’s work makes a difference on that level (as with a case study), it delivers the facts with heart.

Create suspense

Communications professionals would serve themselves and their clients well by studying Hitchcock. No one has mastered the ability to keep an audience hooked quite like him. Suspense is about knowledge gap—the tension between what an audience knows and what they want to know. It’s human nature to want to close this gap, so it can be a compelling way to draw in an audience.

Know your reader

A story is never about professional who is creating the content. And it’s not about the client, either. Great content is always about the intended reader. Which means you start by understanding who that reader is, and what they want from you. Then, you use that as the foundation to build the content from.

Whether I’m spinning my own new tale or drafting content for a client, it always starts and ends with telling a meaningful story. When storytelling is done right, it can be the difference that triggers a memorable impression with your audience and sparks a lasting relationship.

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