What’s your story?
Posted on 29th June 2018 at 18:26
Imagine you’re going to meet a friend in a pub, what’s the first thing you’ll tell them?
That’s your story!
This is a piece of advice I give to people all the time, when they’re learning how to present something to appeal to the media and understand what their ‘angle’ is.
But the notion of storytelling is even more far-reaching than that, when it comes to PR.
It’s about bringing a whole brand to life in a colourful, memorable way that people simply can’t ignore.
Just imagine, for a minute, the role stories play in your own life.
We are all storytellers at heart – and pre-programmed to listen to those told by others.
From describing to friends what we did this week, the encounters we had and the fun things we witnessed along the way, to the shared experience that runs in generations of our families.
Most of us carry our favourite fictional stories from childhood, with us all our lives.
And the rise of social media has us all telling tales on a vast scale, every single day. In fact, this has become one of our primary sources of news that matters to us.
In all these things, colour, humour, human interest, visual beauty and emotion play strong roles.
The same is true when it comes to sharing news about what you or your business are doing, to try to raise your profile.
The principles are the same: it has to have that ‘wow’ factor, be different, ‘new news’, matter to people, or make a difference to their lives and how they think.
Power in your hands
The interesting thing with contemporary PR, is that you don’t necessarily need a third party publication to get your story ‘out there’ anymore. The growth of online platforms in its various forms means you can publish it yourself and reach a worldwide potential audience of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, just by being a little creative.
You can blog, post on social media, write e-books and guides, send out e-newsletters and do amazing things with your website.
These days, some bloggers have as much, if not more, influence as journalists.
Of course, traditional media coverage still has a part to play in any rounded PR strategy, but there are lots of other steps you can also take to win over the hearts and minds of your intended audience in a powerful and targeted way.
I’m a former journalist, as well as a PR professional. I cut my teeth reporting news and managing content for a busy regional daily newspaper and regularly reflect on how my career has come full circle since then. The service I now offer my clients has storytelling, in all its forms, at its core – using a special blend of journalism and PR.
Hence my business strapline – ‘What’s your story?’. Because, for me, every new client conversation starts with me asking them this question.
So, what’s your story?
I’ve had the privilege of dealing with some truly fantastic businesses over the years and I’ve yet to come across one that doesn’t have a really great tale to tell.
Most just don’t realise what an absolute goldmine they’re sitting on – or know where to start.
In a nutshell, if you have a successful business you must be doing something unique and special – after all, you’re managing to win work.
And you’re probably passionate enough to make things happen where others cwouldn’t, or you wouldn’t have got this far.
So you have a unique selling point and that infectious belief in what you’re bringing to the world. These are the two most important ingredients of a fantastic business story.
How can you tell it – and why bother?
Once you know what you have to say that’s special, there are a multitude of different ways you can bring it to life.
You can blog about your expert insights or your personal opinions about your industry.
You can feature third party case studies about interesting projects you’ve worked on, clients you’ve helped or people you’ve collaborated with.
Observations, tips and ideas you share on social media also form an important strand of what you have to say.
As well as being hugely entertaining, what all of this combined content does, is promote you as an authority in your area. The clients you feature act as valuable, third party endorsement that you’re as good as you say you are. And sharing some sage advice with more people online will help spread that warm message that yours is a brand that cares enough to dish out a little help for free.
Of course, just being out there with genuinely interesting, thought-provoking and informative content is likely to result in more people considering using your services.
And then there is the magic the almighty Google does with all this information, to get you found by more people, more of the time.
This omnipresent search engine is looking for stories in every nook and cranny of the online world and when it finds good ones, from brands that care about entertaining and informing their audiences, it rewards them by raising their rankings and sending even more people their way.
This means more traffic to your website and, ultimately, more potential customers!
Imagine you’ve just had a chance meeting with your perfect customer in a lift and you have 30 seconds between floors to convince them with what’s special about your company. What would you say? Your answer is the makings of your business story.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for a free, initial, no-obligation chat, via 07983 633385 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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