The 4 P’s of Storytelling
In essence, publicists are storytellers. Our role is to elevate a company or brand so that it resonates with numerous audiences including the media. Being able to tell those stories in uniquely powerful ways is increasing. Some of the world’s biggest brands, including United Airlines, are also deepening their commitment to storytelling. The company recently hired its first chief storyteller, Dana Brooks Reinglass, a former television producer for Oprah Winfrey and others. In her new role, she will use storytelling techniques (versus traditional marketing methods) to improve how the airline engages employees and customers. She says, “In this digital age of immersion and participation, I still feel that sharing your story inspires the most powerful emotions and moves people to action.”
So, when planning your public relations strategy for 2017, think about how storytelling can play a bigger role. Steve Clayton, Storyteller, Microsoft, identified the 4 Ps of a great story; all must be used in order to make a significant impact.
People: The story needs to be about someone, their specific idea, concept or journey to bring it to life. Who at your company developed it and what was their thought process? Who are the people behind the scenes who have interesting roles but are often unseen?
Places: Tell the story – in writing or graphically – that takes people to where the product concept or manufacturing plant is made. This showcases brand value and provides stakeholders with reasons to buy.
Process: What does it take for your product or service to come to life? How does your brand think? If you’re an event production or construction company, show how the finished result actually comes together on site (include all of the ups, downs and mistakes made along the way), perhaps using stop action animation. This provides authentic insight into your brand and is much more compelling than marketing-speak.
Products: You may have a product or service to sell, but don’t focus on that alone. A good product doesn’t necessarily make a great story. But, the reason behind making the product or service can be captivating.
What are some of the storytelling techniques your company has used to communicate brand values? Have you found that a dose of the human element and emotions have developed memorable messaging?