seven awesome storytelling resources for PR people

The best jokes are often actually great stories. A great story can stay with you forever. And a good storyteller can captivate an audience. So can we embrace storytelling in more of our own communications?

GUEST EDITOR: Helen Reynolds

Storytelling is a skill that communications people can utilise to really boost their creativity.

I’ve gathered some links in one place to give us a boost – they inspired me and so thought I’d share them in this post.  But first…

Why is thinking about storytelling useful?

My favourite story of the year is about the talents and carefree attitude of an ordinary woman, Ellie Cole, who was caught on camera doing some awesome dancing at a bus stop. The story is about an ordinary person being extraordinary and it teaches us to be positive and un-self-conscious. The couple who filmed her made good use of the attention to promote their small café.  Any brand would want to be associated with such a sweet story that makes us smile.

A common complaint in-house PR people will hear from colleagues is ‘we don’t tell people about our good stories enough’. This used to irk me, I’d think ‘yes we do, you just don’t remember them as well as the bad ones’.

But what I should have done is focus on that word – stories. In PR we know we’re good with words and structure but is that alone can make for grammatically correct and well-formed boringness.

As smartphones and other cheap tech increasingly give us all cheap ways to communicate with video, audio and graphics as well as words, PRs have to compete with a lot of content.

OK, it’s going to be harder to get people to talk about not very fun things, like a council budget consultation or a road gritting, than it is about entertaining things like an awesome woman at a bus stop.

But storytelling techniques can help us shape the way we communicate so we connect more with audiences and produce more engaging and wide-reaching content.

Put these on your reading list!

I hope you find them as interesting as I do.

  1. What Harry Potter teaches us about Storytelling
  2. ‘Before and after’: PR’s Answer to the Classic Storytelling Arc
  3. The Science Of Storytelling
  4. What listening to a story does to our brains
  5. What 17 Industry Leaders Think About Digital Storytelling
  6. Data Storytelling: The Ultimate Collection of Resources
  7. TEDx: Storytelling--The Secret Key to Leadership

Helen Reynolds is Digital and Social Media Manager at Monmouthshire County Council. She also blogs here 

photo credit