Storytelling: The Newest Label In Our Field
You see, anyone can tell a story. But, is everyone capable of telling a good story that will have the desired effect? Just like all the past labels for communications and public relations professionals, the term ‘storytelling’ not only runs the risk of being overused, but it is at risk of not being properly understood.
For many years, communications and public relations professionals have been labelled as spin doctors, flacks, promoters and publicists, just to name a few. Ironically, as communicators, we have had the hardest time trying to explain exactly what we do…
However, the rise in usage and popularity of social media has helped family, friends and clients ‘get it’. And, as the role and therefore definition of a communications and public relations professionals has evolved, so too have our labels.
The newest label in our field is Storyteller. And we love it, because it sums up exactly what we do.
Although it sounds like a simple concept, there is a bit more to it when it comes to Storytelling because it’s all about shaping, motivating and influencing publics to think and act a certain way.
You see, anyone can tell a story. But, is everyone capable of telling a good story that will have the desired effect?
A good storyteller must be technically proficient and know how to structure and sequence content using the appropriate style and tone for the reading public. Furthermore, the content must be relatable and familiar to readers.
Using a strategic communication process, we get to the core of what it is our clients do and what they stand for. We then develop narratives that tell that story to our client’s ‘publics’ with the goal of creating an emotional connection between our clients and their customers, prospective customers, media, key opinion leaders, investors, and employees.
Client stories are based on facts and understanding their real point of difference. Then, we develop a well-thought-out strategy that determines how and where we communicate their story. Channel selection is a storyteller’s best weapon. After all, what good is a great story if no one can read, hear about it or relate to it?
Just like all the past labels for communications and public relations professionals, the term ‘storytelling’ not only runs the risk of being overused, but it is at risk of not being properly understood.
When understood and used properly however, ‘once upon a time’ has the real potential to lead to ‘happily ever after’.
Andy Abey, Senior Communications Consultant