Every business has a story to tell, whether it’s the unique way the business was launched, the way a revolutionary product was invented, or the exemplary way in which a business serves the local community.

PR storytelling is about attracting the attention of the media by telling that story in an engaging and thought-provoking way.

If you think facts and sales figures are the way to win over the media, think again. As science has proven otherwise.

When we consume uninteresting information, like a presentation packed with charts and graphs, a certain part of our brain called the Wernicke’s area is activated to translate the information into meaning. But when we hear a story, lots of areas of the brain light up, including the parts we would use if we were experiencing the events of a story ourselves. It can cause us to develop thoughts, opinions, and ideas that align with the person telling the story.

The art of storytelling is present every day in commercials, PSAs, and presentations. This is because studies have shown that effective storytelling will actually affect a listener or reader’s brain—it activates more areas of the brain than purely factual content. Also, as an audience listens to or reads a story, they will put themselves in the protagonist’s shoes, and areas of the brain will light up as if they are experiencing the story themselves.

Storytelling is important to public relations strategies because it allows companies to better connect with their audience and ultimately stimulate the audience’s feelings, ideas, and attitudes to align with their marketing goals.

Steve Clayton, Microsoft’s Chief Storyteller, picks out the 4 P’s of a significant story.

  • People: the story has to be about someone, preferably a hero who experiences the hero’s journey.
  • Places: where your products are manufactured, or unsung heroes live.
  • Process: how your finished goods are produced.
  • Products: telling a story to launch a product instead of blatantly selling.