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The diagram below illustrates my approach. First I research: what are the hot topics (Google Trends)?  What keywords are target consumers using (Keyword Planner tool)?  Then I’ll set up robust mechanisms to evaluate the creative, focused communications plan that I’ll implement.


Stories have power

Stories have power in PR and communications.  But what makes a magnetic, convincing story?

The noisy space consumers live in and the multitude of channels make it harder than ever to communicate.  The answer, many of us in PR find, is to use the power of stories.  More than facts, more than arguments, stories can be the most convincing content. Good storytelling builds trust and understanding, motivation and loyalty. But what makes a story magnetic, memorable?  Over and above everything, the answer is authenticity – it has to be believable and appropriate to the brand.

Stories have power to persuade

It can be incredibly powerful if we find the right story to tell at the right time.  That often means going back to some basic principles to look again at powerful stories that have stood the test of time.  That’s right – children’s classic stories.  On my website I suggest there are only 7 types of story and all of them can be applied to brand communications.  Here are three of them.

Journey and return where the hero or heroine is changed by the experience (that can be proxy for the consumer).  The Wizard of Oz is a good example.

Rebirth where the hero or heroine is in captivity but is able to break free.  The Ugly Ducklying is a good example.  This transformation from within would work well for internal communications contexts.

Rags to riches where the hero or heroine overcomes obstacles to succeed.  Cinderella is a powerful example.  This is a great brand story and can be refreshed and reworked for today’s brands, in the right storytelling hands.

Stories have power to change things

Authentic stories can bring ideas and concepts to life and they can persuade people to take actions and change mindsets.  But stories are only powerful if they are clearly helpful, illuminating and relevant to the brand or the key message.  The best way to find these authentic stories at the heart of the brand is to talk to the stakeholders particularly colleagues.  They will have many fascinating anecdotes and stories to explain what the brand really means in action and how it can change things.

Forbes has some interesting ideas on storytelling in a business context here.

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