Published On: Sat, Jun 8th, 2013

How Your Brand Can Tell a More Compelling Story

Brand StorytellingI’ve always been interested in storytelling and since moving to Ireland I have developed a much deeper appreciation of just how rich its tradition of storytelling actually is.

That’s all well and good, but what does storytelling have to do with communications or any of the other topics I normally blog about? The answer is actually a lot more than you might think.

For me, being able to effectively tell your story, whilst conveying your message in a memorable way is as good a definition of public relations (PR) as any. After all, everyone loves a great story.

Many of the tips, techniques and central themes employed by superb storytellers are timeless. Good overcoming evil, the protagonist triumphing over adversity, as well as love, conflict, change, darkness and light are recurring topics we have come to expect – and enjoy. It’s these elements which captivate an audience, help the storyteller shape their message and set the agenda.

This got me thinking about brand storytelling and newsworthy-ness, as well as the ingredients of a story that we’ve come to expect and enjoy from the media. If you really study the news you’ll notice that a lot of the stories, a lot of the time contain many of the same elements. In fact, there are often small tweaks you can make to the positioning of your story that it’ll make it land. The skill comes from crafting stories that contain these elements. It’s more art than science, but it’s not that difficult.

Although, I don’t normally write about ‘traditional’ PR on SWT, it’s always a useful exercise to consider ways to get that tactical ‘hit’ of publicity. That’s because in spite of the online revolution we’ve experienced over the last decade, traditional media is still hugely powerful, trusted and in many cases still sets the media agenda. For your message to truly resonate you have to tell your story across social, traditional, owned and earned media.

Below are a list of techniques to help your brand tell a more compelling story:

  1. Break a record

  2. Be the biggest/smallest

  3. Get a celebrity on board

  4. Turn expectations on their head e.g. man bites dog

  5. Celebrate a milestone/anniversary

  6. Be the first to do something

  7. Host an unusual event

  8. Weave love, fear or hope into the story

  9. David vs. Goliath e.g. the underdog taking on the establishment

  10. Use numbers/percentages to craft a headline/story

What surefire tips and techniques do you employ to make your story irresistible?

About the Author

- Marketing Manager with a passion for inbound at HubSpot, Founder of Growth Hack Talks, Blogger at and Chief Quaffer at .

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  1. […] you speak with your Analytics team sooner rather than later to discover trends and stats that can help your brand tell its story. Identifying seasonal search trends, products that are increasing in popularity and any local […]

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