I admit I’ve struggled to find a topic to write about this week. It’s not due to a lack of topics or subject matter—I could pick any number of recent events or trends for you to comment on—rather, it’s due to the fact that I’m seeking something with deeper meaning. Something to challenge our perspectives and help us further break down this thing we call public relations.
I’ll get back to you on that.
In the meantime, I keep returning to these questions: What happens when your campaign isn’t succeeding? What happens when your audience doesn’t engage or respond and you feel like you’re missing the mark? Even with strategic planning, research, and creative ideas, sometimes things don’t go the way we hope. So what do we do? You may not have a direct response to those questions for this post, but think about them and let’s talk about this in class.
Today, I want to hear from you. Here we are, more than halfway through the semester. What do you want to learn about campaigns or writing for public relations that we have not yet covered? What questions do you have for me? What should we discuss next?
Storytelling. Creative writing instructor and creator of the Story Seminar Robert McKee says, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” In many of your responses to recent posts, capturing emotion by telling stories—through words or images—is a common theme. We often hear storytelling is important, that stories carry more weight and help individuals better connect to brands, organizations, and even products. So how do we approach storytelling in public relations?
Public relations is about informing the public, and yes, you’ve heard me reinforce the message of getting to the point quickly and making facts clear. That provides the foundation for learning how to write a strong news release. Now, how do we build on that knowledge to take writing for public relations to the next level? How do we tell stories on behalf of our organizations and clients? In anticipation of this week’s guest speaker who will discuss amplifying our releases and stories online, I wanted to share the following example, or “story,” if you will forgive the repetition. But first, take a moment to consider what comes to mind when you think of the Starbucks brand? What images and words do you connect with what Starbucks is about and why?
Now, read this article: “Why a Washington Post Editor Left to Work with Starbucks” Does this resonate with the existing story and brand of Starbucks? Why or why not? How does this approach to storytelling further amplify their mission and brand? Can you think of any other organizations or brands doing something similar to connect with their audience and amplify their story?