Press releases remain a large chunk of daily PR writing. The real difficulty lies in getting journalists to read them, especially the ones chock full of numbers and analysis. Of course, the business audience expects facts and figures -- and you need them to validate your points -- but an additional element is essential to ensuring your message resonates: Compelling narrative. Jim Holtje, author of "The Power of Storytelling: Captivate, Convince or Convert Any Business," explains: "For most of us in the corporate or agency arena, we predominantly hear the analytical, but we remember the stories the most."
Here are Holtje's tips on adding impact to your press releases with storytelling.
Seek more balance in your PR writing. It's not about eliminating facts and figures -- you just need to create more balance. Before you start writing, ask yourself, "When I write this press release, how can I make the writing more balanced? If I can't include a full story, can I include an anecdote, or an example, or two?"
Play the role of reporter. You need to investigate in order to get compelling narratives. The stories are out there. When you gather the info you get for your next press release, ask that person, "are there any stories we can tell?" If they don't know, play the role of reporter. Work the org. chart, email, get on the phones -- be persistent, but friendly
Demonstrate value. If you are using measurement in your press releases, consider employing your pre-storytelling communications. As you begin to introduce storytelling, measure how much of your message was retained and understood thanks to the stories. Afterwards, make those metrics available to management. With a hard metric in hand, it's a lot easier to sell storytelling to upper management.
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