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You And Your Stories Matter: Mastering Storytelling In Digital PR

We read stories all the time… books, messages via text, email, social media captions, articles, work tasks, ingredient lists, labels, posters, etc. We are surrounded by stories. And what makes a good story stand out? I mean, we all have our own definitions of storytelling and our likes and dislikes, but there are some common components that are crucial to redefining storytelling in digital PR. 

Standing Out In a Sea of Stories 

Storytelling in PR is not….negative news, salesly or just plain gossip.  It’s building a genuine story for brand awareness and visibility, focusing on authenticity and sharing. 

I often question: do all stories matter? 

Yes and no.  It often comes down to what we prioritize or what is most relevant now. So..I hope by the time this article is published, this will be relevant 🙂 

Stories help you learn and unlearn and help foster creativity to refine ideas for growth. 

You are uniquely you, and we all need to take time to find what matters most to us. What do you want to be known for? What are your passions? What motivates you? What is an important goal you want to strive for? What are your values? 

There are many PR professionals competing for many stories with many deadlines. You are competing with hundreds of other experts. It is a sea of stories, and what is your standout insight that will make you stay afloat? Here are 6 questions to ask yourself. 

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Relevant Experts For Relevant Stories 

Working alongside a team is fantastic, especially when you have different experts who can contribute their insights to different pieces. The results in the Digital PR doubled in 2023 because the team encouraged our clients to share their stories and to connect their relevant experts with their relevant niches. This is often what makes a story powerful. It comes from your own experience; you can feel the passion beaming through insights, and it is truly always a building block in confidence building. 

You are the experts in your field. What makes you stand out? What makes a customer choose your service over others? What makes your company unique? What kinds of stories do you share with your customers, your team, and your family? 

Genuine Connections For Creativity 

Take the time to listen. Listen to hear, not to respond. 

We might have a different definition of connections now that our world is a hybrid mix, but we should not overlook the power of building connections and genuine relationships. These connections are beneficial for all parties and worth it for each other. 

Embrace Timelines & Transparency 

Stories fail more often than not. Why? Sometimes, a story just doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t good; it just means that the relevance and timeliness just didn’t work and that you might have been too late to the party. But…. don’t give up; these moments always provide a good learning experience for the next campaign, highlighting gaps that need to be improved within your current process to really embrace campaign timeline breakdowns and transparency. 

Last year, the team had a large campaign with many different topics and strategies while having to navigate very strict guidelines and geographical specificities. This was the most challenging campaign over the past three years, but my team and I were ready to put in our best effort. Our takeaway over this six-month campaign was the realization that if we did not properly map timelines, the campaign would fail, and we would be left with 10+ hours of brainstorming, research, writing, and outreach for the content, not to move forward. Media cycles are always on short turnaround timelines, especially if you are trying to come up with a creative campaign tied to a specific event or holiday.  As the eclipse taught us, 4 minutes go by in the blink of an eye…so you need to be prepared and organized, and as the saying goes, “have all your ducks in a row.” 

Now, our team has completely transformed our process using our Custom Digital PR Wrike Space, where we add specific campaign milestones, breaking them down by date, task lead, task details, and approximate time completion. This has allowed the team to have a clear breakdown of the process and expectations and, in turn, holds all of us accountable for achieving these milestones within the timelines determined by our team and approved by the client. 

We have learned that embracing transparency is vital. Often, we may have to have uncomfortable conversations with our clients about the fact that their stories will not work due to the workload, it is not achievable, and that they won’t perform. We focus on providing high-quality work, which means taking the short-cut is not the best option; even if it might seem like it at the moment to just “get it over with,” be patient, and I promise you, you will be more proud of the outcome of your work. 

 Sharing Stories Are Empowering 

Yes, we have ChatGPT…but we are all human and have feelings—highs and lows. Sharing your stories, commonalities, learnings, and challenges is powerful. We transition from individuality to sharing, opening, and understanding about others. 

Empowering yourself, understanding that your stories matter, and finding communities will help to amplify your stories and build strong, compassionate, and empathetic leadership. 

Why Work with an Agency For Storytelling? 

Let’s face it: There is only a certain amount of time in the day. We often think, “I’ll just get to it later,” “I’ll put it on the to-do list for tomorrow,” or “Eventually, I’ll get to it.”

Lean on a team of experts who can help harness your brand tone and capture your stories in an authentic storytelling way that will shine a light on your brand and keep your stories top-of-mind. 

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Catherine Hansen

About Catherine Hansen 

Catherine Hansen is the Digital PR Manager at seoplus+. I’ve worked at seoplus+ for over five years. I lead a team of dynamic PR specialists responsible for landing placements for 40+ clients across diverse industries. Under my leadership, the team has landed clients in big-name outlets such as Forbes, Business Insider and TIME.

Beth Hellowell
Founder of Women in Agencies and co-founder of Signify Digital. Mother, social media scroller and frequent pasta eater.