“The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story. This truth applies both to individuals and institutions.” – Michael Margolis
Everybody loves a good story because they connect us to one another. We tell our friends and family how our week has been, the exciting parts of a recent vacation, and the heartbreak of an argument between someone we love. These stories bring us closer together because we can relate and understand what the other person is experiencing. Stories provide context for our lives. They help define us, and they illustrate what we have in common with each other.
A gifted storyteller can take us on an adventure simply by creating a clear image in our minds and pulling us into the story through the painting of emotional pictures. A storyteller can illuminate conflict, bring resolution, and convince us to care.
I just changed my major to Public Relations this semester and being only two classes into the program I have a lot to learn. However, one of the aspects of Public Relations that drew me in is storytelling.
Steve Clayton, Chief Storyteller for Microsoft said, “We are bombarded with information. By the time you get to the office, you’ve been bombarded thousands of times. Billboards, people, advertisements, your friend, your boss. Our attention is constantly under attack. People are constantly trying to put information in front of us.”
If we are being assailed with information thousands of times a day what makes a product or a service stand out?
Public Relations professionals have to create media pitches and press releases that tell a story in such a way that the audience feels connected to the message. Just like a friend’s story connects her life to mine, a PR professional’s story will draw the audience in and convince them to care about the message.
By Ailis Bull, Junior Account Executive, Communication Department