Is storytelling part of your brand journalism strategy? It should be

Forward-thinking organizations are stacking their PR and communications teams with journalists so they can tell stories with human appeal.

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When you hear the word “storytelling,” does it make you a bit uneasy?

Storytelling involves emotion, feelings, uncertainty—the opposite of everything a business is supposed to be about, right?

“Numbers, hard data, results, ROI!” It’s a constant refrain. Executives want certainty, consistency, and risk mitigation.

There’s only one problem: Certainty, consistency, and risk mitigation are boring! Stories involve uncertainty, suspense, and drama.

How do you bridge the gap? Where is the common ground?

Here it is—this is key: Stories make a difference in people’s lives.

A good business is adding value to make a difference in people’s lives, too.

As a former reporter, I’ve seen the difference stories make.

My first story assignment at my first newspaper job in Williston, North Dakota, was to profile a mom who couldn’t find housing for her family. Her husband was working on a drilling rig and the city was in the midst of a raging oil boom (as it is again today).

I began the piece with a four-paragraph story about her and her homeless children, and the next day a local homeowner tracked her down and offered her a room in her house. If it weren’t for the story, nothing would have happened.

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