PR Notes- Story Maker Versus Story Teller

I’m often struck by the press release headlines starting with ” Company X Announced Today” or “Company X Introduces Product Upgrade…”  My early says working on the Microsoft Small Business PR Team taught me a very valuable lesson.  In the eyes of the media, another Microsoft press release claiming another great product often fell on deaf ears.  However, a press release highlighting the solution provided to a specific company’s business challenge or opportunity held weight.

Story Maker versus Story Teller.  Ever since then, my media relations strategy has been to create content focused not on a companies products or services, but the people and organizations that benefit from them.  As stated best by CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien, “Some PR professionals will present their ideas based on a statistic—one in five kids is living in poverty, for instance. No one ever has their heart ripped out of them because of a statistic. The stories I want to tell are the stories that just rip your heart out.”  Not every story will “rip your heart out, but the general philosophy has proven successful.  The people and organizations represent the “Story Makers.”  The company PR folks are the  “Story Tellers.”

The tactical philosophy of ‘Story Maker/Story Teller” is successful for two reasons.  Number one is the fact that the target audience can best relate to the Story Makers, people and organizations similar to themselves.  The stories help to build brand loyalty and convert prospects to supporters.  Second, the stories could not be complete without the Story Teller- aka- companies products/services.  Therefore, the value of the brand medium is based on real-life results.

Keep this in mind the next time management wants to issue a press release with the words “Announces or Introduces.”