Why you should use powerful stories

Why do you need more powerful narratives and stories to transform what you do?

There’s a story of four bricklayers at work. The first says they are laying bricks. The second explains they are building a wall. The third celebrate they are building a cathedral. The fourth declared ‘I am building the house of God!’

Transform your narrative and storytelling skills is a one day workshop which will provide you with a toolkit full of tools and strategies to improve your capabilities. The session is designed to work on your live challenges combining both learning and development with inspiring new ideas and solutions for your workplace challenges.

Too much PR and Comms is like the workers laying bricks or marginally better, just building a wall. In a fast-moving, complex world you don’t just need to communicate. You need to engage and ideally inspire. And you can only really achieve this if you tell great stories, supported by even more powerful narratives. A narrative is a bridge between an item, action, person and their wider significance. Using the metaphor of a pearl necklace, the pearls are the stories, the narrative is the string. If you want to deliver powerful communications to inspire and change you need to be a master or mistress of the narrative.

PR and Comms professionals have traditionally spent most of their time as ‘news peddlers’, dealing in the currency of news stories. In order to succeed, they now need to be creating ‘Big multi-channel’ ideas’ – stories that work both across a range of different channels and stories which are more resolute and firmer in a fast-moving, changing world. PR and Comms are changing. While the need to embrace digital technology and metric-driven practice has been self-evident, the need to create deeper, emotionally richer and meaningful narratives is less obvious.

Storytelling and narrative are critical to Strategic Comms and PR. You need to discover how to transform your strategies and stories, and truly understand what narrative is for new insights for strategic thinking. Imagine you had just joined an amateur theatre group and were told, ‘Go on the stage and be a character’. Numerous questions would be running through your mind: ‘Who is this character? What are they like? Good or bad, kind or mean? Handsome or plain?’ And so on. You just wouldn’t go onto a stage naked in the sense of having no idea what your character is about. Yet, that is the reality of most PR and Comms people, having only the vaguest ideas about the persona of the lead characters, their narrative or stories of their situation.

By identifying your story ‘persona’ and how to tell your stories through that ‘persona’ transforms your Thought Leadership, strategies, messages, news releases or content. You can add to your mix much greater variety and power to your communications by knowing and using the fundamental five ‘Story Plots’. You need to identify the very heart of your emotional message and use this as a bridge to connect. A key skill in doing this is to ‘Story Listen’ identify the existing narrative within any situation.

Are you going to be tedious, tame or uninspiring in your PR and Comms, like the person just laying bricks or building a wall? Or are you going to be like the person ‘building the house of God’ and truly inspire, engage and make change happen?

The choice is yours.

Written by course leader Andy Green

He is a leading expert on storytelling for PR, comms and marketing and has written 7 books on brand communications. He works with in-house teams and agencies around the world using real-world experience and case studies to transform their use and management of storytelling and corporate narrative.

The Transform your storytelling 1-day workshop is happening in Newcastle on Friday 26 October. To book a place on this course just email us and we’ll sort out the rest from there.

NESMA