Making the Case for “People” Storytelling

To this day, one of my favorite things about PR is storytelling.

Broadly-speaking, most clients I’ve worked with in the B2B space have wanted to focus on the “core” storylines for PR—the technology or services they offer, challenges/opportunities for their customers, competitive differentiators and more. And why wouldn’t they? The reasons are obvious.

But lately, I’ve been more intrigued with uncovering the peripheral, people-oriented storylines that can both increase awareness of the company, as well as create opportunities for thought leadership in ways the former examples probably would not. Nothing to do with the technology or services, but rather first-hand stories from company executives on everything from education to professional development, to views on entrepreneurship, leadership and even, personal hobbies or interests.

Telling the personal stories alongside the more corporate narratives can make your PR program more robust and can help raise the profile of your organization and/or executives among new and untapped audiences. It can also be an alternative way to gain exposure within business publications, particularly those that would pass over your latest product pitch.

While this approach may not be for everyone or every company, you may consider looking more deeply into pursuing people storylines if your key executives have:

  1. An interesting upbringing and/or early life story
  2. A compelling founder story
  3. Experienced a profound teachable moment and/or professional failure
  4. Unusual hobbies/interests outside of the office
  5. Significant involvement in charitable causes, associations and industry movements (i.e. women and minorities in tech)
  6. Broken barriers to achieve success
  7. Achieved “firsts”
  8. Bold and candid views on issues outside of the company’s core industry

Not sure if your executives would fall into these areas? Schedule a 30-minute interview with your CEO and dig. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and how the new storylines can help influence the success of your broader communications program.

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