Why Storytelling Matters for PR & How to Measure It


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Storytelling matters. Stories increase audience engagement and message retention. In this presentation, we discuss why stories matter, how to incorporate story elements into PR content, and finally, how to measure the results.

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  • <Slide Build>60 years in businessDistribution statsCountries/LanguagesTo distro network (media, online, mobile partners)Including prn.com (site & mobile #’s)Social & organic search amplificationMedia relationship // PRNJ
  • <Slide Build>60 years in businessDistribution statsCountries/LanguagesTo distro network (media, online, mobile partners)Including prn.com (site & mobile #’s)Social & organic search amplificationMedia relationship // PRNJ
  • <Slide Build>60 years in businessDistribution statsCountries/LanguagesTo distro network (media, online, mobile partners)Including prn.com (site & mobile #’s)Social & organic search amplificationMedia relationship // PRNJ
  • Narratives, at least in the way I will be using them, are stories that do not end – they persist indefinitely.They invite, even demand, action by participants and they reach out to embrace as many participants as possible. They are continuously unfolding, being shaped and filled in by the participants.  In this way, they amplify the dynamic component of stories, both in terms of time and scope of participation. Stories are about plots and action while narratives are about people and potential.
  • Searchers are asking specific questions and looking for answers, not generalizations.
  • Audiences experience our brands through all the communications we issue. Every piece of content is a digital ambassador for the brand. Content needs to be cohesive and consistent. Quarterly reports, press releases and marketing info all need to be pages from the same book.
  • To generate the emotional connection, stories must be focused on creating a specific response.
  • According to a January 2014 Harris Interactive Poll, 68% of 18-to-34 yr old media users surveyed were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post to social.Source:eMarketerhttp://www.emarketer.com/Article/Millennials-Social-Media-Posts-Influence-Peers-Buy-New-Products/1010576
  • In a brand new in-lab study conducted by Nielsen, commissioned by inPowered, their results showed that consumers hold significantly more trust in expert content (ie. earned media) over branded content and even user reviews. <slide build>Expert content was 38% more effective than branded content in creating awareness, mapping to the discover part of the purchasing processMapping to the explore phase, expert content was 80% more effective than branded content in creating favorable impression.And in the all-important purchase consideration stage, it’s 80% more effective. Main graphicSources: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140325101743-36910198-content-marketing-is-88-percent-less-effective-than-public-relationshttp://www.inpwrd.com/nielsen
  • You have to know what you’re gunning for, and how to get there. How do “likes” effect outcomes.
  • More than three-fourths of the communicators we recently surveyed about multimedia told us that they plan to increase their visual storytelling this year. Source: 2013 PR Newswire & PR News Multimedia Surveyhttp://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/08/27/79-of-pr-pros-believe-video-is-underutilized-infographic/
  • <Slide builds>1. But when it comes to multimedia distribution, the numbers are still weak. This circle represents our clients using multimedia in their releases.2. In the last 3 years, we’ve seen multimedia usage double. (7-14%)3. But as impressive as that sounds, only 14% of all releases distributed in 2013 included any multimedia asset (and that includes a simple logo).
  • If you can’t quantify it, don’t set department goals against it. A “like” is not an outcome. (Nor is a tweet.)
  • Why Storytelling Matters for PR & How to Measure It

    1. 1. Why Storytelling Matters to PR
    2. 2. Hello! #pdxcc14 @sarahskerik of @prnewswire
    3. 3. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    4. 4. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    5. 5. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    6. 6. Overview: why stories matter • Context – Attention market & audience preferences – What makes messages stick? • Narrative power • Emotional connections • Why story “stickiness” is important for brands – The social – search connection – Earned media – importance & evolution of • The tactics – Determining outcome – Divining story themes – Measurement @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    7. 7. @sarahskerik @prnewswire Stories rely on the intended audience to develop their own imagery and detail to complete and, most importantly, to co- create, whereas content does not. link
    8. 8. @sarahskerik @prnewswire Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain, that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.
    9. 9. Narratives inspire action and can galvanize people to act, even in times of strife. “Narratives are open-ended. They don't have resolution …and there's an invitation to all of us to participate in that narrative, to help determine what the outcome is going to be.” - John Hagel, Deloitte Center for the Edge Link @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    10. 10. Audience behavior can make or break a campaign. Our messages are competing for attention with people’s friends, spouses, children … and kittens. Content that isn’t read drops out of sight quickly. Social media popularity dictates a lot of what we see across the web. They’re a communicator’s nightmare. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    11. 11. People are looking for ever more specific information. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    12. 12. Intel today speaks in specifics, rendered in stories about people “like me” @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    13. 13. Your audience has already busted your silos - even if your organization doesn’t know it yet. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    14. 14. Everything you publish is a digital ambassador for your brand. @sarahskerik @prnewswire http://inkhouse.com/downloads/watch_read_tweet.pdf
    15. 15. WHAT MAKES MESSAGES STICK? @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    16. 16. 5 keys to making your story stick: Simple Unexpected Concrete Emotional Credible @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    17. 17. Your story must have a point, and that point is a specific audience response. Inspiration ConfidenceEnthusiasm @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    18. 18. WHY STICKINESS IS IMPORTANT @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    19. 19. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    20. 20. However, social is more important than you may think and these numbers indicate. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    21. 21. SearchMetrics @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    22. 22. Social media popularity absolutely informs search engine rankings & drives overall online visibility. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    23. 23. 68%of millennials likely to purchase based on their friends social media recommendations. Source: Harris Interactive Poll, January 2014
    24. 24. @sarahskerik @prnewswire NYT: Why do people share online?
    25. 25. +80%+38% +80% Earned media is more effective than branded content Source: In-lab study by Nielsen, commissioned by inPowered, March 2014 @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    26. 26. Everything we publish can gain earned media credibility. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    27. 27. … and here’s why. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    28. 28. Google is publicly acknowledging that every time your brand gets a mention in a story, that counts as an implied link that affects your SEO, that affects how many links there are to your website, which in turn affects how well your site shows up when someone is searching for your brand. In short, PR is SEO. - Christopher Penn, Shift Communications. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    29. 29. Earned media Social sharing Search rank @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    30. 30. THE TACTICS @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    31. 31. Align campaigns to specific business outcomes. Decide how success will be measured. Focus on generating the outcomes that will contribute to success Understand & develop messages for each element. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    32. 32. Atomize your content & surface all of the story angles. Movies Music Mom Travel Power suckers Enthusiasts
    33. 33. Be interesting. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    34. 34. Be interesting, cont’d. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    35. 35. SocialRadar Unequivocal headline Multiple visuals including a demo Call to action! Download here! @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    36. 36. Bullets and bold highlight key points Writer anticipates reader questions Social links invite interaction
    37. 37. Put the audience front and center … in all messaging
    38. 38. Provocative headline draws readers in. Subhead adds more detail Lead paragraph starts with an interesting statement, not boilerplate. Bold font and provocative section heads draw readers’ eyes in, and build more attention. Restrained use of links directs readers to a specific call to action.
    39. 39. All boilerplate material, event information and branding (except the mention in the subhead) are moved to the bottom of the release. The higher-value real- estate at the top of the message is solely devoted to gaining and keeping reader interest.
    40. 40. Messages that are easy to scan are easy to share.
    41. 41. Visual elements increase press release views by almost 10 x. @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    42. 42. Source: 2013 PR Newswire & PR News Multimedia Survey http://blog.prnewswire.com/2013/08/27/79-of-pr-pros-believe-video-is-underutilized-infographic/
    43. 43. But visuals are added to only 14% of press releases.
    44. 44. @sarahskerik @prnewswire MEA$UREMENT
    45. 45. PR measurement has to measure more than PR output. @sarahskerik @prnewswire • Rethink earned media. A tweet from the right person can be as valuable as media pick up. • Measure results over time. • Assess results holistically, assessing individual tactic success and as well as the whole. • Strive to quantify PR outcomes in the context of business results.
    46. 46. Tie outcomes to your organization’s marketing funnel. (Yes. Your organization has one of these.) Reads Clicks Amplification (rinse & repeat) Other actions, leads, downloads, etc.
    47. 47. Measuring PR’s impact on search & the top line • Is your company web site appearing higher in search results for specific keywords? Search rank: • Are more people searching specific keywords finding your company web site? Search query volume: • Are PR messages driving visitors to specific pages on the company web site? Increased inbound traffic to specific web pages: • Is PR attracting more people with high potential to become customers? Are they spending more money? Increase in lead score or improvement in conversion rate: @sarahskerik @prnewswire
    48. 48. Thank you! @sarahskerik Linkedin.com/in/sarahskerik http://promotions.prnewswire.com/discover.html http://www.slideshare.net/prnewswire/why-storytelling- matters-for-pr-how-to-measure-it