How do you tell a story with your press release?

Here at MediaHQ, we’ve seen 180,000 individual stories being shared through our press release platform since we first came into existence. From government departments to PR agencies and national charities, we have some of Ireland’s biggest organisations on our client book.

Every one of these organisations wants to get their voice to the media, but there’s one common factor that we’ve seen over and over again in successful press releases–brand storytelling.

Having seen the number of press releases we’ve seen, it has taught us huge amounts about compelling content and relating to your audience. (So much so that we set up our sister company All Good Tales, a brand storytelling communications agency.)

As humans, we are emotional creatures. Storytelling targets your audience at an intellectual level and if done correctly it will make people remember your information, achievements and the importance of your message. These factors will help you make the news.

But how do you successfully incorporate brand storytelling into your press release? Here are our top tips:

Authenticity is key

Storytelling isn’t about straight selling, it should be about what the organisation does and who they are. People are much more likely to buy into your message if it’s personal rather than just being clinical and boring. We’ve learned from our nonprofit clients that audiences react to emotion with emotion. They urge audiences to accept their call to action by telling touching or provocative stories. Humans relate to humans, not corporate robots.

Add personality to your pitch, make it relatable and add emotion!

Seize the opportunity

The organisations that receive the most attention are ones that put out press releases that are relevant to what an audience is currently tuning into. It’s the reason we created our News Diary feature on the MediaHQ system. Using story hooks that are topical will pique a journalist’s interest. It also shows that as a brand you are tuned into the world around you rather than just focusing entirely on your own message. Newsjacking shows you’re in tune with current events and gives you the opportunity to add your story to the mix.

Tell the story!

We know this might sound quite obvious, but you do need to actually tell the story in a press release so that it’s easily digestible. Like any well-written narrative, your story needs to have a plot–a beginning, middle and end. The ending in particular needs to satisfy the audience, to sell the piece to the journalist. A fulfilling ending resonates and will make the content memorable.

Creating a ‘hero’ is also an important part of storytelling. Heroes are usually characters with likeable qualities and must contain characteristics that can make the audience relate with them. The ‘hero’ can be an organisation, a product or indeed an audience (particularly those who will be buying your product/service).

Overcoming obstacles is a feature found in every storyline and people love to read an underdog story. If setbacks occurred in the making of the final product, include this in your story. Lack of funding, complications with manufacturing companies etc, ensure these are woven into the narrative to appeal to the emotions of the audience.

Want to learn more about our News Diary feature for topical press releases? Or want to get your release to the biggest possible range of journalists? We have over 6,000 media contacts in our online database. For more information please click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845.