InsightsPOSTED March 25, 2015

Tell stories, not data

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typewriter – what’s your story

We’re exploring the best communication advice ever, including a guest blog post from a friend of APEX.

As someone who has wholeheartedly embraced the power of social media on both a personal and professional level, I couldn’t help but be inspired by Sir Richard Branson’s take on the medium.

An expert communicator, marketer and overall showman who has “success” written all over everything he does, his take on how to leverage social media to the max is truly inspiring. In a blog post devoted to the subject, Branson reveals a number of helpful directives on the topic, but these two really stood out for me:

  1. Tell stories…people respond to stories, not data.”
  2. “Be truthful. Don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.”

Not only do these edicts resonate within the world of social media, but they can – and should – be applied to the broader PR and communications world as well.

Telling stories is at the core of what we do as communicators.

If we can’t paint a picture of what we want to convey, we’re not going to be able to convince our target audiences to believe what we’re saying either.

And on that note, it’s best to remember a life lesson that we were likely told so many years ago: always tell the truth.

Contrary to popular belief, us PR folks want to tell the truth but often get so mired in the details that we can’t see the forest for the trees.

To this end, our audiences can’t either, and we lose their attention or worse, their interest. Keep the story short, sweet, tight and to the point, and you’ll successfully maintain the interest of those you’re looking to influence.

These simple but powerful pieces of advice are what I follow in my daily life, both personally and professionally, and they truly work! Yet more inspiration from a smart and successful communicator.

Samantha Kemp-Jackson is as a communications manager in a healthcare organization in Toronto. She is also a blogger, parenting/lifestyle writer and frequent media guest. 

What communication advice do you have? Let us know here or on Twitter. Also check out what others said.




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