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Once Upon a Time: Storytelling

by Korryn McMinn

The art of storytelling is one that is priceless. To be able to tell a story, captivate audiences, and leave them with something they’ll remember is what makes something memorable. We’ve all had stories to share with others, and we’ve all listened to stories others have had to share with us.

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In public relations, storytelling is essential when it comes to building and/or maintaining a brand. More often than not, people won’t remember data and and numbers you throw at them, but they will relate to and remember the stories we tell them.

The words “one upon a time” makes you listen, and it has ever since you were a little kid begging for one more bedtime story before drifting off to sleep.

What can storytelling do for you in the world of PR? Let’s refer to the show that captivates audiences by telling stories week after week: Once Upon a Time.

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Stories remind you that even the good guys make mistakes

We’re all humans here – and we all make mistakes. If we learn from our mistakes, we can tell those stories to reach others and prevent them from doing the same thing. Use your story to help others. It’s inevitable that your brand/client will make a mistake. Use it to inspire change and prevention in the future.

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Stories remind you that magic is always near

As we grow older, we sometimes fail to remember that good still exists – especially if we’re faithful watchers of the news. Miracles and good acts still exist, and those stories need to be told. When they’re told, we’re reminded that no amount of bad in the world can ever overtake the good. Not all PR is good PR, so when your client or brand has done a good deed, help showcase it! There’s too much negativity in the world to keep good deeds on the back-burner.

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Stories inspire creativity

In the show, the young boy – Henry – is sent to counseling because he’s living in an imaginary world quite often. However, there’s nothing wrong with believing in a little magic. It’ll spark your imagination and get your creativity flowing. Write a blog, make up characters, come up with different scenarios… get creativity with storytelling, especially when using stories to help a client sell their brand.

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Stories show that having power isn’t always good

Especially in the show, power and its ability can do bad things. With too much of it, you can become greedy and often jealous. Even if you’re on top of the game in your respective field, it's important to remember you weren't always captain of the ship.

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Stories show that a happy ending is not always certain

Much like they show that the good guys can make mistakes, stories also show that we’re not all guaranteed a happy ending. You must work hard, stay persistent, and yearn to learn. You can’t the happy ending you want if you don’t believe in it and work hard for it.

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Stories show that sometimes you need to be a little evil

Okay, so not evil-villain-evil, but you need to be able to stand your ground. In the business world, we often want to make everyone happy and say yes all the time. Know your limits, say no if you need to – do what’s best for you and your company or client!