Category Archives: Writing

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Campaigns

Storytelling in an important part of any campaign. However, nailing the perfect angle for your story can be daunting.

Luke Mackay, associate director at PR firm Edelman said to ‘PR is all about looking for the story that will bring a brand’s messages to life.’ The messages help to spark conversation and inspire sharing amongst the target audiences. These stories are ultimately what helps your stories get sold to the media.

Nike has a model that is the centre of their campaigns called the ‘Fairytale Model’:


This model helps to outline the overarching story of the brand as well as the idea behind the campaign. Elements of the model can  change depending on the product.

Red PR has outlined a few storytelling formulas that have proven to be successful in their campaigns as well.

History– When Cadbury wanted to launch their new Bassett’s Red Liquorice Allsorts, they turned to their mascot Bertie Bassett. Red PR created Betty, Bertie’s new sweetheart, to be the face of the new candies. The challenge was to make Betty just as popular as Bertie and to get people to associate her with the Red Liquorice Allsorts. How did they do this? A wedding to remember. Betty was introduced to the world as Bertie’s sweet bride at a celebration attended by Cadbury factory workers and their families.

How– McVities were launching their new Milk Chocolate and Orange Digestives they took a more how-to approach. There was an old saying that the best biscuits make the most crumbs, so they wanted to see how they stacked up against the competition. They did this by ’employing’ a Crunch Test Dummy who ate biscuits with simulated human chewing. McVitie’s discovered that their Digestive range alone – Britain’s best-selling biscuits – produced an incredible 127.8 tonnes of crumbs.

Who– It’s obvious to tell target audience who the product is for, but sometimes it’s more intriguing to position the product with an unlikely client like Persil did. They sponsored the British Naturist Petanque Team to launch their new washing powder. They provided the team with sweatbands, towels, and hats. A spokesman for Persil said: “People might ask why a washing powder company is working with people who don’t wear clothes. However, even naturists have washing machines.”

Of course, as with all stories, there can be setbacks. You need to think critically about the medium through which the story will be presented and about the audience who will be receiving it. If thought isn’t put into this part of the campaign, then the story will render itself ineffective.

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Check your stats: Increasing Blog Readership

I always check out my blog statistics. There are several reasons why it’s good to have a look at these: it’s free, you get instant reader insight and you can see how readers are utilising your blog.

One stat I find particularly interesting is the ‘Referral’ section. This lets you know how readers came to your blog. Usually this is through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn if you’ve posted about it, but sometimes readers find you from different places.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post called ‘Public’ relations or just relations?: Social media & PR‘. As usual I sent out a tweet about it and tagged some prominent PR organisations and agencies to get them to retweet it.

The PRCA retweeted about my blog. This is great publicity for my blog because their followers see it and even retweet it too. When Ogilvy PR retweeted it, I was estatic. It definitely feels good to know that a well-known agency has endorsed your blog.

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R.I.P. press release?: Tips for a Winning Press Release

110214immediate296A press release is a staple of any public relations work. However, no matter how important press releases are to us an astounding number of them are never read. There are a number of reasons why this happens; a press release is unclear, journalist receive to many to read in a day, and most recently the rise of social media.

According to one PR practitioner, journalists are skeptical about PR-generated press releases because they may be bias. However, she feels it’s worth it to keep writing them as long as you have a good grasp of what is newsworthy and what isn’t coupled with knowing your target audience and journalists.

The CIPR put out a skills guide on writing a solid media story. Their clever acronym RUTH helps PR practitioners make sure that their press release gets read.

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Brett Ashley Bridges

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