Three tips for telling great brand stories through public relations

Everyone has said to someone, “I have a story to tell you.” Our brains are hardwired to tell and listen to interesting stories, not just facts or data.

 

Public relations professionals discuss storytelling all the time and do it every day, yet the term seems to have evolved into a buzzword in our industry. So, how do you define brand storytelling in PR?

 

At Dittoe PR, we are strong believers that every brand, company and founder have a compelling story to share. From advice on bolstering employee engagement to the proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste, every company can and should be an expert within their industry through brand storytelling. With diligent research and an eye for tying in relevant news angles (i.e. newsjacking), we specialize in developing compelling story angles to regularly generate prominent media coverage for our clients.

 

The tips below demonstrate the power of storytelling in PR and what it really means to tell stories on behalf of a brand.

 

The best brand stories are, in fact, stories.

At Dittoe PR, we pitch stories – not companies, products or services. We don’t tell stories that blatantly sell. For example, we recently successfully pitched a story about an Indianapolis father raising awareness and funds to help people, including his daughter, who are suffering from an incurable disease.

 

Storytelling was the most important part of this project. Our goal wasn’t just to land media hits, but to tell an extensive story – written by the perfect reporter – with the goal of reaching readers who will act. While collecting donations was one of the primary goals of the media relations campaign, building awareness about the disease was also a priority the client wouldn’t have been able to achieve without a customized pitch to tell this story. The story landed the front page of The Indianapolis Star, a top 100 newspaper.

 

The best brand stories initiate social change.

Another extraordinary example of successful brand storytelling was Lonely Whale’s Strawless in Seattle campaign.

 

Although the month-long campaign generated nearly 250 stories in the media and an advertising equivalency of close to $3 million, on a social impact level, Strawless in Seattle was ultimately more successful than the team ever imagined. As a result of the campaign, the city of Seattle announced they were banning plastic straws effective July 1, 2018. This summer, we’ve obviously seen a huge domino effect of companies and other cities doing the same.

 

The best brand stories bring real results for clients.

Through media hits, giveaways and influencer stories, PR and social media, storytelling positions Ironworks Hotel Indy as a trendy Indianapolis travel destination. This strategy has significantly boosted the hotel’s social interactions and followers across all platforms. When a local Indianapolis social influencer hosted a giveaway on her Instagram page for an Ironworks giveaway, the hotel gained nearly 400 followers in one day.

 

The metrics gained as a result of PR efforts are the best way to know where our stories are being told well. When PR pros tell compelling client stories to the right reporters at the right publication, their clients reach the right audience. That, in turn, engages with the brand and increases positive brand awareness and/or action.

 

Ready for us to tell your brand’s story? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com, or request a consultation today.

Three ways you should already be using LinkedIn

If you’re reading this, we assume you already have a LinkedIn profile and are familiar with the platform. (If not, what are you waiting for?) What you might not know, however, is that the social networking site is more than just a digital resume.

 

LinkedIn has enabled companies to share more information, recruit employees, gain valuable customer feedback, generate new ideas and more. Using the following platform tools strategically will help position you as an industry thought leader and lend additional credibility to your brand.

 

Take advantage of LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn Groups are virtual hubs on LinkedIn that provide a “place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.” In order to connect with people in your industry, LinkedIn provides users with a recommended list of groups based on the information in their profiles.

 

Connect with your peers in a more meaningful way by starting discussions on hot topics in the industry or learning more about a new vertical with the help of an expert. For more on how to get started with LinkedIn Groups, click here.

 

Show and tell in your profile.

The first impression is everything, especially in the professional world. LinkedIn ranks users’ profiles based on the amount of information included. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is at the “All-Star” level by including your industry, position, location, a profile summary and a minimum of 5 skills.

 

Take it a step further by breaking your job description into different roles and responsibilities. For example, at Dittoe PR, I’m not just an Account Executive. I oversee strategic communications, professional writing, media relations, event planning, social media, design, and reporting among many other responsibilities. By including additional information in your profile, future employers and industry peers will see the value you provide to the industry at a single glace.

 

Ask for endorsements and recommendations.

In addition to including skills in your profile, users can seek endorsements for those skills from their colleagues, former employers, industry peers and more. Each profile should feature a minimum of five industry-related skills to both achieve “All-Star” status and share an overview of what you bring to the table.

 

Set yourself apart by requesting recommendations or statements written by a LinkedIn member to recognize or commend a connection, such as a colleague, business partner or student. People who view your profile will often read the recommendations you’ve received from your connections to see what others have to say about your work.

 

Questions? Leave them in the comments below or send us a DM on social media (yes – even LinkedIn) and we’ll get back to you!

Four Benefits to Open Work Spaces

When stepping into the Dittoe PR office, you’ll notice we set things up a little differently than the traditional corporate office setting. We believe collaboration helps our team improve and excel by encouraging group brainstorms, team meetings, tactical collaboration efforts and more. So, we specifically designed our office space to be open concept so we could better serve our clients and each other.

 

According to American Express Forums, people are 12 percent more likely to report being happy with their job when they have freedom and autonomy in their work environment. We believe that in order for creative companies to flourish, an open work environment or combination of open and offices should be available to employees. There are several advantages to providing this type of environment for employees.

 

Breaks down the silos of a traditional working environment.
When organizations get into a silo mentality, it means most employees or groups aren’t sharing information or acknowledging each other. This can lead to reduced employee morale and lack of collaboration and teamwork, which negatively impacts operations and the overall wellbeing of the business. But, when the office is shifted into an open environment, the silos are lifted. Employees are able to interact more and share a unified vision, allowing the workplace to achieve success in the highest capacity through collaboration. Dittoe PR hosts regular team brainstorm sessions, as well as provides various collaborative working spaces for employees.

 

Minimizes rigid work schedules.
Not only do open workspaces invite collaboration, they also instill a greater belief in being flexible while we work. We learn to move with the ebb and flow of the day when we’re closely working with our peers. Open workspace helps us create a balance between head-down work and light-and-fun engagement with fellow team members. If you’re easily distracted in a way that negatively impacts your work, this may not be for you, however.

 

Invites collaborations in real-time.
When reviewing new hire applications, it’s common to see the phrase, “works well with a team,” but with open work spaces, it will be put to the test. Granting employees the opportunity to collaborate at any given time allows creative ideas to flow without the need to set up a formal team meeting. In PR, things can unfold quickly and require a speedy response. Having a sounding board visible and present allows the team to collaborate in real-time and quickly deliver results to the client.

 

Builds closer relationships between employees.
From recapping what happened over the weekend, to supporting one another through difficult times, the Dittoe PR team uses its open work spaces to build a strong foundation of friendship between its employees. With an open work space, your company can grow closer, creating a “we’re in this together” mentality.

 

Although open work environments have its share of cons, such as workplace banter and noise, the opportunities it holds outweighs the cons, in our opinion. Dittoe PR is relentless in the pursuit of excellence for our clients and prides itself on exceeding expectations every day with custom PR strategies, innovative ideas, flawless execution and results. We owe most of that to our daily collaborations, relationships with each other and, of course, the dedication to our clients.

 

Interested in seeing how a strategic plan could benefit your business? Contact Lauryn Gray at lauryn@dittoepr.com or request a consultation today.