“Tell me a story mommy” is what I hear every night when I put my 4-year old to bed. He loves for me to talk about my day (and of course I exaggerate the seemingly mundane daily activities to be adventurous). He also loves to hear about past events – how he was born, how his daddy and I met, or who I was talking to on the phone in this picture (my 3-yr old self). All of the stories are told simply and with passion. In preparing for this blog, I asked him what makes a good story and he said it must have a beginning, middle, end AND of course be ‘an adventure.’
Storytelling is one of the most important tools of public relations. Humans love stories – they’re how we record the big events in our life and the small, everyday moments. If you think about it, public relations is all about the stories we tell. I find the best stories in PR are simple and usually cause some emotion. In technology PR, these characteristics are especially important because sometimes there needs to be a bit of education behind it as well.
Recently, our client Freescale Semiconductor announced that it would be the Presenting Sponsor of the 2014 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. As part of this, the company would be donating all proceeds from the race to the Freescale Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire and encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and build tomorrow’s generation of engineering talent. Freescale wanted to leverage the race as a catalyst to promote the next generation of scientists, while showcasing the technology and innovation the company was developing at a local level. To accomplish this, LPP took a creative approach to tying the marathon to the latest trend in consumer technology: wearable tech. In the months ahead of the event, LPP surveyed more than 500 local Austin runners to discover how they used wearable technology during their fitness regiments. The data produced was developed into an infographic, which garnered attention from local business and technology print and broadcast media. LPP sourced a passionate spokesperson from Freescale who could talk to not only the market, but her personal experiences using wearable technology in the race to further showcase the tie between technology and running.
This resonated with the local market and people were able to understand what the chip company did. Freescale was featured on a local morning show the day before the race, showcasing the technology behind wearables and was mentioned in local consumer and entertainment publications including The Austin Chronicle and Austin Monthly. This story not only ran in local outlets, but also interested national media such as LA Times and NPR.
The story was successful because it was both valid and timely with the marathon approaching, as well as simple. In addition, we found a passionate spokesperson that could tie it all together and had her own story to tell, which added that emotional element. The story was not technically complex, which allowed it to spread beyond the boundaries of Austin.
I challenge you to channel your inner 4-year old when creating that next pitch and ask yourself – is the person I’m pitching going to think this is ‘an adventure?’
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