The secret sauce of powerful storytelling: How to leverage your company’s data & expertise - Theideassuite

An effective way to build connection, authenticity and trust with your audience is through primary data and real expertise.

Just the notion of a fireside chat makes you want to nestle back into a comfy armchair, and quieten down to hear the crackling flames. You’re all ears … ready for the story to begin. Eager anticipation.

Imagine if your business could get that kind of attention from your target market with the messages you want them to know. It’s something you might be struggling to get your public relations agency in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne make happen for you.

Enter the power of storytelling.

What a powerful storytelling is … and isn’t

When you craft compelling narratives around your brand and your latest ‘news’, you’re hitting the sweet spot.

Data and facts on their own can fade, but can translate to powerful content.

People remember stories up to 22 times more than facts alone, according to Stanford University. That’s because stories stick; they’re the fabric of humankind.

Narratives humanise your business. A well-told tale is the connective tissue linking your brand name, logo, slogan, unique value proposition and latest offering. It also tethers your back story into the present and loops in the future.

Hard sells, time-limited offers and blatant calls to action are one dimensional – and can be a turnoff. On the other hand, stories resonate and motivate. They tap into human emotions and can nurture stronger client and customer relationships. Stories can inspire loyal customers and foster brand advocates.

And, there’s a secret sauce to the powerful storytelling that gets organic media attention.

The role of expertise

An effective way to build connection, authenticity and trust with your audience is through authentic expertise. And relevance. Here are some examples:

  • Voice of hope in a crisis: When asbestos was detected in mulch in school yards, parks, hospital gardens across Australian capital cities and regions, The Ideas Suite offered a point of difference in thought leadership with one of its clients. An asbestos expert with two decades’ professional experience (back story) from EDP Consultants, part of the global RSK Group, explained how the asbestos got there (back story again), that the mineral is in a third of our homes (the present) and why we needed whole-of-community vigilance to stop it at the source (future focus). The words of John Batty, Managing Director of EDP consultants, were carried in stories across national and metropolitan print, online and broadcast media. It was reactive media commentary on a hot topic.
  • Economic stats don’t have to be boring: When inflation and interest rate rises were adding to economic uncertainty in Australia in late 2023 (back story), there was a media appetite for cut-through insights. The Ideas Suite worked with non-bank commercial asset finance lender Metro to survey 200 business owners about what was holding back their growth. The results showed two thirds of SMEs needed extra or updated assets to grow, but high vehicle and equipment prices were holding them back (present). Metro’s CEO Phillip Crossman was able to unpack the survey results by business size and state breakdowns, and do a little crystal ball gazing (future focus). Here, Metro’s data-driven insights were able to break into the day’s business news.
  • Didn’t see that coming: The surge in renewable energy infrastructure projects (back story) was driving a regional business travel boom (present) as at the end of 2023. That was due to the fast-growing mining industry, spurred by extraction of critical minerals for the green economy. That unusual finding – an increase in ‘bleisure’ travel – came from the business travel bookings data of Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveller, a PR client of The Ideas Suite. Its Global MD Tom Walley unpacked the stats and ventured forth with his forecast (future focus) of the trend continuing. This media release linked to a whitepaper allowing journalists to do a deeper dive into the figures to tailor their coverage to their readers.

The necessary planning and resources behind every story

Apart from scaping the back story, present and future scopes, stories need something new, unusual, significant, and should be about people as much as possible.

These other elements help elevate your story: narrative plot, intrigue, an obstacle, conflict and tension, according to recent research into brand storytelling in the age of short attention spans.

(You’ll struggle even on a slow news day to have the media pick up your news of opening a new branch/division, unless you can build a strong narrative around it.)

Part of your PR agency’s due diligence is to conduct mainstream and social media audits before honing a strong news hook. That involves searching online for what competitor brands are saying about an issue and how another expert – such as our client – can bring more value to the discussion.

The Ideas Suite employs award-winning former journalists from national, metropolitan, and regional news organisations. We intimately understand what it takes to weave a compelling story into a media release or thought-leadership piece and fashion it for specific media.

Our story started with the vision of Julia Nekich, a former Sydney Morning Herald writer, to help brands – big and small – achieve consistent media coverage through well-told stories. That approach is nested in a specialty of strategy PR communication. Since 2007, The Ideas Suite has established itself as a bespoke full-service public relations agency with consultants and writers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, regional Queensland and regional NSW.

Let us help you light the spark of strategic story telling through data-driven insights and your expertise.