One of the things we like to emphasise here at Broadcast Reach is the importance of the story in broadcast PR. As we’ve discussed previously, broadcast PR relies on the narrative and the ambassador delivering that narrative. When the audience engages with your narrative, a relationship begins to form. Getting your story right is no simple thing, though. As such, here are some things to think about when you’re structuring your story:
1 The Brand Voice
Typically in broadcast PR, the brand voice will be determined by the person on air who is relating the story. Think about how you want that person to sound. The ambassador’s impact is likely to be far-reaching and the spokesperson will be the voice that is representing your product or service in the future. Think about how that person is likely to make the viewer or listener feel. Especially on the radio, the tone of the voice will play a huge part. Does it matter if the person has a confident, booming voice? Or is the story better carried out by someone with a slower, quieter voice?
2 Think about the ‘Hero’s journey’
The storytelling theme of what is known as the Hero’s journey has been popular for centuries. It typically consists of several characters, a plot, a conflict, and a resolution. In broadcast PR, the hero’s journey usually starts by describing the norm. So, for example, “Sarah previously used this standard hair brush every day.” This sets up the platform and then comes the reality or the problem. In this case, the hairbrush everyone uses has had a long-standing issue that people have just come to accept. The ‘hero’ in this context could be a new design of a hair brush. This is what offers the resolution.
3 Consider Freytag’s pyramid
Gustav Freytag was a 19th Century German playwright and novelist who drew a simple triangle to represent dramatic structure and highlighted five acts in structuring a story:
The introduction presents the settings and characters; the rise puts in place the set of events that will eventually lead to a climax. After the climax, there is a continuation of events that ultimately lead to a conclusion or a catastrophe. This method is frequently used to frame the PR story that broadcast PR consultants want to put forward.
4 The features and benefits framework by Harry Dry
Harry Dry authors a marketing newsletter titled Marketing Examples. He put forward this simple yet engaging formula for framing a narrative. Harry’s formula is structured as follows:
1 Describe the feature
2 Ask “so what?” to find the benefit
3 Contrast the old way with your new way
This very simple formula really uncomplicates how a narrative can be framed. It is good for a broadcast that might have a limited time slot and helps to drive home the message in its most basic format.
So there you have a number of factors to think about when planning the story you want to put forward in broadcast PR. Of course, one size does not fit all and experienced broadcast PR consultants can help to refine this process for maximum impact.