PR Storytelling: Why’s This So Good?

by PR Coach on January 3, 2012

Can you find PR storytelling inspiration?

Can you find PR storytelling inspiration?

Whether you’re in PR, a journalist, blogger or just a writer with a pulse, you’re always searching for writer’s craft and inspiration. Right?

You’ve come to the right place. There’s no better way to start 2012 than with inspiration for your writing.

That’s why the Nieman Storyboard series from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard is essential reading. It’s my secret weapon when it comes to inspiration. The storytelling will simply make you weak in the knees or damn envious of some incredible writing.

The series features some of the best examples of visual, audio and multimedia narrative reporting. So far, there are 26 outstanding examples where you can learn how great stories get told. You’ll leave more optimistic about the future of journalism.

As public relations pros embrace content marketing, there’s no better source for inspiration for us too. These powerful stories are told in every medium and I dare you to read them without getting stoked about your writing craft.

One of my goals for this year is to try and dig deeper to find and tell interesting PR stories with lessons that are irresistible.

Here are just three of my favorite “Why’s This So Good?” stories, for example:

  • “Why’s this so good?” No. 25: Nick Paumgarten’s tower of terror – Michelle Legro calls Nick Paumgarten’s history of elevators “one of the most frightening, banal, effed-up, claustrophobic, and crazy-good pieces of nonfiction I’ve ever read.”  If you ever wanted to read a great opening for a story, read this and marvel at the craft.
  • “Why’s this so good?” No. 18: Brady Dennis goes short – Ben Montgomery weaves an irresistible look at the impact short stories can have from Hemingway to Brady Dennis’ powerful story of only 296 words. Dennis writes evocatively about 71-year old Lloyd Blair working the overnight shift at a Florida toll booth. “The story is tight as a fist. You can read it in 45 seconds,” Montgomery says.
  • “Why’s this so good?” No. 15: Michael Lewis’ Greek odyssey – Michael Lewis travels to Greece and delivers a compelling, long-form, first-person account of the Greek debt crisis told from a Greek monastery. As writer David Dobbs says “It’s 12,000 words about bonds, corruption, politics and markets, yet it moves like an amusement park ride. How does he pull it off?”

Meanwhile, back at the PR reality ranch. Still struggling with that blog headline or news release lede? I think not. Get on with it and make it great!

Any other sources of PR for writing inspiration you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

We’ve got many more PR writer’s resources in our PR Library including writing & public relations, journalism writing and our newest section content marketing. As always, you can get weekly PR insight and tips by subscribing to our blog or get the RSS Feed  delivered to your favorite reader.

Author: Jeff Domansky

Photo credit: Robert Snache via Flickr

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