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BWW Blog: The Art of Storytelling

You see the title Storyteller in every Linkedin Bio, Playbill, and Instagram influencer post. But what exactly does that mean?

BWW Blog: The Art of Storytelling

Storytelling is more than just reading a book out loud or telling a spooky story by a campfire. It is the art of conveying information and stories to others.

People most often think of storytelling as performance, and they're not wrong. Theatre, music, and dance all tell stories. When performing, artists tell the story with their bodies and instruments. They become the characters, emoting, expressing, and playing with what the people in the story are feeling and hearing.

However, storytelling skills are not just for the stage. The art of storytelling is more than just portraying a story. Storytelling appears in multiple fields, such as communications, public relations, marketing, and writing.

As a Public Relations and Strategic Communications and Musical Theatre double major, I am studying the art of storytelling from both sides. The job of communications professionals, especially in fields such as public relations and marketing, is to tell the media, public, consumers, and even internal employees, a story. Be it a product launch of a new line of pasta or an ad campaign for a tv crime drama, people will never know something exists unless the information is put out there. If a candidate for political office never gave any speeches, never ran an advertisement with their positions on the important issues, and never appeared in the public eye, how would people know who they are, let alone whether or not to vote for them?

That is where storytelling comes in. Sending easily understood messages out to the public, media, your intended audiences, and beyond, using strategies and tactics that will catch their eye. For example, creating a viral social media campaign to announce a new product launch is an incredibly engaging way to spread a story. However, if your product is dentures for senior citizens, holding demonstrations and promotional events in nursing homes may reach your intended audience better.

Storytelling also comes up in other forms of communication. In Reputation Management, it is all about what people perceive from the story they are told. Is this company responding to important issues or not? What are their values and priorities? What causes do they support? People want and need to know these story basics. The five W's that we all learned in Kindergarten; who, what, when, where, why (and how). If problems arise, it is the storyteller's job to respond, be honest, and try to give it as happy of an ending as possible.

In the end, storytelling is a vital skill in many different areas and professions. Without it, companies and people would find it hard to stay afloat. So, continue to tell stories across as many mediums as you can. Someone will always want to listen.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Emma Rose Dorsch