Storytelling. It’s a part of our DNA and it’s been that way for, well, for forever. Passion is what drives us. Even if our narratives are fictional, we strive to find meaning in the absurd, trying to restore order amongst the chaos. Storytelling is our way of making some sense of this mysterious world. It's what unites us. It gives us a common cause.
Communication is all about telling a good story well. And all of us in the PR and comms industry are storytellers, or at least, we should strive to be.
This year, Mynewsdesk helped Hövding reach 100 million people with their story, Give A Beep - a campaign which highlighted the danger spots for cyclists in London and strived to make the city a safer place for cyclists and drivers alike. And sure, Mynewsdesk’s PR platform helped Hövding create and distribute their content and generate coverage from some of the most influential media, but it was story behind #GiveABeep that ensured they were heard by over 100 million people around the world.
Every brand has a story to tell but here are the things you need to keep in mind when creating yours...
Your news isn’t always newsworthy
Unless you’re the Apples or Microsofts of this world, getting coverage for your news can be tough. Because "people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it" - says Simon Sinek, author and keynote speaker on leadership and management. It’s true - would you share a story on another company’s latest recruit or product? Unlikely.
Hövding’s product, while revolutionary, wasn’t new or indeed newsworthy. So we needed to dig deeper to find their higher purpose.
1 story can set you apart from the competition
“Ultimately a brand’s story is not just something businesses should refer to every time they launch a marketing campaign or issue a press release. It should be the foundations on which a future growth strategy is built.” says Geoff Mead, founder of Narrative Leadership Associates
Stories are what people - your stakeholders, customers, audience - seek to relate to. And if they can relate to their story and to what you stand for then they can relate to you as a brand. And this is sometimes all it takes to set you apart from a competitor.
Never underestimate the power of empowering
Every November in the UK, TV viewers eagerly await the latest John Lewis Christmas ad. Sure, they always feature their products in the commercial, but they go beyond self-promotion; they tap into the viewer's’ emotions. And year-on-year their ads are the most talked about and shared virally.
For #GiveABeep, we chose to shift focus from product to purpose and, together with Hövding, we decided that all of the content we produced should be about the joy of cycling, not about their product.
But in cycling there is both joy and danger, where, in cities such as London, this can come in equal measures. In the UK capital there is a high number of collisions between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on a daily basis and while Hövding’s air-bag cycling helmet can help significantly reduce injury, there is still more that can be done.
By empowering cyclists with the digital bike bell, we enabled them to indicate dangerous cycling areas in London and voice their frustrations.
Why we're glad we gave a beep...
#100Million of course raised brand awareness for Hövding with traffic to their newsroom increasing by 279% during the campaign. But Mynewsdesk and Hövding "gave a beep" about more than just that.
With 5,000 shared locations, we got enough data to make a real change for the:
- Infrastructure, by using information to highlight dangerous spots in London
- Cyclists, by informing them on which locations to avoid
- Politicians, by encouraging them to take action to improve cycling safety
- People and authorities around the world who’ve asked us to make their cities “Give a beep!” too
The campaign also won the D&AD Impact Award for “Creativity that contributes to a better world”.
Hövding and Mynewsdesk gave a beep about storytelling and it paid off - not just for the brand but for the greater good. And that's exactly why brands should give a beep too.
At Mynewsdesk, we firmly believe that no story should go untold and that every person and every brand has a story to tell.