Iliyana's Blog

How to Become a Break Through Storyteller [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar"] 19-May-2014 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

Last Friday I had the pleasureBecoming a great storyteller of participating in a brilliant workshop about storytelling, held by Petra Sammer, Chief Creative Officer at Ketchum - the PR agency the company I work for is proudly part of. As you have probably noticed, I have lately become quite fascinated with storytelling. It is currently my most favourite writing, research and learning topic, so coincidence or not, the half-day training took place very much at the right time, fitting perfectly to finishing my storytelling post series (at least for now).

I absolutely loved the workshop! Petra is such a nice person; she's extremely knowledgeable on the topic and she definitely has a way with words - she kept us interested during the whole time, not just with the stories she had chosen to show us, but the way she presented them.

Thinking about how best to present my impressions and considering one major takeaway from the session - the growing power of visual storytelling - I got a little creative myself. Making use of some of the slides from the workshop and the notes I made, I put together an infographic that summarises the key learnings from the training. You can see it at the end of this piece.

As I couldn't put absolutely everything in the infographic, here are a few more attention getters:

  • Due to the rise of visual networks, there's a lot of hype now about scriptwriting and what PR people can learn from book authors and movie writers to craft better stories for clients (check out Lufthansa #inspiredby or Siemensanswers The Helping Hand).
  • We live in an attention and information overload economy; we don't know how to deal with this huge mass of information, which is why attention is now the main currency.
  • We no longer need to explain something - people know exactly what the products are for and what they can do (with very few exceptions), so simply transmitting a message, i.e. making an announcement, is boring, no matter how great the product is (check this amazing story by Philips out and consider what impact it would have had, had Philips just used a simple press release).
  • Great stories always start with a conflict that get's more complicated along the way, but at the end comes the surprising solution. In PR, however, we tend to offer the solution right away and that needs to change because it's boring and now longer works.
  • Good content alone is not enough - every great story needs to be pushed to make it big (this includes making use of all forms of native advertising across networks).
  • Product centricity needs to move to storytelling centricity where the consumer is put at the centre when developing content - this requires new business models, which is why there are now many companies that are becoming media publishers themselves (for example Coca-Cola).
  • "People don't buy what you do, but why you do it" - Simon Sinek.
  • Challenge the status quo: make the text supplemental to the image, because social visual communication is taking over.
  • Visual storytelling is the future, not just because visuals are nice or cool, but because they're used to contain information that adds value. To be successful, however, a visual needs to tell a story around the brand, product or service that evokes emotion (that's what BA aimed to do with this very personal story).
  • PR people will have to learn how to make movies - this is the new must-have PR storytelling tool of the future (check out this super funny video by the Rainforest Alliance and this cute story about the VW Kombi).
  • Storytelling is the best knowledge management in the world.

And here it is! The infographic! What do you think?


Topics: Public Relations, Storytelling

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

Subscribe here!

New call-to-action

Get Social

Blog Awards 2018_Winners Silver MPU

Popular Posts

Public Relations Today

Want to talk?


I'm always happy to chat about how we can work together. Get in touch with me and start the conversation. I'd love to hear from you.

Contact Me