Using Human Interest Stories in Your Company’s Marketing

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Everyone loves a good drama or human interest story. Newspapers, television and even the World Wide Web are all filled with features and human interest “stories” for the public consumption. You may not have realized it, but your marketing and advertising efforts can benefit from finding the drama, heroes, and human interest angles to your business and promoting them to the public. But, how do you go about utilizing stories” to build your marketing plan?

The truth is, people, respond to people they like to make purchases and give their business to companies where they feel a personal attachment.

This is why telling “stories” in your advertising can be so useful. Think over some very great advertising campaigns-Home Depot using employees who are also Olympic athletes in their advertising during the Olympics is one that comes to mind. Also, nonprofit agencies and charities usually do a good job of telling the person, heroic stories of clients, workers, and volunteers.

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Look within your business organization do you have employees who also do volunteer work or who have overcome a particular hardship? Has your company been involved in a community event, or been called upon to help solve a problem or cope with a natural disaster?

Sometimes there are interesting stories in family-owned businesses or companies that have been in operation for several generations. It may take some creative brainstorming to come up with story possibilities and human interest angles, but they very likely exist already within your business.

Once you’ve come up with some possible “stories,” you’ll need to put some thought into how best to tell and share those stories. And, if they involve clients, customers or employees, you’ll want to get permission and cooperation from the individual(s). Some suggestions are that you use the stories in your television advertising, website, or even in your print advertising.

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You can also write an article or try to generate interest in media outlets to see if they will produce the story. There can be an added layer of credibility if the story is done as a human interest piece by an “outside” resource. You can then build your public relations around the initial part that have been done by a television station or newspaper.

You may also want to create public relations stories that “tell the story”-some companies will put these stories on their packaging or shipping materials and send it to each customer in a creative way. Others may have information within the store or business that shares the story.

It is important to be tasteful and respectful, in addition to creative. The last thing you will want is for customers to feel as though you are exploitive with and individual’s experiences.

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