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88% of PR professionals believe the future of the field lies in digital storytelling, reveals a study by USC Annenberg.

Digital Storytelling uses multimedia tools to bring narratives to life. Any type of business with open positions available is listing this skill as crucial for the final hiring decision.

Here are 4 points, why digital storytelling is the #1 skill companies are looking for.

Brands have to serve content to a growing multitude of platforms

A business can easily divide its content platforms into three categories: Owned media, earned media and paid media.

Owned media is anything under the companies' direct control such as websites, newsletters, and a blog.

Earned media in its most classic form is media coverage in the press. The coverage could be resulting from a press release or a deal with the relevant media house.

A deal could consist of the exclusive rights to publish a piece of information first or the exclusive access to the company’s spokesperson, revealing information beyond the press release.

Those deals require effort. The result, to put it very simply, is earned.

Paid media refers to external marketing efforts that involve a paid placement, such as pay-per-click advertising, branded content and display ads.

Those categories always existed, but are constantly growing. Owned media now includes audio formats, such as a podcast.

Earned media is strongly influenced by customer reviews and within the category of paid media, the collaboration with influencers has become more popular.

The challenge for the business is to keep the message consistent across all those digital channels and formats. That’s when the skill of digital storytelling comes in handy.

Storytelling drives Authenticity

Business owners and anybody who wants to start a business are spending more time on social responsibility, inclusivity and diversity.

It's part of any business plan, be it a small business or a big corporation. The ask to “walk the talk” has been louder than ever (see the PR Trends for 2022). Digital Storytelling is the tool that drives the authenticity behind those statements.

Authenticity is the quality of being true. A brand is being perceived as true if it established a solid brand personality.

What gives the brand some personality is the brand voice, an opinion and the face of the brand aka the spokespeople.

The most authentic way to bring those in front of an audience is live formats. It’s raw, it’s unfiltered and unscripted. It’s what the audience believes to be true.

Another authentic form is audio.

A person relates to a voice. As an example, podcast formats are known to be more intimate.

It’s long-form content, which means there is little to no cutting or editing. Everything that is said comes out at the moment and is not changed later on.

Guests of podcasts claim that the intimate setting, e.g. sitting across from the interviewer in a small room with no audience, makes them share more personal details than on any other format.

Branded podcasts allow you to speak directly to your brand's market or a niche audience with a topic relevant to them and turn your listeners to potential consumers.

Storytelling is a powerful communications tool

This technique is a combination of the old storytelling tradition and new technology. A digital story is a combination of a spoken narrative, a number of visuals, perhaps with a soundtrack - along with new technologies to edit and share the story.

Storytelling is a powerful tool when it comes to influence and persuasion. Science tells us that voicing our opinions is often more polarising than persuasive, and statistics, even when used as evidence, are difficult to retain.

But if you blend the two together and weave them into an engaging narrative, suddenly, you can tug at heartstrings and change minds.

Short attention spans require a diverse mix of formats

A recent study by Microsoft found that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds today.

A person is never receiving all the information a brand is sharing. Brands should use their time to prioritise the information that will be most relevant to their audience.

At a basic level, digital storytelling means using technology to tell stories. You can tell digital stories in many ways: Through text on a website or social media, through narration and images in video clips, or through audio in a podcast.

Digital stories are not just facts presented with accompanying images, they are narratives crafted to take the listener or reader on a journey. Just like a novel or a documentary, digital stories have a plot, characters, and themes.

Digital Storytelling is a new skill that can be used across companies departments but comes in especially handy for any communications and public relations professionals as well as human resources.

In order to bring brands fully into 2022, digital storytelling is the number one skill companies are looking for.

Job seekers learning the basics of digital storytelling skills will have an advantage in the hiring process and a higher likelihood to receive a job offer.

You need help with your brand's digital storytelling? Get in touch!

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