Visual Storytelling is not rocket science. I’ll explain the basics and show you how you can use visual stories for your PR.
Not only do people have a penchant for good narration, but they also appreciate visuals. These are particularly easy to consume in the form of videos or short clips. Visual Storytelling combines these two human passions. We can use the strengths of visual Storytelling not only in marketing but also in communication. In public relations, we are used to developing and telling stories. What we have to relearn is visual.
In this post, I’ll explain the basics of visual Storytelling, show you examples, go into the different graphic formats and give you tips with which you can integrate visual storytelling step by step into your everyday PR and communication.
Also read: What is a Style Guide, and What is it for?
What is Visual Storytelling?
When Visual Storytelling is like traditional Storytelling in the first place about the communication of messages, as a narrative and stylistic device, visual elements remain specifically used to address emotions. Text and audio features often complement the primary visual language to address the audience with the messages as concretely as possible on many levels. (Chapter “2.2. Telling is part of our being and as old as humanity itself
How do visual Storytelling and PR fit together?
Images can arouse emotions in people more quickly than text could. Visual elements also make it easier to consume information. We absorb this knowledge with our eyes. It is not surprising that we find it easier to absorb visual information faster than textual information.
Nowadays, timing and speed are critical in communication to communicate messages in the right place at the right time. Those who babble and well score points in mobile communication – and social networks such as Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest rely on moving images and images. Also, visual elements can be used (more quickly) worldwide and only need adjustments in a few cases.
Besides, stories have always remained told in public relations: PR people support the media and journalists in finding relevant stories. Facts and information remain prepared for the stories of the press. PR people develop and tell stories about their products, brands, services, companies, and organizations. Nowadays, we only have to make these stories visual.
Benefits of Visual Storytelling
Get in contact with the Target Group in a Different Way
Those who use images for their messages can more easily share them with their target group. Because pictures and stories connect, use visuals more often to maintain and deepen this connection.
Visual Storytelling Basics
If you want to tell visual stories, you need a toolbox full of tools. Imagery, the basics of Storytelling, formats, programs, and platforms for Storytelling are some of the essential tools that you need to use over and over again for visual Storytelling.
Tell your (Visual) Story Correctly
The story is your red thread, with which you link your visual elements and set them in a scene. Storytelling is a conscious and targeted method of conveying targeted messages. But Storytelling is also a tried and tested tool for obtaining facts and information.
Which topics and stories are incredibly successful? Many focal points keep popping up – there are rarely unique ideas. These recurring themes include life and death, love and hate, good and evil, and many other (opposing) pairings.
The Simplest and Most Popular Structure of a Story
There are numerous ways in which you can build and tell your story. The most common and at the same time simplest structure, which you may still know from school, looks like this:
- In the beginning, you will remain introduced to the story.
- The story then steers towards a conflict within the framework of the tension arc.
- This conflict is discussed at its climax and then resolved.
- At the end of the story, the consequences and results of the conflict remain described.
This simple structure only works if it contains the following ingredients:
- The initial situation has to arouse curiosity and excite your target group.
- Your target audience needs to identify with the protagonist of your story.
- The tension must contain conflicts and obstacles. Ideally, those that your target group has already remained confronted with. It increases the identification factor.
- The protagonist must have gone through a change. How did your product or service resolve the conflict? How is the main character now?
- Is there a conclusion that your target group can take into their own everyday life?
Of course, these essential elements can remain expanded to include other aspects. How you decorate your story is up to you.
Also read: Webinar: What is it, and How to use it in your Content Strategy?
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