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Telling Your Story with Storify

The modern PR professional utilizes a wide variety of online platforms to get the word out about a client or cause.  From Facebook to Hootsuite, Twitter to LinkedIn, the volume, expanse and power of social sharing networks are virtually endless.

One up-and-coming and thus far significantly underrated platform, in my opinion, is Storify: a social sharing service that allows the user to tell a story using content pulled directly from the web.  Storify helps you collect the best posts, photos, links, and tweets about a certain topic, plug them into a webpage, and turn them into an easy-to-follow “social story.”

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Not only is a Storify story easy to read, it is also aesthetically “easy on the eyes.”  Instead of readers becoming inundated with text-overload, they can watch videos, see multiple tweets, view screenshots, and access links, giving the story a greater depth.

Just to name a few of Storify’s many benefits:

  • Storify is free of charge, user-friendly, and you can sign up through Facebook or Twitter.
  • It allows users to scan for content across various social media sites straight from the Storify platform.  The user can then select desired content and embed it directly into a Storify presentation.
  • Other users are able to “like,” comment, share or embed a Storify story on a website.  This creates endless possibilities for distribution and conversation surrounding a story.
  • It’s a unique presentation tool.  Just log in, select your presentation, and scroll as you speak.
  • The web content used for Storify immediately notifies the original author, and essentially builds an instantaneous list of sources that may possibly view and share the story.

Whether you are promoting a brand/client/event, explaining a crisis, or developing a strategic plan, Storify’s many functions can aid execution and delivery:

Promotion:  One way PR pros can promote a brand, client or event via Storify is to “tell” the clients’ story by using links to existing material, such as press releases, videos, images, and screenshots (of their social media presence, perhaps).  On a single page, you can include a more impressive expanse of information than most other services offer.  For events, you can pull tweets from all over Twitter about the event and publish the story the day of to give status updates and provide information to attendees.

Crisis Explanation:  In college, I used Storify to give a presentation on Target’s late 2013 credit card security breach.  I was able to pull supporting information, such as screenshots, news coverage, articles, and videos into a single story, yielding a simple, efficient and thorough presentation that was easy to understand and visually appealing.

Breaking News:  Recently, news networks have begun utilizing Storify to compile coverage updates for breaking news.  They are able to pull tweets, posts and images from various websites and social networks onto one page, providing a constant, chronological flow of updates.  Instead of having to visit multiple media outlets for updates, one can simply visit a particular news channel’s Storify page, a one-stop-shop for finding out what they need to know from a variety of sources and outlets.

Although the uses I’ve highlighted are only the tip of the iceberg, I hope they have offered insight into Storify’s seemingly endless capabilities.  Because Storify allows users to utilize so many other social media sites and tools, a brand or organization can creatively employ Storify in a way that best suits its needs.

How the Stars Align for PR & the Performing Arts

mic_blogpicWe members of the Wireside team rarely break focus on our clients’ needs and campaigns.  Our busy workdays are filled with conversation and collaboration, but we seldom stop to share or reflect on the lives we lead outside the agency.

I’m Wireside’s resident newbie, and admittedly, I’m still getting to know the folks with whom I spend more than 40 hours of the week.  So I’m going to shake it up by starting the round of team introductions in a more personal light.

Before “My Life in PR,” I was a performer, and lived for the exhilaration of being onstage.  Through childhood to young adulthood, I was in and out of bands, plays and musicals, choirs, acting workshops, and lessons for voice, piano, guitar, and very briefly (thank goodness), drums.  I wrote short plays during my summers, and turned every public appearance I could into an impromptu gig; I would have belted out a tune for a brick wall.

But with time and age comes “practical thinking,” and I chose to study communications instead of theatre or music when I went to college.  The performance part of my life (and identity) dwindled to only a couple hours a week dabbling on the piano, singing to my plants on the windowsill.  How did a real-girl-walking Glee character like me become so focused on press releases, social content and global conferences surrounding SDN, NFV, IPv6, IoT, and all those other techie acronyms?

The answer?  When I realized that my longtime experiences in performance had well prepared me for a PR career behind the scenes, and here’s how:

  • A PR pro is always there on the spot.  We may not be in the spotlight like our clients, but we are daily called to improvise: to think on our feet and outside the box – like acting.
  • A PR pro must epitomize, without breaking character, what it means to be a “people person” and a strong communicator, whether on the phone, in emails or face-to-face meetings.  We are in the business of getting our clients’ stories and messages heard, and heard correctly – like play or songwriting.
  • PR pros are expected by clients, media and even competition to never waste someone’s time and to always deliver an outstanding production – like any good show.

All that said, how can I claim to have “lost” a part of who I am or what I love to do?  My talents may have taken on different styles of delivery and new directions (speaking of Glee…), but during Wireside workdays, I frequently find myself channeling the performer and composer I was during my formative years.

I’m certain my co-workers have their own hidden talents and passions, and that they too use them to “put on a show” every day.  Together, our many gifts not only keep the machine that is the Wireside agency running, but also fulfill our innate, deeply human dreams to be showstoppers, divas and storytellers in our own rights.  And for this, I’m very grateful.