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We love a good story, and we know you do too…  

Life comes at you fast. Just a few short weeks ago our collective attention was focused on the possibilities of life and work beyond Covid-19. Today, events in Ukraine have upended the global status quo – perhaps for good. We’ve been thinking about what feels like an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy in institutions, here at home and across the globe. Distrust and cynicism now dominate; sometimes for good reason, sometimes just because misinformation has gained a powerful foothold. We all play a role in the information and attention economy. That we have even more influence in this arena as a well-respected communications agency is certainly not lost on us. Our commitment then, is to shape perceptions with true, useful, interesting, and important information. We owe it to ourselves and each other to share stories that matter. 

Storytelling is in our DNA  

Storytelling is fundamental to the human experience. Cave paintings are testament to the deep need to communicate with each other not only in the present moment but also across time. Our history, heritage, culture, personal identity, how we engage with each other, and the world is grounded in narrative.   

Storytelling is hardwired in the brain 

Successful individuals throughout history have discovered the power of effective storytelling and how a compelling narrative can leave an indelible mark on the world.  Apple’s rise from the ashes to one of the most recognised, revered, and aspirational brands in the world is thanks to a carefully constructed narrative. Serious scientific effort in the fields of neuroscience and psychology is now dedicated to understanding how stories can change or entrench our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours.  

Storytelling is our future  

In his brilliant book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, says that history is ultimately a complex network of stories we have told each other. It is the essence of our survival and prosperity, and it is because of the tales we have told that we have come to believe in capitalism, nations, borders, justice, money and laws. Storytelling, and sharing stories, is an evolutionary tendency we all possess because we are deeply social creatures and primed to care a great deal about our reputation and the reputation of others. Several giant leaps forward and major technological revolutions later, and the primacy of the need to hear and be heard is the same as it was thousands of years ago. When you view concepts like storytelling and reputation like Harari, then PR, and indeed all communications, are fundamentally important for people, businesses and institutions everywhere.* 

*This month’s blog was written by Claire Neilson, Head of Content at GinjaNinja.  She is the agency’s resident wordsmith, crafter of stories, sub-editor, proofreader, and Wimpy toastie enthusiast. She manages the Ninja writing team and believes in integrating solid journalistic values into PR and communications.