Written by: Briana Wooten, Communications and PR Intern at First Ladies of Poverty Foundation
Public Relations, a notoriously ambiguous field, can come to be most simply defined as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics”, as per the Public Relations Society of America  Demand for these professionals has been increasing as society grows in social consciousness and “woke-ness,” as many companies are finding that they cannot easily navigate the new scape.
At the rebirth of the Pride movement, in the wake of protests over racial injustice, and at a pivotal point in America’s political landscape, we have seen brands and companies step up and step into social conversations that matter to their customers. They want to genuinely engage with consumers in a way that establishes a longstanding relationship based on factors outside of their offered products and services. One of the most useful and heavily utilized strategies within the PR profession to achieve that relationship building goal, is that of storytelling.
Why is Storytelling Essential?
Storytelling, or the narrative literary format at its core always has an objective. Commonly, stories are designed to accomplish feats such as creating a community, maintaining a community, socializing into a community or ostracizing others out of one  Public Relations professionals are charged with the duty of bridging the gap between brands, corporations, organizations and the communities they dwell in and/or surround. Whether a brand is looking to break into a new consumer base or enhance the existing connection with their loyal customers, such relationships are built on human connection. That is what storytelling can leverage.
“People tell stories in order to do certain things or to attain interactional aims.” 
Interaction is what turns a non-living thing into a full-fledged experience. Interaction that is driven by emotional connection or other experience builds the foundation for that desired brand-to-consumer relationship, and makes for one that lasts a very long time.
1 “About Public Relations.” 2019. PRSA | Public Relations Society of America. 2019. <https://www.prsa.org/about/all-about-pr.>
2 Foss, Sonja K. 2018. Rhetorical Criticism : Exploration and Practice. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press.
3 Klapproth, Danièle M. 2004. Narrative as Social Practice : Anglo-Western and Australian Aboriginal Oral Traditions. Berlin ; New York: Mouton De Gruyter. <https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dGKxqSFEU5MC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Klapproth,+Narrative+as+Social+Practice,+102.&ots=ykTQ4aWRdk&sig=lNNiz_d1LpYIB6WtXWlE-m2Q-ss#v=onepage&q=People%20tell%20stories%20in%20order%20to%20do%20certain%20things&f=false.>
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