01 Feb 2012

It’s Oscars Time: The Most Famous Night To Celebrate The Art Of Storytelling

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Growing up, it was always a treat to stay up and watch the Academy Awards: the glitter and glow, the pageantry, the euphoric victories and crushing blows, the (sometimes) entertaining hosts…I loved it all. To this day, I try to see every movie nominated for major awards in anticipation of the most glorious night of film and fame.

It is, of course, the most sensational night that storytelling is celebrated. From screenplay to director, and from characters and music, the story is disassembled into key parts to each be recognized and celebrated, noting the important roles they play in creating the whole package. PR is storytelling at its finest. Not in a fabled way, no. Not the way in which our profession has unfortunately too often been branded “spin.” We tell authentic stories on behalf of our brands, our organizations, our employees and our communities. We often write and produce the stories that reach and affect important stakeholders and we direct these message to be heard, influence, and acted upon.

Looking at PRSA National’s “short list” of new definitions for public relations through the #PRDefined initiative, one would be hard pressed to find an option that didn’t speak to the idea of following a process meant to create, engage and motivate:

1. Public relations is the management function of researching, engaging, communicating, and collaborating with stakeholders in an ethical manner to build mutually beneficial relationships and achieve results.

2. Public relations is a strategic communication process that develops and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their key publics.

3. Public relations is the engagement between organizations and individuals to achieve mutual understanding and realize strategic goals.

You can read more about the new definition options here.

So what part of marketing’s storytelling should PR own? All of it – everywhere conversations are being had, and everywhere we want stories to begin. Today the lines of responsibility among marketing disciplines continue to blur, and public relations needs to continue to play a key role in developing and driving the art and science of communications forward. And, as the curtain goes up, we PR pros must be the masterful orchestrators of the whole grand show.

Lights, camera, action.