The Role of Storytelling and How it Influenced my Perception of PR

By Holly Jenvey


I have enjoyed writing since the second grade. My passion came after having to write what would be my first short story. Initially, I was nervous because I didn’t know what to write about and it was another chance for my teacher to critique me on my pencil grip. She said the story could be about anything. The generalization was scary to eight-year old me.


After a bunch of drafts, I began to write a story about puppies. The ideas just flowed out of my head. They were all pure imagination as I didn’t have a dog at the time. When I finished my story, I took a walk through the hallway, shaking my hand. I had just run a marathon with the words I produced on the page.


The teachers around me liked my creative exhaustion because they equated it with passion. It was then that I realized that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

Flash forward to current day. I’m constantly in awe of how I can use my passion for writing to make a positive impact. When I took my writing for public relations class this past winter, I saw how different forms of writing can spark creativity and inspire the world around me.


In one assignment, we had to write a press release on a company of our choice and what new products were coming out. I selected H&M as it was a brand I purchased from frequently and was intrigued by its global presence. What was most beneficial, however, was being able to incorporate my passion for the environment. At the time, a player from the British football team Arsenal, Hector Bellerin, was launching a new menswear collection with clothing made from sustainably sourced materials. Exploring sustainability in PR showcased how now my writing could influence how consumers make conscious purchases.


However, even as my writing has evolved from the second grade, what has carried through is the importance of telling a good story. Consumers engage with products because of the purpose they carry behind them. I’ve only come to this realization after becoming a public relations major.


Reflecting back on my childhood, I remember the craze for Silly Bandz, the fun, colorful rubber bracelets that formed into any shape a kid desired (musical instruments, animals, apparel, etc). In the fourth grade, this was the essence of popularity. As someone who was socially reserved, collecting these bands gave me more confidence to interact with my classmates. We admired each other’s bands as well as traded them off. There were no ads for Silly Bandz, only the trend, which probably lasted a good month or two. Though, now thinking in the mind of a public relations student, Silly Bandz did a great job to get consumers like myself to continuously purchase their products. They also appealed to my family as they spent money on the bands, knowing it would make me happy. Numerous children and parents also felt the same way, which highlights the essence of the story behind Silly Bandz, being able to form bonds amongst this target audience through admiring and trading this new unique product.

Image via Inc. Magazine


As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen the magic of storytelling in public relations and advertising dissipate. Through promotions and social media trends, brands have become popular and lure people in. As much as I do enjoy consuming media and learning about interesting stories through digital platforms, self-discovery is the most enjoyable way to experience new things.


From developing a passion for writing at a young age, I see how the magic of good storytelling can influence people’s lives. The most powerful stories come from our humane observations of the world around us and being able to share those with others is powerful no matter what audience you’re speaking to.

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