Why storytelling is no longer enough to grab consumers’ attention


From events, celebrity endorsements, influencers and social media to the most recent, storytelling – there are and always will be trends in the PR and marketing industries. For years we’ve been told that storytelling is the future of PR and marketing, but as the majority of the industry catches up and realigns its strategy for success…something is happening.

The results decline.

Saturating too many brand stories in the mix dilutes the reach and impact of the individual story, no matter how powerful.

Take for example the recent media coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian war. As Russia pursues its mission and Ukraine responds with counterattacks, mainstream news channels have ceased or drastically reduced their reporting on the subject. The point remains, there will always be something new to come along and dilute the importance of a story. Both in the news and in public relations.


The challenge here is to keep developing exciting new stories that are effective on their own. While publicists and marketers are well versed in repurposing or redesigning content to maximize output, consumers still lose interest with their declining attention spans and the need for brand new content.

The solution?

Although I don’t have a crystal ball, we can see trends moving towards VR and the Metaverse, which means interactive content is a must. I think we are still a long way from digital currency and likes are becoming necessary for consumer-facing brands.

NFTs are another technology that is gaining traction for brands, mainly overseas. Non-fungible tokens are not a currency, but rather a unique digital asset. While it can be useful for creative industries and luxury brands to improve their exclusivity and drive the desire for accessibility via NFTs, most mainstream brands don’t need to worry about it yet. .

One thing all brands should embrace is creating content without purpose. Listen to me…

Social media teams work tirelessly to create content that will drive engagement and achieve key marketing and sales goals. No matter what story you tell, no matter how creative or shareable the content, sometimes less is more.

Take Duolingo for example.

While the brand has traditionally relied on messaging for its mission to make language learning personalized, fun and universally accessible, their TikTok strategy seems simple enough – random videos of their mascot, a giant green owl named Duo, indulging in all sorts of crazy stuff irrelevant to the brand or its products.

So why does it work so well?

First, current users already have an association with the character. Second, they are not trying to sell anything. While consumers often accuse brands of trying to stay relevant by jumping on trends amid posts promoting their latest product or sale, Duolingo stays on the humorous lane for this platform.

Even when the subject of languages ​​is used, it is done in a humorous, chaotic and sometimes risque way, making viewers completely forget that they are being sold.

It’s a key PR intent after all, isn’t it? Be more like Duo.


Rachel Demarco, Senior PR/Influencer Manager, InsideOut PR


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