Kate Brooks

The Power of Personal Story in Public Relations

“I have discovered how personal stories benefit PR campaigns through prompting emotional responses and forming connections.”

Human beings crave connection; God created them with an intrinsic desire for relationships with others. One of the most fundamental ways in which humans relate with others is through narrative – storytelling is a common connection for people of all races, religions, and cultures. Through extensive research of the opinions of PR professionals as well as professionals in a variety of other fields, I have formed a research paper describing the value that stories, and personal stories or human interest stories specifically, have in benefitting a public relations campaign. The field of public relations is sometimes deemed as manipulative or deceptive, but I believe that it has redemptive power in our modern society in its ability to form mutually beneficial relationships between companies and the general public. People are looking for information about what to buy, and public relations serves them by providing a deeper understanding and knowledge of a company’s products. Personal stories enhance a public relations campaign by appealing to people’s emotions, expressing commonality, and creating ideas that stick in people’s minds. In addition to my research paper, I am “testing out” my ideas through writing feature articles that contain personal stories as their main hook for Gordon College’s Office of Communications. This process has been productive and has helped to make my thesis practical as well as research-based, providing a more integral senior capstone experience.

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