You may not realize this, but there is a difference, in style and intent, between a news piece and a feature story. They each have a different structure, flow, and purpose. While news pieces are meant to inform, stories are meant to engage and motivate an active response.
Stories get remembered
People may share news, but they always relate to it in a story format. Stories are easier to remember, and make otherwise boring and stagnant facts come alive. Life engages our brains on a chemical and emotional level, literally making it easier for us to remember the details of information presented in a story format.
Stories grab attention
A stark factual headline might grab attention, but something exciting or unusual happening to a relatable person grabs us even more. We are wired to appreciate events that we can relate to, situations in which we can – or wish to – see ourselves. While this might be categorized as basic human empathy or curiosity, it is also a symptom of how the brain processes information.
Stories are relatable
Stories are easier to convey than bare facts. Sure, a bulleted list might be easier to read, but have you ever tried to memorize and recite a grocery list? Which is more difficult, remembering everything on that list, or telling your friends about the ball game or concert the day before? You don’t have to write ANY of the story stuff down. Watch it once, and share it with the world… but at the store you will look at that list half a hundred times. THAT is the power of story.
Remember, stories are not necessarily better or worse than news items. They are simply different, and should be approached differently. Understanding the difference, and when to use which tool, will make you a more effective PR communicator.