As the Easter school holidays finally draw to a close across the UK, children will go back to school with a whole host of stories to tell their friends about what they got up to during their break. Some will have gone abroad to far-flung destinations around the world, some will have spent time with extended family and some will have journeyed to a different world – without ever leaving their home town or city.
I was fortunate enough to recently attend a celebration of 25 years of Public Relations being taught as a degree at Leeds Beckett University – my alma mater. Alongside the topics of discussion including the use of big data in PR, fake news and the role PR professionals can play in combatting it (a blog post for a later date) a theme that cropped up a couple of times was the need for communicators to be storytellers.
In a lecture from Yasmin Diamond, Vice President of Corporate Communications at IHG – the group that owns a number of some of the best-known hotels in the world – and a veteran of the communications world, she made a statement that good communicators are storytellers. That’s something that has stuck with me for a number of reasons, one of which is that here at Bewonder*, I think we’re pretty great at it.
Over the school holidays, events were taking place at our clients’ centres up and down the country, ranging from Easter Bunny visits with treasure hunts to a chocolate factory transforming a shopping centre into something straight out of a children’s book; from fantastically creative uses of space and providing a free cinema, to favourite characters from the page and screen appearing in real life.
Children and those just young at heart were taken on a magical journey to see their favourite characters. They were immersed in worlds where they could be everything from a Samoan warrior – complete with tribal face paint – through to a teenage mutant ninja turtle, all without leaving their home town or city.
So if to be a good communicator you have to be able to tell a great story, it’s heartening to know that here at Bewonder* we told some cracking tales over Easter.