Beyond PR

May 10, 2013

Content We Love: Backbone of Storytelling

ContentWeLove“Content We Love” is a weekly feature written by a team of our content specialists. We’re showcasing some of the great content distributed through our channels, and our content specialists are up for the task: they spend a lot of time with the press releases and other content our customers create, proof reading and formatting it, suggesting targeted distribution strategy and offering SEO advice. In Content We Love, we’re going to shine the spotlight on the press releases and other messages that stood out to us, and we’ll tell you why. We hope you find the releases enjoyable and the insights gained from discussing them enlightening.

mnr lead

The headline and the lead dive straight into the story.


Growing up, the phrase “There are two sides to every story” echoed all around.
Being a writer and a content specialist, finding the story is the primordial base where magic exists.

To my delight, the impactful message about a state-of-the-art surgery from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego leapt from the page because of how it was written, the visual elements, and the social media components.

Instead of being laden with corporate jargon and a “who/what/when/where/how” approach, the release made waves with great storytelling and more than just the kids took notice.

mnr photo galleryRight off the bat, the story leaps off the pages with video and images of the families. Paired with the technical (and readable) words of describing Early-Onset Scoliosis and how the magnetic rods operate, are videos and images that bring the experience to life.

  • On one side is the incredible feat of the surgery itself, clearly defined within the release. The words are compelling and easy to understand (acronyms explained, processes defined, etc). Yet on the other side is the human element of the doctors’ scope on their young patients and the family scope of their loved ones.

The images give a face to the message. This is not just an ordinary surgery; this is a surgery for Tommy and Anthony.

Images increase visibility on releases because humans are inherently intrigued by visuals. Including an image on your release is placing a bull’s eye target, which instantly attracts the line of vision.

Stop your audience in their tracks with powerful imagery.

And much like the magnetic rods, this release continues to grow.

The tale also took to social channels to spread the news.

Tweet: .@radychildrens performs groundbreaking growing rod surgeries for early-onset #scoliosis

  • With search engines showing social results higher and higher, it is 100% in a company’s best interest to involve social sharing of news.

Much align to a story, there are two sides to social media: the share and the conversation. Social Media sites are buzzing with shared information (thoughts, ideas, articles, etc) to a collective group and these same sites are abuzz with conversations about the information.

In one swoop, the story transcends from viewership on news’ sites to the online social feeds. Not only is the message shared to a bigger audience, the conversation has started with just one tweet. From a tweet can come a retweet, a conversation, and a connection. Cool!

When penning a press release, reflect on the story it is telling. Add those great images and share the great news via social media. Share your story to the world!

Big thanks to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, and Ellipse Technologies for showcasing the backbone to storytelling!

Author Emily Nelson is a Customer Content Specialist for PR Newswire. Follow her adventures on or on twitter

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