How Effective Storytelling can Drive Business Results for Clients [National Assembly Session Recap]

During her session, Jenny Moede explained the five elements of a great story, seen here. Photo courtesy of Twitter/Chad Furst.

Session: Special Session

Presenter: Jenny Moede, Oregon Storyboard Executive Director


Jenny Moede explained the importance of storytelling in being successful in public relations. To figure out how to effectively get business results for your client, the first step is to conduct research to better understand your client’s target customers, she said. Now make your client appeal to that market. Do a lot of research on your client, “get customer insight and talk to them,” since “getting that kind of data, getting that insight” allows you to build a story.

Moede explained that this data could be used as “raw materials for a good story.” Take the data and information that you get and think of how you can make that into a story to help your client reach their goals. Any good story has five important elements: the inciting incident (the event that the story will be built on), the protagonist(s), the antagonist(s), the conflict(s) and the resolution.

Moede explained that “you almost never know what the resolution will be,” as the outcome for the client is not immediately known. Moede’s work is a great example of how public relations professionals can help companies reach their business goals through digital storytelling such as film, video, animation, gaming, etc. The client’s goal can be accomplished through the story arc, which is a great way to drive business results. “

A good story is a juicy story, a story that gets people talking and sparks conflict”, said Moede. Today we live in a media driven industry that is about the 24/7 news cycle and ever-changing media platforms. As public relations professionals, we have to use a variety of media systems and platforms to tell our clients’ story, helping them reach their business goals.


  • Conduct research to learn about your client’s target customers — make your client appeal to consumers through storytelling.
  • Use the collected data about these customers to create a story through digital storytelling.
  • The client’s goal can be accomplished through the story arc: inciting incident, protagonist, antagonist, conflict and resolution.


Xenja Lindberg is a sophomore public relations major, minoring in marketing, at Roger Williams University. She is the secretary of her PRSSA Chapter. Follow Lindberg on Twitter (@xenjalindberg) or connect on LinkedIn.

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