Why being human is best for PR

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As property PR specialists we’re often writing about developments, homes and interiors but every now and then a fantastic human interest story comes along.

Very recently I was proud and privileged to be involved in a road naming ceremony where one of our housebuilder clients had agreed to name a road after a long serving West Yorkshire police officer.

The homes are being built on the site of an old police training centre where Tom Butler, now deceased, was a feared but clearly greatly revered drill sergeant. His widow, five children and numerous grandchildren attended the event and many of his old police trainees, themselves now retired, marched ceremoniously behind the West Yorkshire Police Band, who we’d arranged to be there for the day.

BBC Look North filmed it and the main local newspaper sent a photographer, with our client’s branding prominent for all to see. Social media was awash with tweets, posts, photos and video. It was a PR dream, although, in reality, the result of a great deal of hard work behind the scenes by Tom’s family and friends, Redrow and the Active PR team.

It serves as a reminder of the importance of human interest for any client. Bricks and mortar are vital components of house building, but it’s people who make it matter; whether that’s the people who build the homes, the people who live in them, or the people touched by their existence.

As former journalists, well-schooled in researching and writing human interest stories, we always counsel our clients to use the human side of what they do to create awareness, add value and generate media coverage.

A human interest story puts people at the heart of the events.  People have a natural curiosity about the lives of others and that’s what draws the reader or viewer in.  Our advice to any business looking for maximum PR impact is to focus on the human side of what they do and make the corporate and sales messages subliminal.