5 classic songs and their lessons for storytellers

PR professionals are storytellers—they convey a brand’s story to the public. The five songs in this story offer important lessons on the craft.

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Here are a few of the songs that have always gripped me with their powerful lyrics, haunting imagery, and (sometimes) memorable music. But the story is what pulls you in and keeps you listening.

“Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin: It never fails to evoke memorable life stages of childhood and becoming a parent. Connecting with familial emotions and the everyday life of a made-up family causes us to listen and compare the story to our own lives. It’s memorable. And it sometimes teaches a lesson.

“Hotel California” by The Eagles: This haunting tune is effective because it taps into the powerful emotions associated with the unknown. And because so many Americans believe in some sort of spirit world, it’s not hard to imagine a haunted hotel with a friendly (but ghostly) staff. Mix that with powerful descriptions of the scent, the décor, and an attractive stranger, you have the ingredients for a seductive story. Plus, it’s got one of the most memorable guitar solos of all time.

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