In movies, my favorite scenes tend to be close-ups and panoramic shots. Close-ups are intimate; they help me see details that I might otherwise miss. Panoramic shots take me out of the moment-to-moment action and provide context. Both make me stop in my tracks and think about the story from a new perspective.
Like movies, the best public relations programs use lens adjustments (zoom in, zoom out) to capture audience attention. They zoom in to focus on a single data point. They zoom out to put the story in larger context.
A frequently-used zoom-in technique is the personal story. Stories humanize products and make them engaging. Most media articles and broadcast segments are structured around close-up stories – stories of individuals, companies and teams.
Zoom-out techniques provide a big-picture view. In PR, these are our surveys and round-up stories. They offer perspective and help us understand where we’ve been and where we’re going.
Used together, zoom-in and zoom-out techniques make hard-to-grasp topics more interesting. They also help audiences see clearly and feel deeply. As communication professionals, we have many popular zoom-in and zoom-out techniques at our disposal, including:
- Stories and case studies
- Qualitative research
- Threaded conversations
- Benchmark data
How often do you use zoom-in and zoom-out techniques in your communication programs?
Connect with Meg: