Digital Storytelling: 30+ Social Tools to Create Sharable, Memorable Stories

Heather Whaling President, Geben Communication

Posted on August 16th 2011


How often do we see companies leverage social media for generic asks: “Follow us on Twitter,” “Support our cause,” “Like us on Facebook.” But, why? How does having Brand X in my online world benefit me?

One core tenant of effective public relations is storytelling — getting beyond facts and figures to communicate value, impact, need. Social media isn’t just about amassing a large network. Rather, this idea of “humanizing” a brand can spark meaningful action.

Instead of simply asking someone to connect online, organizations should use social media to convey meaning and context. Offer compelling reasons to follow, support, endorse, review, interact or take some other “next step.” As PR pros, that’s where our storytelling instincts should kick in.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, what storytelling tools are available — and affordable? Here are 30+ of my favorite “Storytelling 2.0″ tools to explore:

Combining Multimedia


  • YouTube
  • Vimeo (think interviews with the people impacted by your organization, videos that visually show the impact of your group. Put your journalist hat on and think about how to package a story.)
  • UStream (can you live-stream an event or a conference? What about live video chats?)
  • Tout (15 second video status updates)


Mobile Photo-Sharing

Citizen Journalism


Group Texting

Location-Based Services

Some other tools to consider:

  • QR Codes
  • Slideshare
  • Scribd
  • Infographics (these are all the rage … for a good reason. Visually appealing, effective method for conveying data.)
  • Mobile apps
  • Google+
  • Email (Seriously … it’s not dead. Don’t overlook it.)

Digital tools offer an array of interactive opportunities to craft and share memorable stories. What are some of your favorite Storytelling 2.0 tools?


Heather Whaling

President, Geben Communication

An award-winning communicator, Heather Whaling fuses strategic thinking, strong writing, and creativity to deliver PR, social media and marketing results. As president of Geben Communication (, Heather works with national, recognizable brands, start-ups and nonprofits to integrate traditional and online strategies. Named one of the top 30 PR experts to follow on Twitter, Heather co-moderates the popular PR 2.0 chat (#pr20chat on Twitter). You can connect with her on her blog (, on Twitter ( or by email (heather [at] gebencommunication [dot] com).
See Full Profile >