Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why storytelling matters

An excellent post on storytelling from Shoestring Creative Group reinforces once again why organizations need to focus on effective storytelling.

When it comes to communicating through storytelling, nonprofit organizations have a huge advantage over corporations and businesses. They WISH they had the stories you have. ... Marketing is crucial to your organization’s mission, not an extra thing that you have to do when everything else is already done. By approaching marketing communications as an integral part of reaching your mission, you can literally use marketing as a way to increase the capacity of your organization. If your marketing activities are not doing this, than you need to completely rethink what you are doing to get out your organization’s story.

The post highlights the biggest mistakes nonprofits make when trying to tell their organizations’ stories.
  1. They look at their organizations from their point of view rather than the view of the audience.
  2. They don’t get their story straight.
  3. They tell the wrong story to the wrong audience.
  4. They don’t answer the question , “SO WHAT?"
I would add one item to this list:
5. They don't include a way for the person hearing the story to get involved.
As part of your 2008 planning, your organization should take inventory of its own storytelling - and take the time to iron out any wrinkles that may have found their way into this critical part of its communications efforts. If your staff, donors, volunteers and recipients can't easily - and clearly - tell your story when asked, take the time to help them do so.

It's worth the effort.

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