The power of authentic storytelling was the theme of our second employee volunteering workshop on 12th February. Joanne Roberts from Griot Communications facilitated an interactive session, Tell Engaging Stories, with charities on how they can harness the power of their authentic stories to gain support for their causes.
What makes a good story?
If told well, stories can spark imagination, inspire action and build support. Joanne began by pointing out why it’s important, when crafting your stories, to remember what makes a good story. The group discussed some of the intangible and tangible things that make stories resonate for an audience. Good stories compel us to change the way we think, feel and act. A good marketing story must, therefore, include a call to action!
On a structural level, good stories are simple, active, have a strong character and have a turning point, or twist. The group looked at some examples of simple stories and had a go at creating a simple story for their own organisation. It was easier said than done!
What’s the purpose of your story?
One of the points Joanne made was that the stories you tell will be influenced by the purpose of each story. Do you want to raise your profile? Thank your volunteers? Demonstrate your impact? Promote your service? It’s a good idea to plan the kinds of stories you want to tell for the year and link them to the bigger story of your organisation or society.
Make your audience your hero
At a time where everyone is a storyteller and a story sharer, Joanne stressed that it’s never been more important for businesses and charities to tell and share their stories in a way that gets their audiences’ attention. Ask yourself if the story is meaningful or useful to your hero. This means first listening to the stories their audiences are telling and sharing, in the language that they’re speaking. A good place to start is to listen to them on social media and to start sharing the stories that are of interest to them.
If you’re interested in learning more about crafting engaging stories Joanne is available to do training or copywriting and content writing.
Click here for a free 20-minute consultation with Joanne.