I'm thrilled to have worked with America's Charities to release a free how-to guide on how to tell effective stories.
The guide is aimed at companies and nonprofits that manage employee giving and volunteering programs -- but the advice can really apply to any organization that is looking to become more effective in its storytelling.
At a time when you can reach your target audiences through myriad channels — from posters on bulletin boards to postings on Facebook — storytelling is becoming more important than ever.
Well-told stories can inspire employees to give for the first time, offer rewards for those who have already given and show customers and clients that your company is making a difference.
So how can your organization become more effective in its storytelling?
It starts with identifying two key things -- your goals and your audience.
Let's start with your goals.
The stories you choose to tell will depend, in part, on what you're trying to achieve. As a result, it's important to take some time up front to define what you want to accomplish with your stories.
Are you looking to motivate people to take action? Position your company or organization as a great place to work? Showcase the impact of your philanthropy?
Knowing and articulating your goals will help you determine the types of stories you tell -- and how you tell them.
Once you’ve identified your goals, take some time to identify which audiences are most important in helping you achieve those goals — and think about what types of stories are likely to appeal most to those audiences.
The most effective stories are really about the audience. As a result, you should help them see themselves in the story you are telling.
The most important thing to remember is that your stories need to connect with the people you most want to reach. If you try to tell a story that appeals to everyone, you probably aren't going to speak directly to anyone.
For more advice, check out America’s Charities new guide — Exceptional Storytelling Made Easy: A How-To Guide for Corporate Giving and Employee Engagement Leaders.