Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

How we can bring our stories to life - a guide for charities

4,004

Published on

Booklet written for sounddelivery's Social Media Exchange event on 27th January 2014, featuring tips and ideas on how charities can use their stories to make an impact.

Booklet written for sounddelivery's Social Media Exchange event on 27th January 2014, featuring tips and ideas on how charities can use their stories to make an impact.

Published in: Self Improvement, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
4,004
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. How we can bring our stories to life A guide for charities www.sounddelivery.co.uk 1
  • 2. Introduction Welcome to sounddelivery’s storytelling guide. A question I often ask myself is, are we as charities doing everything we can to communicate our work’s impact? I think we could do more. We need to make the most of everything storytelling has to offer. This Guide is a great place to start. Jam-packed with advice from individuals passionate about storytelling, it’s guaranteed to give you inspiration and new ideas. We really hope it helps you improve the way you tell your stories. I’ve always championed the importance of first-hand, authentic storytelling. I believe the people that charities support should be a core part of their communications, fundraising, campaigning and service development. We need to bring stories and people that until now have often gone unheard to the forefront. This Guide will give you lots of insights and tips on how to find, capture and share the fantastic stories you have available, and show how your organisation is making a difference, using everything from blogs, audio and video to working with documentary makers and the media. I hope it makes a real difference to your work. Enjoy the Guide. JUDE HABIB Founder/Creative Director, sounddelivery www.sounddelivery.org.uk | Twitter: @judehabib | @sounddelivery 3
  • 3. Foreword Storytelling is the vertebrae of life, running through the heart of our shared experience. It’s one of the things that makes us human. Stories enable us to better understand someone else’s world. Aren’t they also how we come to understand our own? But why would you want to tell your stories to strangers? Well hundreds of people have done as part of the BBC’s Listening Project. We enable people to sit down with someone they care about and have a conversation that matters. It lets people say things out loud that might not always get said – to capture the hoverflies of life that usually dance across the meniscus of our individual worlds. Life, especially when it’s tough, can make you feel like you’re shouting in a deserted forest. Just being heard is sometimes a light in the darkness. Charities have masses of stories at their fingertips. Telling them in innovative ways not only gives you compelling material to garner support, but can be cathartic for the people you help. Get involved. FI GLOVER Writer, Broadcaster and Host of the BBC Listening Project www.bbc.co.uk/listeningproject | Twitter: @fifiglover Guide edited by Jennifer Campbell www.jennifer-campbell.co.uk | @jccharitywriter Design by Weaseldance Design weaseldancedesign.com | @weaseldance 3
  • 4. The power of blogging Seaneen Molloy-Vaughan is Digital Officer at Mind, the mental health charity. Her personal blog, Mentally Interesting, has over one million views and was made into a Radio 4 drama. Here she gives her tips on how to be a brilliant blogger and give a voice to the people you help There are many ways to tell a story, but possibly the most accessible and enduring is through the written word. Storytelling is a two-way thing. At Mind, people who have experienced mental health issues write most of our blogs. So our blog isn’t just for support, it’s also a forum for people to tell their story, and feel understood and listened to. Blogs can empower and strengthen the people you help. Don’t use blogs just for the sake of it. Before you commission a blog, it’s good to ask ‘Why?’ and ‘What will this blog achieve?’ Once you’ve answered these questions, here are my top five tips on how to harness the power of blogging: 1 ‘Like you, I…’ As charities, we’re often the place that people turn to for help. It’s tempting to present ourselves as superhuman, with all the answers. But sharing your own vulnerabilities can be an asset. Mind recently published a blog by our Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, which reflected on a tough, but successful year in campaigning. He touched upon his own experiences with mental health issues, which many of our supporters will share. This can be a valuable way of connecting. 2 Have robust guidelines Sharing personal experiences can be difficult, and it’s important to support bloggers every step of the way. A clear set of guidelines, including everything from word count to how blogs are used, can provide a useful framework for bloggers, ensure that blogs have a consistent voice and help manage expectations. 5
  • 5. 3 Include real stories Case studies are often used as mere footnotes in campaigns, but they’re the most powerful communications tool of all for charities. Make sure to use people’s stories, in their own words, on your blog. As part of Mind’s We Need to Talk campaign, which fought for better access to talking therapies, we commissioned blogs giving insights into the challenges people faced accessing therapies, as well as how therapies had helped them manage. 4 Respect bloggers’ independence Many experienced bloggers value their independence, so won’t write blogs for organisations. Why not ask them to put a banner about your campaign on their blog instead? Get one designed and have it available. 5 Use social media to diversify and promote blogs Rather than having a pool of bloggers to call on, use social media to find fresh stories and the people to tell them. Use hashtags and pay attention to how they’re developing. And don’t let your amazing stories languish on a webpage – promote them via Twitter and Facebook, to encourage sharing and discussion. Above all, be brave! Publish blogs to inspire debate. And thank your bloggers – sharing their stories can be a huge step in their lives. Seaneen’s blog: thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive.wordpress.com www.mind.org.uk | Twitter: @brain_opera 5
  • 6. Understand the impact of documentaries Collaborating with a TV documentary can mean huge publicity for your cause and the chance for your case studies to tell their stories authentically. But there are pitfalls. Jezza Neumann, Documentaries Director at True Vision TV and Alison Rich, External Relations Manager at Changing Faces, give advice from both sides on how charities and production companies can work together JEZZA NEUMANN, TRUE VISION www.truevisiontv.com | Twitter: @jezzaneumann True Vision specialises in making documentaries about human rights. My films include Poor Kids, which highlighted child poverty in the UK and aired to three million people on BBC1. Understand documentaries’ impact We look to charities for lots of our case studies. We get mixed reactions. Some won’t speak to us. When they provide case studies for news, it’s easier, they have more control and can protect them. It’s also instant coverage and potentially donations. Documentaries are long haul, with less control, but they can have a much bigger impact for organisations overall. They are powerful, timeless films which will resonate for years. Charities should make sure their staff understand this. Why not get a documentary maker to talk to them? Don’t dismiss out of hand Often, charities say our documentary isn’t right for potential contributors – without even asking them. We totally understand their hesitation. But I just want charities to give us a chance. I firmly believe in face-to-face meetings. You can tell a lot from looking people in the eye. It’s annoying when we’re dismissed in an email. 6
  • 7. Give us access Finding the right contributors is a creative process. Often charities want to decide which case studies are best. But the obvious people aren’t necessarily right. We know it’s difficult, but we prefer to meet a range of people to find the ones who work. No editorial control We don’t offer editorial control, apart from viewings for accuracy. We’re clear what our documentaries are about upfront. Usually contributors find taking part enjoyable and empowering. ALISON RICH, CHANGING FACES www.changingfaces.org.uk | Twitter: @faceequality ‘They live in the shadows, afraid to leave their homes…’ The night of the world’s first face transplant, that was the opening line on BBC news. It’s these attitudes we’re trying to improve at Changing Faces, the charity for people living with conditions, marks or scars affecting their appearance. While we’ve made great progress on this working with documentary makers, deciding whether to participate in films and the process itself requires planning and agility. Saying no Generally, we feel it’s better to be involved in a questionable show and try to make it better than not to be involved at all. But sometimes you have to say no. We did to Channel 4’s The Undateables, about people with disfigurements looking for relationships. Not only did we hate the name, we believed it should show couples with similar conditions who are in strong relationships – rather than implying that everyone who looks different finds dating and relationships difficult. Continued overleaf 7
  • 8. Understand the impact of documentaries (cont) Duty of care For us, support for case studies starts long before a filmmaker calls. People who join our media volunteer scheme fill out forms about their interests and what media they want to do. Every volunteer gets guidelines, with tips about everything from how to handle interviewers pressing you to what to do if you’re recognised afterwards. We try to attend their first meeting with the producer, then keep in touch constantly. Bypassing charities With social media, anyone can get hold of anyone. Sometimes companies contact case studies directly. We prepare people for this, and encourage them to contact us for support. Maximise the opportunity Your organisation should get maximum publicity from documentaries you help with. Your contact information should appear at the end of the programme, and feature on the channel’s website. Evaluate your success Some ways to measure a documentary’s success include viewing figures, social media activity, increased donations and the impact on your case studies. Our case studies mostly get a huge amount out of participating in a documentary. 8
  • 9. Five tips for making great audio Radio producer Victoria McArthur creates captivating, unmissable audio on The Listening Project, a BBC initiative to record conversations between people in the UK about what matters to them. Below she explains how your organisation can do the same, creating powerful stories told in your service users’ own voice 1 Remember the basics It’s important listeners aren’t distracted by background noise. Don’t let interviewees wear jangly jewellery and leave phones outside. Use a carpeted room for less echo. And remember that leather sofas squeak! 2 Relax your interviewees The best conversations happen when people relax. So we make surroundings calming, with low lighting. We spend an hour beforehand chatting with participants so they feel comfortable. We also encourage easy-to-answer questions to start, before moving on to harder ones once the interviewee has their flow. 3 Don’t prepare too much The best conversations happen when people listen to each other properly and respond naturally. So we don’t prepare participants too much. We suggest a few questions to expand the conversation if they’re stuck (like ‘How did that make you feel?’). We make it clear they can laugh, cry and interrupt to their heart’s content. Continued overleaf 9
  • 10. Five tips for making great audio (cont) 4 Make sure your interviewee is ready If someone’s gone through a difficult experience, you should only involve them if they’ve had time to process it, and it won’t upset them. Trust your instincts. 5 End strongly Use your final question to get a strong ending. We suggest participants ask questions like ‘Do you have any regrets?’ or ‘What are you proudest of?’ www.bbc.co.uk/listeningproject | Twitter: @vicmcarthur 10
  • 11. Creating audio slideshows: Q+A Powerful images. Compelling audio. Marrying the two together makes an audio slideshow – an impactful yet underused way for charities to tell stories. Paul Kerley, BBC Audio Slideshow Producer, tell us how charities can use this effective tool What are the advantages of audio slideshows? It’s a very intimate form of communication. If you have strong images, it really makes people focus on them and absorb their message. Audio slideshows can also be cheaper than video and need less equipment to create. If you can’t get a camera crew to a remote location, they’re a great compromise to bring still images to life. What’s your top tip for creating an audio slideshow? It won’t work without excellent images. The audio is important, but secondary. What’s your process for creating an audio slideshow? Start with the pictures. Make sure they’re engaging and exciting, and you have enough. We use 8-10 images per minute. Our audio slideshows are a maximum of 4-5 minutes, and many are shorter. What about the audio? Once we have the images, I start thinking about who to interview to tell their story. For a three-minute slideshow you’ll need 20 minutes of audio to edit from. Personal stories and first-hand testimonials, with the interview questions edited out, work best. Add in some music and natural sounds like waves crashing too, depending on the images. What’s been your most successful audio slideshow? One featuring English Heritage’s images of Britain from the air. That’s had over a million hits. The photos were wonderful, as was the narrator. Do you get any material from charities? Christian Aid provided us with some images demonstrating the stigma of HIV worldwide. We like photos of places and subjects it would be difficult for us to access otherwise. I’d like to see more charities thinking about how they can be using audio slideshows to tell their stories – and making them. www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine | Twitter: @paulkerley 11
  • 12. Using digital to get more media coverage: Q+A Rob Dyson is PR Manager at Whizz-Kidz, the charity which helps disabled children lead more independent lives. He shares how he uses authentic voices and digital to get press coverage – and how you can too What’s your approach to using digital to get media coverage? US marketer Jon Hamm says: “Audiences have always asked for stories – they’ve never asked for content.” I think this distinction is really important. When someone tells us a story, it comes alive in our minds. It invites us to connect. A rule we seldom break at Whizz-Kidz is that we tell our stories through the voices of disabled young people themselves. The quickest, simplest and most shareable route to doing this is digital. What’s been your biggest media success using digital? One highlight was when we took young Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors to the Party Conferences, where they asked MPs and journalists questions including what was on their iPods and who the most famous contact in their phone was, using micro-podcasting app Audioboo. We tweeted the podcasts, tagging the interviewees, so they got retweeted. We also sent them to journalists with “selfies” of the young people with the politicians, getting coverage in publications including the Guardian. This ultimately scooped us a Public Affairs Award for Party Conference Innovation. How can organisations use digital to get media coverage? Capture high-res photographs and video of your users whenever possible. You’re much more likely to have media success with the “complete package” – first-person accounts of your impact, photographs of real people and clips of them talking in their own voice. 12
  • 13. Any other tips? When stories get published – republish. Link to them, tag journalists to thank them, and tweet (Facebook, Pinterest, etc) to your supporters. They’ll be impressed their charity has secured coverage, and will enjoy seeing the impact of their donations and volunteering. I really believe that it’s vital to put the people we work with at the heart of our communications – this approach has made a difference to the coverage we get and strengthens our relationships with our users. www.whizz-kidz.org.uk | Twitter: @robmdyson Three journalists give their top tips for providing digital content and real service users’ voices to the media: ‘Let your service users be your charity’s ambassadors. Case studies add detail to a journalist’s story and also explain to readers – and potential donors and supporters – the work your organisation does. Also, think digital when launching a report, project or event. What pictures can you offer? Is there a video that describes or – even better – shows what your charity is doing?’ Clare Horton, Health and Social Care Network Editor, the Guardian @clare_horton ‘Use social media to “join the dots” between journalists and groups with a story to tell – they might not know each other exist. Journalists love finding a fresh voice on a big topic – help them do this, and you’ll soon be very popular indeed. Most newsroom staff will freely admit they are skim readers. So keep details of the content you are offering brief (ideally in bullet points) and visual (do you have a photo or graphic or YouTube clip which can tell the story/explain a report in a nutshell?)’ Anna Doble, Head of Online, Channel 4 News | @annadoble ‘If journalists are going to tell a story with impact, we need the people who are most affected, who are passionate about it, to talk to us. Real experience is always the most compelling way to explain dry policy and big issues. And we often need them quickly, so collect the right people. One day we will come calling.’ Priya Shah, BBC Radio Journalist, Jeremy Vine | @priyapas 13
  • 14. Five things I’ve learned about video Joe Freeman is the Social Media Manager at Sue Ryder. He shares his top advice on creating fun, engaging videos that give the people you support a platform to speak Every minute, 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. This presents a huge challenge in getting your video seen. But that’s not the only obstacle. You’ve got to make sure the right target audience watches it too – at least up until the good bit with your key messages. Creating a successful video is a big ask. But it is possible. Here are a few things you can do to give your organisations’ videos the very best chance of success: 1 Tell a story Your charity does amazing work. Video is one of the most powerful ways of telling people about it and making them feel as passionate about the cause as you do. There’s nothing more powerful than hearing the stories of the people your charity helps first-hand. Get out there, immerse yourself in everything your charity does, find those stories and film them. 2. 2 Don’t over-complicate things There’s a perception that making a video is really hard. It doesn’t have to be. You just need to tell a story and film it so people can see and hear what’s going on. Obviously there are some basic skills involved, but you can learn these. Focus on finding stories that resonate with your audience – that give them a reason to watch, share and maybe take an action at the end. You don’t need to be able to produce a polished masterpiece that’ll be studied by film students, with glorious panning shots and CGI effects worthy of the next Star Wars film. 3 Keep it short I think charity videos should be no longer than two minutes. Any longer, and viewers tend to switch off. You should be able to tell your story and get across your key messages in this time. 14
  • 15. Of course, there are situations where a longer film is called for, but you should seriously consider whether your target audience will appreciate it before spending time, effort and money making one. Of course you can go even shorter. Vine is a brilliantly easy video app that lets you create six-second films you can quickly share online. It’s a great way to create fast, digestible content. You should be able to fit a key message into six seconds. Try it. 4 Set realistic goals It’s unlikely you’ll get thousands and thousands of views, but try to make sure the ones you do get matter, and are from the right target audience. Video can make a real difference to how you talk about your work, and is a huge opportunity for your organisation. Don’t be discouraged if your first go isn’t brilliantly successful. 5 Immerse yourself in video Watch other organisations’ videos. What are they doing well? Is there a format you could replicate? Get your creative juices flowing and give some new ideas a go. Joe’s blog: jptfreeman.wordpress.com www.sueryder.org | Twitter: @JosephFreeman 15
  • 16. Getting your stories out there on a budget Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of creating video, audio, pitching the media and working with documentary makers? For those strapped for time and cash, Jude Habib, Founder and Director of sounddelivery, explains some quick and easy ways to get the voices of the people you help out there As charities, we could and should be doing much more to bring our stories to life and make them accessible to a wider audience. But I understand that time and money is a problem for some organisations. The great news is that there are many ways of getting our stories out there on a shoestring budget: Comment on news articles, blogs and features online How many of you see an article on or offline that connects with your organisation and take time to post a comment on it? The comment box on blogs and features on sites like the Guardian presents an opportunity to get your message across and raise your organisation’s presence. Write a blog post instead of a press release Next time a news story that’s of interest to your organisation hits, write a blog post about it instead of a traditional press release. Send it to journalists and encourage them to publish it – they’re always looking for expert perspective on hot issues. But remember, journalists like to publish blog posts first on their own site. So wait until they’ve put it online then publish it to your own site. And of course cross-promote it on social media! What’s on TV and radio? I try to spend at least 20 minutes at the weekend looking at what’s going on across radio and TV for the coming week and see what PR opportunities there might be for my work or the work we’re doing for clients. Many charities aren’t doing this. When BBC drama Waterloo Road featured a dementia storyline, no charity took the opportunity to join in the conversation online about it, missing an opportunity to connect with the elusive 16-25 year-old age group. Also, if there’s a news story relevant to your organisation, call the media and put yourself forward as a guest/expert – journalists love when their jobs are made easier. 16
  • 17. Be your own social reporter Using just a smartphone, you can be your own reporter, and gather interviews and videos to use in your own marketing or to send to the media to generate coverage. I recorded an interview with a youth worker I met at an event in the House of Lords. I uploaded it to my Audioboo channel, tweeted it out and sent the link to a Guardian journalist who featured it in the paper. We need to be proactive with our stories. Organise a multimedia toolkit of content and archives Journalists increasingly want multimedia content. Make sure you can have quick access to great quality photographs, and video and audio if possible, in case a PR opportunity presents itself. Use AskCharity and other online resources AskCharity is a free service to help journalists and charities. Journalists can use it to find case studies, spokespeople and information from a wide range of charities. Charities can use it to build their media contacts and coverage. Also look at the #journorequest hashtag regularly to see journalists’ requests for case studies and stories. www.sounddelivery.org.uk | Twitter: @sounddelivery, @judehabib 17
  • 18. Turn your storytelling into results Giving your service users a platform to tell their stories and supporting them to get their voice out there can empower them greatly. But you can also use their stories to encourage people to take action to donate to, volunteer or support your charity. Matt Haworth, Co-founder of digital agency Reason Digital, lets us in on the secrets of using your stories to get results The story of how Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white person on a crowded bus proves that the best stories aren’t just interesting, but inspire action too. But how do you inspire action with your digital stories? Here are my five top tips: 1 Get emotional Think of your favourite tale. Did it make you laugh, cry or maybe just feel angry? Stories that pack an emotional punch aren’t just more likely to be remembered and shared, they’re more likely to inspire action too. A Save the Children study has shown that campaigns that appeal to the heart, through an individual’s story, are likely to raise 109% more than ones that appeal to the head, with facts-and-figures. 2 Don’t ask, don’t get It may seem obvious, but it’s true – if you don’t make it clear what you’re asking of your audience, they probably won’t take action. Use simple, clear nudges throughout, relating back to the difference that a donation can, has, or could have made to the story. 3 Involve your audience Everyone likes to feel part of the story, part of making a difference – part of something. An involving story gives them this. 18
  • 19. Take Martha Payne. She used her blog, Never Seconds, to log and rate her school dinners. It wasn’t until someone commented saying how lucky she was to have school dinners that she decided to use her story for good. She has since raised over £131,000 for Mary’s Meals, which sets up school feeding projects. People could see her story come alive – and so they lived it with her. So, invite your audience to change how your story ends by taking action. 4 Put asks at the beginning, middle and end Drunken snaps on Facebook, a video of a cat falling off a bed on YouTube – the internet’s full of tempting distractions. That means you can’t always rely on people following your tale to the end. So, when it comes to inspiring action don’t leave it until the last few seconds. Weave your calls-to-action throughout your story. 5 Capture your audience While capturing your audience’s attention is always good, capturing their contact details is vital too. A donation doesn’t always happen instantaneously, but starting a relationship with your donors may mean more support in the long-term, even if the short-term isn’t as fruitful. Subtlety is key. Asking potential donors to sign a pledge or sign up for cause alerts are two ways to encourage these valuable relationships to start. After all, donating is a big commitment. www.reasondigital.com | Twitter: @reasondigital 19
  • 20. SOUNDDELIVERY CAN HELP YOU TELL YOUR STORIES sounddeliveryis an award-winning digital media training company and storytelling consultancy with a passion for digital storytelling. We help organisations to navigate the changing media climate and harness the opportunities that social media offers. We also work to connect charities and the media together to build long-term relationships. We build confidence and knowhow through practical, hands-on training, create powerful content that engages and inspires people into action and give a voice to people and issues that are underrepresented in mainstream media. Talk to us about our portfolio of services, including our wide range of training workshops, such as digital media training for staff and storytelling support for beneficiaries. Visit www.sounddelivery.org.uk, follow us on Twitter (@sounddelivery) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/sounddelivery) or give us a call on 020 7993 6340. Cityside House, 40 Adler St, London E1 1EE T: 020 7993 6340 | e: hello@sounddelivery.org.uk | w: sounddelivery.org.uk @soundelivery 20 facebook.com/sounddelivery

×