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Deliverable 5 & 6
Strategic Storytelling
Trifecta PR
Dec. 2015
2
Table of Contents
Storytelling System......................................................................................
3
Storytelling System
This document conducts a literature review to identify best practices to create a sustainable cultur...
4
Phase 3: Planning. Choose the purpose for each story.
 Feasibility: What can be realistically achieved with resources o...
5
The Art of Storytelling: Story Models
Of the six phases that constitute sustainable storytelling, we believe the key var...
6
Model 1: The “Stories Worth Telling” Model
About the authors
Meyer Foundation works to strengthen Washington DC’s nonpro...
7
Model 2: The “Made to Stick” Model of a Great Story
About the authors
Chip Heath is a professor of organizational behavi...
8
Model 3: The “Resonate” Model of a Great Story
About the author
Nancy Duarte is the CEO of Duarte Design, the largest de...
9
Key Takeaway for Byte Back
Create the conflict between ‘what could be’ – poverty alleviation through digital literacy an...
10
Model 4: The “Lead with a Story” Model of a Great Story
About the author
Formerly the Director of Consumer and Communic...
11
Model 5: The “Winning the Story Wars” Model of a Great Story
About the Author
Jonah Sachs is the co-founder and CEO of ...
12
Facilitation Minutes
December 4, 2015
We include the minutes of our facilitation on December 4, 2015 at Byte Back headq...
13
Opportunities Moving Forward
Ideas You Particularly Liked
Stories could feature the
diversity in the staff and
passion ...
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Storytellling System

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Storytellling System

  1. 1. Deliverable 5 & 6 Strategic Storytelling Trifecta PR Dec. 2015
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents Storytelling System................................................................................................................................. 3 The Art of Storytelling: Story Models .................................................................................................. 5  Model 1: The “Stories Worth Telling” Model..................................................................................................6  Model 2: The “Made to Stick” Model of a Great Story................................................................................7  Model 3: The “Resonate” Model of a Great Story..........................................................................................8  Model 4: The “Lead with a Story” Model of a Great Story ......................................................................10  Model 5: The “Winning the Story Wars” Model of a Great Story.........................................................11 Facilitation Minutes from Workshop ................................................................................................ 12
  3. 3. 3 Storytelling System This document conducts a literature review to identify best practices to create a sustainable culture of storytelling among all staff. “Stories Worth Telling” is a report authored by the Meyer Foundation and Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University. It focuses exclusively on making great storytelling a sustainable practice within nonprofits. The report suggests 6 phases to execute toward the objective of sustainable storytelling. Phase 1: Cross-functional staffing. Create a broader storytelling network across the organization.  Build a cross-functional storytelling committee.  Share stories already created as examples of best practices.  Make the case for storytelling: share wins as generated and look at competitor stories.  Demonstrate ROI on storytelling (qualitative measures are fine). Application: Reflection is key. Byte Back can schedule weekly reflection time to share inspiring stories across the organization every week during staff meetings. Look particularly for stories which feature efficacy and sustainability of operations as these resonate with current stakeholders. Some examples include a students’ employment, a volunteer doing exceptional work, and noteworthy organizational methodologies. Phase 2: Build capacity. Amplify the organization’s ability to tell great stories.  Provide hands-on training to willing staff.  Designate a chief storyteller and other roles related to the story-cycle (story-planner, story-producer, story-distributor, and story-evaluator).  Recruit external assistance for complex tasks. Application: The chief storyteller should lead the cross-functional storytelling committee to create a storytelling guide that contains Byte Back’s fact sheet, backgrounder, common Q&A, and talking points. He or she can host interactive workshops for interested staff. For complex tasks, Byte Back could partner with an academic institution such as the Georgetown University Public Relations and Corporate Communications program to create an unpaid internship to boost Byte Back’s capacity. Cross- functional staffing Building capacity Planning Production Distributio n Evalution
  4. 4. 4 Phase 3: Planning. Choose the purpose for each story.  Feasibility: What can be realistically achieved with resources on hand?  Define desired audiences and actions.  Map out content needs. Application: Based on audience research, corporate audiences prefer to partner with nonprofit organizations with causes that align with their CSR goal and brand image. To develop stories that target corporate audiences, a possible purpose for those stories could be bridging the connection between Byte Back and the corporate partner’s CSR goal and brand promise. Phase 4: Production. Collect as many assets as possible to create different stories and feature different characters.  Collect assets.  Formulate varied story formats.  Create stories using one of the story models within this document. Application: Use story models in a way that motivates the desired action. For example, when using the “Stories Worth Telling” model to inspire a donation, Byte Back should choose action-oriented emotions which drive the audience to realize the significance their donation can have. It is also important to recognize that story creation goes beyond the models presented in this document. For example, one highly effective format of visual storytelling is to present data through infographics. Phase 5: Distribution. Use across many channels.  How is the story best presented?  Can the story be re-purposed across platforms?  Which channels will you distribute across? Application: Byte Back could combine the power of word of mouth, one of its most prominent communication channels, with digital channels. Byte Back could create an email template for staff and students to forward stories to their connections. Phase 6: Evaluation. Measure what matters and create a positive buzz around storytelling internally.  Which benchmarks act as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Byte Back’s storytelling efforts?  What are the most important calls-to-action to measure? Application: Determine the purpose and goal of any story before creation within the team based on organizational and communication goals. Use digital analytics, such as Google Analytics, and traditional measuring methods, to monitor pre-set KPIs such as impressions, clicks and conversion rate for future story optimization.
  5. 5. 5 The Art of Storytelling: Story Models Of the six phases that constitute sustainable storytelling, we believe the key variable that makes a difference in the long-term is the way stories are told. That is why we choose to focus on what makes a story great. The question is, are there systematic models you can use to create stories? We believe so. While conducting our literature review, we identified five compelling sources. The first four sources offer guidance for creating stories and the fifth is notable for offering guidance on what to avoid while creating stories. Selecting the guidelines within each resource that are most applicable to Byte Back, we created prompts you can use during the story writing process. Model 1: The “Stories Worth Telling” Model of a Great Story Model 2: The “Made to Stick” Model of a Great Story Model 3: The “Resonate” Model of a Great Story Model 4: The “Lead with a Story” Model of a Great Story Model 5: The “Winning the Story Wars” Model of a Great Story
  6. 6. 6 Model 1: The “Stories Worth Telling” Model About the authors Meyer Foundation works to strengthen Washington DC’s nonprofit sector by identifying and investing in visionary leaders and community-based nonprofits that make lasting improvements in the lives of low-income DC residents. Georgetown’s Center for Social Impact Research empowers communicators in the social impact space through research, engagement and action. Why we selected this resource This resource is featured first on our list as one of the most comprehensive and customized resources for nonprofit storytelling. It understands the needs and resource constraints of nonprofits, and offers terrific advice not only on narrative construction, but also on building an organizational culture of sustainable storytelling. The resources available online feature detailed checklists and primers for online storytelling, social media usage, and staffing for storytelling. Storytelling Element Byte Back Prompt Effective character  What universal need does the character have?  What makes the character three-dimensional? Trajectory  Can the story start somewhere other than the beginning?  Is the reader being pulled toward a call-to-action? Authenticity  What details show the character’s transformation? Action-oriented emotions  What emotions might the audience feel?  What actions do those emotions prompt and do they fit the purpose of the story? Hook  What is at stake for the character, audience, and organization?  Is there a moment that stands out during the entire story? Something unexpected, a twist of some sort? Key Takeaway for Byte Back Try to flesh out the need of the central character of the story. In particular, make the need tangible in terms of all the senses. For Byte Back, this might involve asking what the state of not having access to technology or being digitally excluded is like. What does it look like in physical, tangible terms? What is the corresponding emotional or intangible need? Why does the need exist, i.e. what is the physical and emotional context? This helps set the foundation for ‘transformation’ that key audiences resonate with.
  7. 7. 7 Model 2: The “Made to Stick” Model of a Great Story About the authors Chip Heath is a professor of organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. His research focuses on how and why some stories survive and ‘stick’ in the marketplace of ideas. Dan Heath is a consultant at Duke Corporate Education. Prior to joining Duke’s executive education program, he was a researcher at Harvard Business School, where he also earned his MBA. Why we selected this resource Almost uniquely in the genre of books on storytelling, “Made to Stick” follows its own advice, and employs the techniques it advocates to tell its story. Based on compelling research of urban legends and other ‘sticky’ viral ideas, “Made to Stick” is a fast read with hard-hitting advice on storytelling and narrative construction. Storytelling Element Byte Back Prompt Simple  What is the core of the story?  Can you identify a single big idea or narrative? Unexpected  How are patterns broken? What runs counter to the audience’s anticipation? What is unusual or surprising? Concrete  What would be one takeaway outcome the audience would remember? Credible  What details stick out as particularly vivid or rich? Emotional  Does the story create empathy for a specific individual?  Can a connection be formed to something the audience already cares about?  Can you embed or imply an appeal to the audience’s self-interest or identity? Story  Which of the following story narratives are most prominent?  Overcoming odds  Forming a relationship across socioeconomic or other gaps  Solving a problem in a unique or creative way Key Takeaway for Byte Back Work through the first three elements of the SUCCES framework to identify mini-stories. This can be particularly useful for daily storytelling through social media. If you have a status update or post that is simple, unexpected and concrete, it is likely to work as a mini-story.
  8. 8. 8 Model 3: The “Resonate” Model of a Great Story About the author Nancy Duarte is the CEO of Duarte Design, the largest design firm in Silicon Valley. She is a renowned writer and speaker, and has worked with brands like Apple, Cisco, Google, HP, TED, and the World Bank. She teaches a class on presentation design and narrative creation at Stanford University. She is the author of three best- selling books, and her book Resonate spent more than 300 days on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list. Why we selected this resource Graphic designer Nancy Duarte is the consummate expert at telling beautiful, visually appealing stories. In this book she identifies the central secret to creating effective narratives: identify the story before you develop visual elements. Her approach focuses uniquely on the audience as the ‘hero’ of the narrative – not the central characters or the storyteller. We believe this storytelling approach is uniquely suited to the call to action Byte Back can employ by taking its audience into the world of its students. Storytelling Element Byte Back prompt Audience as hero  What is the starting point of the audience?  Where do you want them to be after the story?  How can you write the story so the audience is in the position of the hero? Ethos, pathos, logos  Which story elements have ethical appeal, which have emotional appeal and which have logical appeal? Emotional contrast  Have you ordered the contents of the story so facts and details alternate with metaphors, analogies, and humor? Hero’s journey  Can you take the audience on a journey to a different world?  What obstacles will they encounter and what lessons will they learn on their quest?  How will they return to the ordinary world and how will they be changed? Call to adventure  Highlight ‘what could be’ and ‘what is.’ This is the conflict of your story. Can you set out the transformational goal in a single sentence? E.g. “Digital literacy skills like writing a resume can be the difference between employment and unemployment; between stability and instability; between homelessness and providing for a family.” Call to action  How will the conflict be resolved? What action can the audience take, and is it explicitly mapped to the transformational goal? STAR moment  What in your story represents a “something they’ll always remember” moment? Is it something your audience can easily show others? For example, Steve Jobs introduced the Macbook Air by sliding it into a manila envelope. Visual images  Do you have images to reduce or replace words? Where can you place them within the story? Eliminating noise  Can you reduce the use of jargon? Is the story presented in a way that doesn’t distract the reader? Have you shown the story to candid critics who can spot bias and self-interest?
  9. 9. 9 Key Takeaway for Byte Back Create the conflict between ‘what could be’ – poverty alleviation through digital literacy and inclusion and ‘what is’ – digital exclusion and barriers to success. Resolve it through Byte Back’s unique methodology. Create powerful narratives by incorporating a STAR moment. Recognize members of the organization for spotting STAR moments – ‘something they will always remember’ about the Byte Back experience. The STAR need not always be about a student. Your donors, partners, volunteers and employees are equally important ambassadors of your work, and their unforgettable moments are a goldmine of story experiences.
  10. 10. 10 Model 4: The “Lead with a Story” Model of a Great Story About the author Formerly the Director of Consumer and Communication Research at Procter and Gamble, Paul Smith is now an independent speaker, consultant, and story consultant. Why we selected this resource This resource contains a short and effective formula for great storytelling. We also like the way the author recognizes the importance of multiple story types to any organization or storyteller. While all storytelling resources are quick to recognize that stories have different purposes, this author is one of the few to explicitly identify the different types and plot their trajectories for each purpose. Storytelling Element Byte Back Prompt Context  Background: What is the setting?  Subject: Who is the primary character?  Treasure: What is the quest or goal?  Obstacle: What impediments lie in the path to the goal? Action  What actions or events tie the context to the final outcome or results? Results  What are the ultimate outcomes? What is the message or the reason for storytelling? Is it clearly implied? Repetition  Have you repeated or emphasized words that capture the essence of the story? Surprise  Tying in the unexpected can be remarkably effective. Are any of the following available in your story?  Unanticipated candor  Unforeseen twist or result  Unpredictable ending Different types of stories have different big ideas and themes. Often success stories are over-emphasized and other valuable story- nuggets are overlooked.  Success  Culture  Inspiration  Problem-solving  Is your story primarily about:  Depicting a positive outcome?  Exemplifying your organization’s guiding values?  Ordinary people overcoming extraordinary obstacles?  A change in thinking or a new way of seeing things? Key Takeaway for Byte Back Look for stories not just for external audiences but also to shape internal audiences such as employees. Recognize different types of stories: success stories, culture stories, inspirational stories and problem-solving stories. Collect them all. Use them all. Organizations tend to place overweight importance on success stories at the expense of culture stories. Not every story needs to be about digital literacy outcomes against the odds. A story can be about Byte Back’s unique methodology i.e. a culture story, or about the learning barriers routinely overcome by students i.e. problem-solving.
  11. 11. 11 Model 5: The “Winning the Story Wars” Model of a Great Story About the Author Jonah Sachs is the co-founder and CEO of Free Range Studios, which offers social causes communication tools that big brands employ routinely to great effect. Free Range Studios has worked with Amnesty International, Greenpeace International, and the Harvard Civil Rights Project. In 2009, Jonah Sachs produced the Story of Stuff, which currently has over 3 million views on YouTube. In 2012, Fast Company named Jonah Sachs among its 50 most influential social innovators in 2012. Why we selected this resource “Winning the Story Wars” recognizes that the media and popular culture are inundated with stories. The author recognizes that what separates good stories from the rest is not so much storytelling skill as it is avoidance of the “deadly sins” of storytelling. Correspondingly, what we choose to highlight from this resource is not a model of storytelling as much as a checklist of what to avoid. The author presents five deadly sins of storytelling: vanity, authority, insincerity, puffery, and gimmickry. He also cautions against inadequacy marketing and counsels empowerment marketing. Storytelling Deadly Sin Byte Back Prompt (What to avoid) Vanity  Are you aware of the divergence between how your audience perceives your brand and how you perceive it?  What will you do about this divergence? Authority  Are you relying on authority to tell your story, or storytelling skill and narrative strengths? Insincerity  Are you ignoring the core values and personality of your organization in an attempt to tailor messages to audience demographics or needs? Puffery  Is your story lacking in substance? Is it all frills? Gimmickry  Are you incorporating humor or emotion for its own sake, without tying it to the core of your story? Inadequacy marketing vs. empowerment marketing  Is the tone of your theory of change fundamentally about creating anxiety, or is it making someone feel part of something greater?  Is it about avoiding the negative, or making a positive difference?  Is your solution about resolving anxiety or part of psychological maturity and self-realization? Key Takeaway for Byte Back Pursue an empowerment theory of change rather than an inadequacy theory of change. Rather than create a negative feeling of gloom that there is an insurmountable problem that can only be solved by Byte Back, create a feeling of positive momentum toward digital inclusion and embracing technology that Byte Back is part of. The audience should feel that digital change is for the best, but also that we should not leave anybody behind. This will also resonate with CSR partners, who prefer success-oriented nonprofits.
  12. 12. 12 Facilitation Minutes December 4, 2015 We include the minutes of our facilitation on December 4, 2015 at Byte Back headquarters. The active involvement of participants ensured the conversation was fluid and free-flowing, with valuable insights shared by all six Byte Back employees who attended in person, as well as the few employees who participated over the phone. What Resonates About Byte Back  When many students start the program, we hear negative words like “sucks” a lot, but as they finish the program, their word choice reflects how they are feeling: hopeful, and they start getting job offers.
  13. 13. 13 Opportunities Moving Forward Ideas You Particularly Liked Stories could feature the diversity in the staff and passion they have. Many of the staff formerly worked in AmeriCorps and/or were past Byte Back students. We discussed a new award to recognize volunteers who make outstanding contributions. For example, there is a Board member who is not financially well-off, is a single mom, and travels two hours to make Board meetings. Stories about such volunteers could be shared. When the award is given there is an opportunity to tell the story of that recipient’s amazing work. There is an opportunity to tell a culture story about Byte Back; no one is turned away. Byte Back does not filter its prospective students to ensure higher impact percentages. Its performance is ‘real’ performance. Model 5 looks particularly applicable because many of the students have chronic anxiety and live with fear. Using empowerment marketing mirrors Byte Back methodology. Different traits of the five models that resonate with key audiences can be combined. In particular, stories should acknowledge and celebrate donor and partner engagement. One way to evaluate the models is to email different audiences stories using separate models, and determine which of the stories and models receives the most engagement and support.

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