Telling the Right Story for Your Online Campaign


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Pink Slime. The Boy Scouts of America. Trayvon Martin. Each of these news stories started with an online petition that led to real, tangible impact. Each represents the power that people and organizations have today to engage and motivate hundreds and thousands of supporters to take action. The internet, social networks and mobile technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to increase the efficiency and impact of the time proven model of collective action, but you still need a story. Learn lessons from about how to not only tell a good story, but how to tell the right story.

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Telling the Right Story for Your Online Campaign

  1. 1. Sponsored by:Telling the Right Story forYour Online CampaignLawrence GrodeskaJune 11, 2013Use Twitter Hashtag #npwebPartOf:
  2. 2. Sponsored by:Protecting and Preserving theInstitutional Memories ofNonprofits Since 598-0430info@cjwconsulting.comPartOf:
  3. 3. Sponsored by:PartOf:Coming this June
  4. 4. Sponsored by:Today’s SpeakerLawrence GrodeskaDirector of Nonprofit CommunityChange.orgHosting:Cheri J Weissman, CJW Consulting & Services, Inc.Assisting with chat questions:Jamie Maloney, 4GoodPartOf:
  5. 5. Agenda:• Why are stories important?• Elements of a good story–Narrative–Presentation• What’s your story?• Storytime• Tips & tools
  6. 6. Why are stories soimportant?
  7. 7. NarrativeElements of a good story
  8. 8. A story follows the journey ofsomeone who wants somethingbadly and is having difficultygetting it.
  9. 9. A character having a problemcreates sympathy.A character seeking a solutioncreates empathy.
  10. 10. Stakes or implications up theante for empathy.
  11. 11. PresentationElements of a good story
  12. 12. 3 principles of visual communications1) Humans are visual first, verbal second.2) Our actions are based more onemotions than rational thought.3) Visuals most effectively evoke emotionand inspire people to take action.Seeing is Believing: A Guide to Visual Storytelling Best Practices, 2013 Resource Media
  13. 13. The medium is the messageObjective ChannelEducate video, infographic, petitionEngage /actionvideo, image, petition, sms,emailFundraise email, social mediaBrand /credibilityvideo, infographic, press,petition
  14. 14. What’s your story?
  15. 15. Define your goals• What is the outcome you want for thiscampaign?Know your audience• Whose hearts and minds do you needto win over?
  16. 16. Choose your tacticsObjective ChannelEducate video, infographic, petitionEngage /actionvideo, image, petition, sms,emailFundraise email, social mediaBrand /credibilityvideo, infographic, press,petition
  17. 17. Pick your character• Remember:– Interest– Sympathy (problem)– Empathy (solution)– Stakes• People power yourstory!
  18. 18. Tell your story!• Vet your stories to be credible• Circulate story among peers orcolleagues for feedback• Build education into continuum of action• Share your success along the way
  19. 19. Storytime
  20. 20. ForestEthics EnbridgecampaignProblem:Planned pipeline from Albertas Tar Sands to the coastwould introduce mega-tankers into pristine waters forthe first time. Huge threat to wildlife, thousands of riversand streams, and Canada’s fisheries.
  21. 21. Objectives, audience & tactics• Long term objective: stop the pipeline– Short term: Create online action opportunities forsupporters to create offline change• Audience: environmentalists andconcerned citizens• Tools and tactics:– Petitions– Targeted actions– Signup, donation & thank you pages
  22. 22. Campaign storyCharacters:• Wildlife• ActivistsProblem:habitat & democracy are threatenedSolution:listen to public & stop the pipelineStakes:loss of wildlife, government overreach
  23. 23. Actions
  24. 24. Government response“ Unfortunately, there are environmental and otherradical groups that would seek to block this opportunityto diversify our trade(…)These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system toachieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek toexploit any loophole they can find, stacking publichearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill goodprojects…” – Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources
  25. 25. Shift story narrative
  26. 26. Fundraising asks
  27. 27. Rallies & news events
  28. 28. Tips & Tools
  29. 29. Storytelling takes time• Listen!• Record and store your stories• Evaluate your success over time• Experiment• Don’t be afraid to fail
  30. 30. Visual presentation• Test images• Combine images & text (LOLcats)• Make images with your message• Use authentic images from your campaign• Choose subjects to maximize connection(eyes)• First impressions matter, invest in goodimages
  31. 31. Storytelling tools•• Vine app• Google maps (victories)•••• Youtube editor
  32. 32. What are YOU changing?Web: @ChangeOrgs/ChangeOrgs@lsgrodeskaEmail: