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Storytelling - Its not just the why, but its the how


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How do you link communications strategy, storytelling best practices, and new media?

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Storytelling - Its not just the why, but its the how

  1. 1. Storytelling – An Essential Tool Community Foundation for San Benito County March 3, 2011
  2. 2. We can all do this!
  3. 3. Storytelling without fear? Discuss.
  4. 4. Congratulations! You now own your own network & newspaper
  5. 5. Failure IS an Option
  6. 6. Let’s Share: Who is the most effective local storyteller? What is it about him/her that is so powerful? Share one of his/her stories.
  7. 7. What is success? How do you get there? <ul><li>Planning now means success later </li></ul><ul><li>Do a few things really well – prioritize </li></ul><ul><li>Stay focused on your goals </li></ul><ul><li>Use the media & other dissemination strategies </li></ul>
  8. 8. So…You’re New To This? <ul><li>Your skills apply. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can think . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can write . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can use a telephone . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of your daily work skills are transferable. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cajoling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consensus building </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Public Speaking Fundamentals <ul><li>Be Prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Do your homework </li></ul><ul><li>Is it better to be right? Or effective? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Being right means you need to be confrontational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Being effective means you actually make headway </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connect – dry facts won’t do it </li></ul><ul><li>Always come home to your key messages </li></ul>
  10. 10. Be Strategic <ul><li>Communications Goals should rule </li></ul><ul><li>What is your strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Does a story help you get there? </li></ul><ul><li>Think “Audience” and “Action” </li></ul><ul><li>Are you the right messenger? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you listening? </li></ul><ul><li>Starting a discussion? </li></ul><ul><li>Participating actively? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your near-term goal? </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term? </li></ul>Photo source:
  11. 11. Thinking about your audiences <ul><li>YOUR KEY AUDIENCES ARE: </li></ul><ul><li>Vulnerable community members </li></ul><ul><li>Donors </li></ul><ul><li>Grantmakers </li></ul><ul><li>Families / Kids </li></ul><ul><li>How READY are they to hear what you are saying? </li></ul><ul><li>What are they already thinking about you? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Thinking about your audiences <ul><li>What other audiences are there? </li></ul><ul><li>Who else matters – think “narrow” </li></ul><ul><li>Who influences those audiences – and how can you find them? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the best ways to reach the audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Shrink them & Surround them </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thinking about your audiences Courtesy of What Info? Who Needs to Hear it? List all key audiences In What Format? Note the comm. channel By When? From Whom Do They Need to Hear it?
  14. 14. Storytelling (or…how not to end up like this)
  15. 15. Storytelling – The Importance of Anecdotes <ul><li>Storytelling is common thread through all cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Humanizing. Anecdotes are a way of personalizing the issue </li></ul><ul><li>Impact - Anecdotes are a way for audience to understand your perspective – more powerful than text of your remarks </li></ul><ul><li>Linkage – a story can personalize an issue much faster than reciting statistics, historical facts or personal biases. </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility – anecdotes allow you to “borrow” someone else’s credibility </li></ul>Graeme Frost, SCHIP Kid
  16. 16. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step One: Start with a common assumption and one person </li></ul><ul><li>Find common starting reference point </li></ul><ul><li>Attach details </li></ul><ul><li>Evoke well-known feeling or aspiration </li></ul><ul><li>Share / Validate commonly held belief </li></ul>More info @
  17. 17. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Two: Introduce a point of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Name the conflicts and Show the conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers promote attachment </li></ul><ul><li>The harder the struggle, the more we remember </li></ul><ul><li>How can you make these real? Describe? Show? </li></ul>More info @
  18. 18. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Three: Make heroes and villians easy to identify </li></ul><ul><li>You are right. Know that. Feel that. </li></ul><ul><li>Villains – real or imaginary are essential </li></ul><ul><li>You define the terms of the debate </li></ul>More info @
  19. 19. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Four: Include granular details and one “takeaway” fact </li></ul><ul><li>Hair color? Glasses? Shoes? </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me one memorable item to take with me </li></ul><ul><li>Can you make me FEEL it? See it? </li></ul>More info @
  20. 20. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Five: Show the way to a happy resolution </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need clear resolution, just a path </li></ul><ul><li>What is the end goal? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the path to get there? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you essential? </li></ul>More info @
  21. 21. A moment of reflection: Am I telling stories already? What is my favorite granular fact?
  22. 22. Storytelling – Recent Examples <ul><li>Proposed California budget cuts affecting most vulnerable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>County could lose $262 million loss in federal and state money (CCTimes 7/3/08) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the end, Nick Robinson just couldn't afford the Bay Area. And with pending state budget cuts threatening the foster care counselor's programs and salary, he decided to pack his belongings and leave Walnut Creek for Boston. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Storytelling – Recent Examples <ul><li>Boy's special medical care imperiled by state budget crunch (Sac Bee 5/11/08) </li></ul><ul><li>Derek Longwell's wheelchair bears all the scars of rough handling by a fully charged 13-year-old boy: scratched metal frame, chipped paint, worn treads and a perpetual coat of dust on the footrest. </li></ul><ul><li>The teen with dark chocolate hair and olive-tinted eyes suffers from spina bifida, a birth defect that has left him with an incomplete spinal cord and an inability to walk. But a committed team of doctors and his devoted parents, backed by a specialized state health care program, have enabled Derek to enjoy an active life outdoors. </li></ul><ul><li>Now the state's ominous fiscal forecast is threatening to disrupt Derek's ability to see his doctors in a timely manner or get leg braces to fit his growing body. </li></ul>
  24. 24. SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Wednesday, October 8, 2008 Stewardship Council & Conserving PG&E lands
  25. 26. Let’s Share: What is your story? Not sure – let’s ask someone else.
  26. 27. Framing – The SPIN Way <ul><li>Frame: Your analysis of the issue. The frame defines what’s in your story </li></ul><ul><li>Use your frame: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To advance your position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>put opposition on the defense and you on the offense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>define issue & players to control debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focus and clarify your issue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For maximum media impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to get reporters interested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to effect more people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to make your story newsworthy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to create hooks and newsworthiness </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Framing – The SPIN Way <ul><li>Frame the issue by answering these questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What is this issue really about? Broader subject and theme </li></ul><ul><li>Who is effected? Bigger, wider potential audience, more drama and reach </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the players? Good guys, bad guys </li></ul><ul><li>What hooks does this frame contain? Controversy, human interest, trend, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Bonus question: What pictures and images communicate this frame? </li></ul>
  28. 29. Framing – In Action Preschool for all of California’s children Enormous unnecessary public expenditure OR Wise public investment to improve lives, reduce crime & increase college graduates
  29. 30. The Five Places to Share Your Stories on Social Media To Maximize Impact <ul><li>Lead with Yourself: Use LinkedIn as starting point </li></ul><ul><li>Become an Informer: Build presence on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Build a Fan Base: Use Facebook to provide a “home” for supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Make Your Own News: Make Photos/Videos available using Flip Cameras, Twitpic, & Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Go home! Build robust on-line home for your work & use metrics to track success – much easier than you may think </li></ul>
  30. 31. New Tools to Share Stories Making Photos/Videos Available with Flip Cameras, Twitpic, & Flickr
  31. 32. Take Pictures – Define the Images & Discussion <ul><li>Cameras </li></ul><ul><li>Cellphones </li></ul><ul><li>iPhones </li></ul>
  32. 33. Record It! <ul><li>Flip Video Cameras </li></ul><ul><li>$100 changes everything! </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to upload </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to share </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to evangelize </li></ul>
  33. 34. Using Video – Making a Point Lobby Day 2010 A Tree Falls & Everyone Hears
  34. 35. Building your Broadcast Network Lobby Day 2010 A Tree Falls & Everyone Hears
  35. 36. Build Storytelling Culture
  36. 37. Build a “Story Bank” <ul><li>Ask for stories </li></ul><ul><li>Collect them </li></ul><ul><li>Make them available </li></ul><ul><li>Train your staff to tell them </li></ul>
  37. 38. How Do You Feel?
  38. 39. Now What? Here’s a To-Do List <ul><li>Take your partner’s story home – refine it and send it to them </li></ul><ul><li>Then work on yours </li></ul><ul><li>Develop your THREE best stories </li></ul><ul><li>Teach someone in your organization to tell the story </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to learn by mistakes. </li></ul>
  39. 40. Dan Cohen, Principal Melissa Daar, Senior Vice-President Full Court Press Communications 510-271-0640 @fullcourtpress / @dcstpaul / @melissadaar