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Experiences and outcomes of STORIES.COOP, the first digital campaign to choose the storytelling tradition as a way of communicating the cooperative experience to the general public.

An initiative of ICA (International Co-operative Alliance) and Euricse (European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises)

The slideshow has been presented during 2013 ICA general Assembly in Cape Town, 3 nov.

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  1. 1. Experiences and outcomes of the first cooperative digital campaign Aleksandra Bobic, Ilana Goetz, Gianluca Salvatori – EURICSE
  2. 2. The Gutenberg Parenthesis • For 500 years we lived in what the Danish academic Thomas Pettitt calls The Gutenberg Parenthesis where knowledge was contained in the fix printed format. • With the digital revolution we’re in a post-Gutenberg state where the knowledge and the information are constantly updated, improved, changed, moved, developed.
  3. 3. Stories can change the world • The time of one-way communication is over; media, enterprises, authorities, nonprofits are adapting to a two-way communication which is much more “social” because it works only if it creates engagement, participation and even cocreation. • Stories are a very powerful communication tool : they can condition our perceptions, stimulate our thoughts and reflections, awaken our emotions and senses, determine our actions… • Stories can change the way we think, act, and feel. • Stories can engage, motivate, connect, inspire.
  4. 4. Storytelling in the Digital age • “In the broadcast era, access was power. We developed all these bad habits when distribution was in the hands of few. But now storytelling matters again” (Jonah Sachs, author of “Story Wars”). • 3 golden rules of storytelling that fit all: political messages, products and people: 1. Don’t lead with facts. 2. The story isn’t about you. 3. Forget puffery. Find your voice.
  5. 5. A good story… • is clear, simple, authentic, • tells the truth, • has a defined plot, • is emotional, • goes beyond marketing and positioning policies and strategies • regenerates the organizational culture in order to improve the reputation among different stakeholders, • creates engagement, participation, identification, involvement.
  6. 6. Great storytellers / Obama
  7. 7. Corporate storytelling • is the art of using stories to communicate and connect with employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and anyone else involved with the organization. • is widely employed and for profit enterprises are mastering this technique. Seven simple ways to tell a good story by Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local: 1) Tell your brand's story; 2) Tell your employees' stories; 3) Tell your customers' stories; 4) Inspire your customers to tell stories; 5) Use images often; 6) Use video even more often; 7) Be human.
  8. 8. Great storytellers / Jobs
  9. 9. Great storytellers / Coca Cola
  10. 10. Great storytellers / Lego
  11. 11. Private sector is learning from nonprofits • On McKinsey’s website there’s an article about The Dragonfly Effect, Stanford University marketing professor Jennifer Aaker and marketing strategist Andy Smith; • Through the example of Scott Harrison, an American photographer, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of the non-profit “charity: water” they explain to the private sector how to achieve engagement, which they define as “truly making people feel emotionally connected to helping you achieve your goals” through storytelling, authenticity, and establishing a personal connection.
  12. 12. And what about cooperatives?
  13. 13. Ceux qui aiment les lundis • The book was published with one of the most important French publishers: Hachette - Editions du Chêne. • The campaign also included: itinerant exhibitions (10), website, videos, radio commercials, posters… • The project had excellent results and media coverage. • The book and the campaign were awarded with three prizes at the 2013 Conference on communication “Corporate Business”. • Example of very good non-digital communication; good communications isn’t only about technology and new media.
  14. 14. / outcomes • is the first global digital campaign to choose the storytelling tradition as a way of communicating the cooperative experience to the general public. • was imagined as a tool to create authentic cooperative storytelling which would be able to generate a real and not just rhetorical image of the cooperative values. • Outcomes: 450 stories, 200.000 visits from all five continents, an average of 10.000 views a month.
  15. 15. / our experience Positive Negative • enthusiastic, surprising, stimulating, challenging; • • impressing vitality, variety and potential of cooperatives; still very strong and “old style” communication: one-way and top down; • weak storytelling abilities; • coops are treasure trove of authentic stories but it’s difficult to reach them; • • good feedback and reaction to the project: lots of contacts and requests to use the stories database. interesting stories and information often go untold due to slow and bureaucratic procedures; • Diffidence, disinterest, lack of replies; • Language barrier.
  16. 16. / What we need • Authentic stories that go beyond a mere presentation of what you do and how you do it. • Stories that tell more about workers, members, customers, products. • Don't be too afraid to tell stories that show failure, poor judgment, or mistakes on your part. • The story should go beyond data, income and turnover, commercial and marketing strategies. • People are at the core of the cooperative business model and should be the protagonist of cooperative storytelling.
  17. 17. /Future • Authentic and realistic representation of the pluralism of the cooperative movement on one side and experimentation of new forms of collaboration, not only among coops but also between coops and their stakeholders. • Online and offline platform for the creation of: relations, networks, and supply chains. • Crowdfunding platform to support, finance and help the creation of new cooperative businesses.
  18. 18. Thank you for your attention!