Creating a Culture of Storytelling from #10NTC

Info from NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference. If you couldn’t make it to NTC, I am sharing what I learned.

This was a FABULOUS session. Many thanks to Roger Burks, Senior Writer from MercyCorps and Jay Davis, Online Community Director from Equality California for giving us real tips and tools that we can use to create a culture of storytelling in our organizations.

You can download Roger and Jay’s PowerPoint presentations here. Let me summarize the session.

To create a culture of storytelling we need:

  • Stakeholder empowerment
  • Structure
  • Training
  • Toolkit
  • Incentives
  • Lead by example
  • Commitment to collecting stories

Writing needs to be all about:

  • The organization
  • What you do
  • Who you help

Check out a Drupal content management system to help you manage multiple bloggers, messages, moderate opening and carefully. To really share the message you need to:

  • Engage staff
  • Possibily hire part-time or full-time writers, journalism interns, or freelancers dedicated to writing for you
  • Create a consistent message that have different voices or personalities
  • Place stories throughout your website, not just in one place
  • Look for stories that already exist from your supporters or news.
  • Asked supporters – frame a question – get authentic, plant suggestions Need to engage 7-10 times to get a response
  • Allow access via social media, phone, web
  • Supporters will find a channel good for them
  • Be generous –  recognize leaders and supporters.
  • Show everyone response, stats and comments
  • Use other pictures and faces on your SM sites
  • Bring those you are trying to reach into the conversation –

Checklist for a good story – from Roger Burks

  • Is this a story I want to tell?
  • Does it have a heartbeat?
  • Is it transformative?
  • Does it have an expiration date?
  • Will it make the reader take action?
  • Select words you use or don’t use – victims v. survivors for example

Five Ws and a H

  • WHO is…your champion, corp writers/contributors, audience, needs to buy in
  • WHAT – are your stories, opportunities, challenges, skill level and time commitment of writers/contributors Be bold, follow your passion, commit to a path, share all of the above again again and again
  • WHEN – do you plan to add and update stories, how often. No pressure but a plan where you can succeed
  • WHERE – to post and promote – don’t bury it on your website.. let them know where and how to read!
  • WHY will this benefit our organization – keeps peeps coming back, engaged and giving more
  • HOW do you keep it going and engage…. Daily blog = sharing passion tell someone who doesn’t work for your organization what is exciting, funny, interesting about the work and job.

Lead by example. Offer short training for staff and volunteers. Get together with storytellers. Encouragement not pressur.e Authenticity not polish. Quality not quantity.

2 thoughts on “Creating a Culture of Storytelling from #10NTC

    1. Terrence
      It was a great session. Roger and Jay really shared lots of great doable ideas around storytelling and using the available mediums – on and off line.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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