9/19/2012 3:29 PM
One of the most effective ways to promote your organization is to put a face on it, concluded a Sept. 19 seminar conducted by Susan Davis International (SDI) and Carousel30 that was sponsored by Capitol Communicator.
SDI began the session by demonstrating the power of storytelling by sharing a story from the personal history of the firm’s founder, Susan Ann Davis. “If you tell the story right, people will care,” said Vice President Tom Davis. SDI discussed how they help their nonprofit clients tell their story: identifying the organization’s story or story components, the storytellers who can share that story, and the tactics and mediums that can be used to communicate it to their audiences. In the case studies that followed, Senior Account Executive Victoria Shapiro illustrated how she helped a client with the challenge of communicating detailed research progress by weaving facts and figures into personal stories of lung cancer survivors that attracted media outlets like the New York Times. Director Dan Gregory spoke about a military support organization that had trouble connecting with audiences as they fundraised for a museum that hadn’t been built yet. SDI worked with the nonprofit to put a face to the individuals that would benefit from the museum and the stories that would remain untold if it wasn’t built.
After attendees learned how to develop and share their stories, Carousel30’s VP of Digital Strategy Greg Kihlström followed with the fact that every story needs a strong digital strategy and component to complement the traditional tactics. Kihlström briefed attendees on Carousel30’s digital strategy process and how to successfully tell stories in digital formats to achieve organizational goals. He followed this with three case studies that put that digital strategy process into action. Kihlström explained how the Trust for the National Mall uses digital tactics like social media, blogger outreach and fundraising campaigns to reach audiences efficiently and leverage its story online. He also shared an example from The Nature Conservancy’s Don’t Move Firewood campaign, which turned a complex conservation issue into a simple and easily shareable story through the use of digital tools such as Facebook games and YouTube videos, and 7 Billion and Me, which used a digital campaign to create a unique experience for every website visitor through a custom application tool covered by BBC News and CBS Evening News.
For the event, Carousel30 released an ebook, “Creating a Digital Strategy for Nonprofits,” with more detailed insights on the topic. The ebook is available for download here.