Deep Dive Breakout 1

Friday, August 5, 2016

10:15am – 11:15am

Amanda Uherek (Healthcare Leadership Council), Narric Rome (Americans for the Arts), Gillian Ray (Children’s Hospital Association) and Anthony Green (Safe Kids) 

Quality matters! Heartfelt messages from constituents often carry more weight than thousands of form letters and robo-call patch-throughs. Collecting these stories isn’t expensive or even that time-consuming, but it does require creating a process and a culture that values these contributions.

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Learning Objectives:

  • How do you create a culture that values high-quality stories?
  • Does it need to look professional to be effective?
  • What are some examples of processes that people have used?
  • Strategic planning to build on an issue/movement.
  • Examples of stories and different ways of storytelling.
  • Making the best of what you have vs. finding the perfect story.
  • Challenges of reaching people in difficult situations & getting them to tell their story.

How do you create a culture that values high-quality stories?

  • Remind advocates/members that during the summer months to invite their policymakers to their organizations to have the opportunity to tell their own stories while they are home and not in Washington.
  • Create a culture of storytelling.
  • Establish your overall brand story and make sure all your stories really follow or fall in line with that brand.
  • Stress that storytelling drives results such as legislation, fundraising, revenue, and awareness.
  • Key attributes to make a storytelling culture: Create a mindset and appreciation for stories and create capacity.
  • Don’t be afraid to share the tough stories. Sometimes those are the most impactful.

Does it need to look professional to be effective?

  • The most important thing is to make sure the video is real, authentic and true over being professional, branded and polished.
  • Gritty = Good
  • Stories/images should be friendly, inviting, and authentic.
  • Depends on the audience of the video but real is most often better.

What are some examples of processes that people have used?

  • Create a place online for people to share their stories with you directly, rather then going out and collecting them yourself.
  • Make sure it is an easy process.
  • Create a page that allows people to opt-in to the resources that are relevant to them rather than overflowing them with information.
  • Pull in the feed of stories being shared on your social channels to the story-sharing page to encourage people to share their stories.

Strategic planning to build on an issue/movement.

  • Storytelling can be a very compelling tool to get legislation passed on the hill. The more personal stories you can collect and share with policymakers the more policymakers can connect with the issue and want to do something about it.
  • Providing education along with asking about people’s stories is very important as well.

Examples of stories and different ways of storytelling.

  • Create a set of videos that give basic information with different lengths of times so that people can pick and choose which length and type of videos works for the situation they need them for.
  • With everyone sharing so much information you need to make sure the stories being shared on your site are vetted.
  • If it’s a difficult message sharing someone’s story from their perspective can be the best way to simplify the message for everyone to understand.

Making the best of what you have vs. finding the perfect story.

  • Encourage creativity resources and tailor outreach materials to each stakeholder.
  • Collect stories on various platforms and also share stories on various platforms as well.

Challenges of reaching people in difficult situations & getting them to tell their story.

  • Reach people in difficult situations to share their stories in unique way and make it a way that is approachable and comfortable for them.
  • It is not easy for people in difficult situations to share their story so talk with them to understand what their hesitancy is to sharing and how you can help them feel comfortable to share.
  • It is hard to be vulnerable and share stories. So it is essential to give people the confidence to share their stories.

Q&A 

Audience Question: What methods do people use to store their stories?

Answer:

  • Nation Builder is what Children’s Hospital uses to store and sort their stories. If they collect stories on the spot they will enter them into Nation Builder.
  • You have to make sure that the stories are still relevant and that parts of the story hasn’t changed (someone passing away, etc.)

Audience Question: What are the pros/cons of getting a bunch of stories in one place (at a conference)?

Answer:

  • It is great because you have everyone there in one spot and great to collect a bunch of stories for a story bank.
  • Con: All the stories/videos have the same background and have more of a corporate/forced feel rather than being authentic and unscripted.

Audience Question: Has anyone had success streamlining the stories collected and the process on how you share them?

Answer:

  • Rather than people sharing their story directly, eBay collects the stories via quick phone interview and then they put it directly into a really nice template that makes it easy to share through various platforms and materials.
  • Youtube just came out with a new video template that helps you create a video in an already-made template.

Audience Question: How do make sure all the departments in the organization are invested in the storytelling mentality.

Answer:

  • Get leadership to buy into the idea of storytelling so that it trickles down to all the departments.
  • Give people a template and an umbrella of what type of stories or the theme throughout the story to follow. Give guidelines.
  • Create a video to help everyone understand the power of the story and what your organizations brand story is.