Thursday, December 14, 2006

Story telling for NGOs: The key to winning GR success

By Jennifer Bradd

Today, it seems everyone is telling stories: on talk shows, on the Internet, and for hours and hours with cheap long distance rates. Missing from this information cacophony are the voices that sing the stories of the people who are working for a common good in the charitable sector.

Whether your charity advocates human rights, solar-powered energy, or affordable social housing, you play a vital role in Canada’s economy and contribute to the development of our civil society. Here are four reasons to make a commitment to telling your charity’s story:

To put (and keep) your issue on the public agenda.

Education is the key to raising public awareness about any issue. People cannot act until they care about something. They will not care until they’re informed. Telling the story of your issue or organization is the first step to engaging the public’s interest in it.

To build support, attract members and increase donations to your cause.

By telling your story, you will attract new donors and tap into new networks. You will be educating people and then empowering them to take whatever actions are needed to help you reach your goals: volunteering, writing letters, writing cheques....

To increase the credibility of your organization.

Name recognition will give your organization credibility. People repeatedly return to what they are familiar with, so ensure that they are familiar with your name, slogan, logo and purpose. Share your stories in newsletters, on your website, with reporters and with people in line at the grocery store!

To make sure your story is told in your words.

You are the best person to tell your organization’s story—you have the passion, you
know the facts and you know how you want your listeners to respond. Being proactive,
telling your story before someone else does, will put you in a much stronger position to achieve your organizational goals.

Mark Buzan is the owner of Action Strategies, a public affairs & marketing communications consultancy. You can subscribe now to his monthly public affairs newsletter by visiting www.action-strategies.ca and dropping down the newsletter menu.

No comments: