Change-making stories: 4 steps to better campaigns

WinThis is my favourite exercise for helping organizers get clear on their campaign:

Dream: Tell three stories about the future you’re working to create – your change-making story, your target’s and your supporter’s. What were the risks they took, the investments they made to go from the status quo to this new reality? What impact did this experience have on them and their community? What values motivated them, what lessons did they learn, who helped them along the way? Bake these stories into your campaign branding and messaging.

Anticipate: Consider the journey – all the little stories that shape and react to the lead-up to this win. Picture the moments you want to create, the ones that can and will happen, the ups and downs – and the various scenarios that arise as a result. Understand how you will react, pivot and overcome the challenges you and your supporters will face. Be the calm mentor that helps them persevere and strategically problem-solve.

Share: Establish who needs to tell these stories, and how your target can best hear these stories. Figure out how you’ll help storytellers craft, capture and share stories that are compelling and creative. Show, rather than tell, your stories – be visual, be human, be graphic. Be the thread that keeps tying individual stories back to the bigger vision.

Iterate: Actively solicit and interpret feedback on how these stories are resonating, and see where you and your storytellers can improve the content and form of your stories as you build towards your win.

Photo credit: garryknight on Flickr.

Three things campaigns can learn from cats

Here’s a great video from YouTube for Good’s Jessica Mason, describing the lessons nonprofits can learn from the overwhelming success of cat videos and their kin.

She boils it down to three principles:

1. Tell universal stories. Use narratives that transcend boundaries and connect to our human selves that love kittens and babies.

2. Engage regularly. Find ways to let people in on your work on a regular basis,

Be surprising, original, action-packed. No more talking heads – show your work instead of telling it.

All highly valuable lessons. And if our love of justice and freedom can be evoked with compelling, beautiful and real imagery and stories, then we’ll be building something that can intimately connect people to our important work.

Interested in creating videos for your nonprofit? Get in touch – Collective Strategy can help you build a solid, snappy video product for your next campaign.