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.

BlackOut SpeakOut dialogue June 4th

The latest Federal Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-38) includes changes to over 70 pieces of legislation, including a number of environmental laws. Hundreds of organizations and individuals are signing onto the BlackOut SpeakOut campaign, darkening their websites on June 4th, to show their opposition to these changes.


Join us for an open dialogue about how these changes will weaken the ability of the government to protect Canada’s land, water and brainstorm about what can be done to better engage citizens in these issues.


Date: Monday June 4th, 11am – 12pm
Location: The Centre for Social Innovation, Innovation Lab, 215 Spadina, Toronto

Hope to see you there!