Nonprofit Storytelling Breaking Bad Style

Whether you love, hate or have never seen Breaking Bad, there’s a lot to learn from its emotionally intense, can’t-stop-watching storytelling.

Pay special attention to these to-dos for your nonprofit storytelling:

  • Remain flexible, i.e. stay relevant—If your network’s perspective, wants or needs change, change your stories (and the rest of your messages) too to ensure connection.
  • Show and tell—Memorable details, like the cotton-candy-colored blue meth that plays a major role in the Breaking Bad story, keep the story running in your listeners’ minds.
  • Distribution is everything—Even the most moving stories will fall flat if you don’t get them out there right. Produce your stories in formats that folks like to share (i.e. video), ask them to spread the word to friends and family and provide specific how-tos to make it easy for them to do so.

Here’s how to break out of bad nonprofit stories:


Nancy Schwartz on November 5, 2013 in storytelling | 2 comments
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  • Liz Day

    Captivating story telling has always been (& will continue to be) the best way to draw in customers/clients – whether it’s for a non-profit or for profit business. However, the Breaking Bad & Walking Dead series have certainly done an outstanding job of creating viewer loyalty & lust for more. The only other show I can think of that came close to this level of expertise was 24 (which I was admittedly, thoroughly enthralled with), but it did fall short in the area of customer interaction & influence. In summary, I agree wholeheartedly … To cook up one addicted, rapidly expanding audience for your organization, it’s absolutely essential to use at least these three key elements in your recipe: pump up the tantalizing curiosity & load up the revolver of possible interactions with current addicts & finally, give them an irresistable reason (& super simple way) to share your product / service with others who have yet to sample it. If you can do that for your organization, mind blowing success will soon follow. If you can’t … Then you better hire someone who can, quick!

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