Share G.R.E.A.T. Stories to Advance Your Goals

Best Buddies International

Like many of you, I’ve been working with storytelling for more than a decade now. And, like many of you, I know we need to do it better.

We use too many over-simplified stories—black-and-white stories that don’t ring true. Stories that are all about us, don’t have relevance to our supporters, or don’t map to our organizational identity. Stories that leave the reader or listener thinking “so what.”

That’s a real waste of our supporters’ and prospects’ time and attention. In fact, it’s alienating. Telling one-offs or weak stories like these makes your people feel you don’t understand or care about them. That means they’re less likely to stay engaged and provide the help you need. There’s a better way.

I’m excited to guide you to share stories with purpose—G.R.E.A.T. stories—via a series of blog posts over the next few months. It was your questions and requests that spurred me to design this new approach. Thank you.

Here’s how we’ll get there. I can’t wait to hear your additions, tweaks, and case studies of what works and what doesn’t:

  • Goal-oriented framework for story collection and useMap story collection to right-now campaigns. Root all stories in your organization’s “master story.”
  • Rich, relevant, and repeatable stories: Develop rich, specific stories incorporating the core components necessary to engage your people, and ensure they remember and repeat your stories their own networks.
  • Ethical story sourcing and sharing: Respect, don’t exploit, privacy to ensure the dignity and safety of story subjects. Whose stories are they? Who tells them?
  • Action: Shape stories as pathways to action, with a specific, doable call to action in each one.
  • Train a team of storytelling champions: Story owners, and those positioned to identify, collect, and share those stories.

I’m just back from a week training and coaching 30 Ohio organizations on G.R.E.A.T. storytelling. It was exciting to hear their “AHAs.” Many of them are “starting over” with storytelling this week and I can’t wait to hear how that goes.

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Nancy Schwartz in storytelling | 3 comments
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