Just One Thing: Storytelling

Hilary Hutcheson of Outside Media had a fabulous presentation on the topic, Integrating your Media Strategy, on November 12. She will be back to present on the topic of Social Media for the Managers Forum on December 3rd from 3:30 – 4:30 pm at the Basement Conference Room at the Main Library in Kalispell.

Among all of the other great tips and strategy, the “Just One Thing” take-away was the importance of storytelling in a nonprofit’s media strategy. Not only just telling the story, but using a technique taught to Journalism students and used by reporters for your media releases.

1. Don’t Bury the Lead: Be concise and upfront about what you really want the reporter to cover.
2. Find the “Real” Person: Coordinate an interview between a person impacted by your mission and services and the reporter.
3. Emotional Body: Connect the reporter emotionally to why the story matters. If you connect the reporter, the reporter can convey that passion and emotion to their audience.
4. Compelling Elements: Offer visuals and sounds that help tell the story.
5. Concise and Conversational: The reporter has a very limited time to hear the story and to tell the story. Translate your story into everyday language in a concise manner.
6. Obey Deadline: The reporter has a fixed deadline. Standing a reporter up by not providing the information they need by their deadline puts the reporter in an awkward position with their boss and loses the credibility of your organization.
7. Descriptive: Use a common visual to show the impact of your story. For example, instead of saying “2000 pounds of food,” say “two truckloads of food.”

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