A good storyteller will inform and entertain, telling the story in a way that captures the readers’ imaginations and emotions and invites them into the experience. When writing a story, you’re aiming to help readers connect with the characters and relate to their situation.
To take your tales up a notch, have a think about the following points:
Humans love to hear about other humans. While your organisation has a vital role – don’t play the part of the hero. Focus on the person or people involved and tell their story, explaining their perspective and painting a vivid image of their situation.
Even if someone chooses to stay anonymous, introduce them to your readers with a chosen name. You can give disclaimers like ‘we’ll call her Sam’, or ‘name changed for privacy’. This strengthens the human element and again helps your audience to connect on a personal level. Plus, simply saying ‘they’ all the time can get pretty confusing!
Tell the Whole Story.
How many times have you finished a story, and are more confused than when you started? Don’t assume your readers will understand the inner workings of your organisation, but give enough detail that anyone can pick up the page and understand context. Make sure that you give a brief one-sentence explanation for any initiatives that are mentioned, rather than leaving the reader to make their own assumptions.
Explain Facts and Stats.
Numbers hold a whole lot of weight when you understand what they represent. If you want to celebrate the number of families you’ve reached or are thanking volunteers for the mammoth amount of time they’ve given, concentrate on what this actually means. Give examples of what they completed or what is now possible, giving life to the numbers and inviting readers into the journey.
Before and After.
Transformations are thrilling! Give examples of what the before and after situations look like, remembering to use enough information to grip your readers and help them to imagine each scenario. Explain what your clients can do now that they couldn’t before, and how it’s changed their life in a practical way.
Think about your stories as having a classic storytelling plot. Who is the target? Who, or what, is the villain, and who is the hero? What’s the catalyst that enables the hero to save the day?
A picture paints a thousand words! Storytelling isn’t limited to text on a page or reserved for around the campfire. There are so many ways to visually tell stories, the most common being through video, photographs and info-graphics. Visual elements add to your words in a way that a thousand paragraphs couldn’t. You can integrate images into blog posts and newsletter updates, or choose to create videos for social media.
Emily is our Marketing and Communications guru with Exult and has a passion for digital marketing!
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