Most often I get asked by curious entrepreneurs and founders, “Where do I use the impact stories?” Or “How do I make sure that the story of my impact work reaches the right audience?” Or “Which channels would you recommend for showcasing our stories?”
In an earlier article titled, 5 Things To Plan For Before Telling Stories Of Impact For Your Organization, I have mentioned that identifying the outreach channels is one of the 5 things that an entrepreneur needs to plan for. What is the use if you cannot take your impact stories to the people and stakeholders who matter? Every story has a target channel of communication where the probability of finding the target audience is the highest. In this article I want to explore some of the most effective and commonly available channels to tell your story.
7 Platforms To Tell Your Impact Story
If you are a social entrepreneur or marketing professional employed with an impact organization, I recommend the following channels to tell your story.
1. Industry Events
They are the best platforms to reach out to some of the key stakeholders in the impact ecosystem. Each year witnesses several industry events organized by key governmental and non-governmental organizations in the country that bring together entrepreneurs,investors, policy makers and academicians to discuss issues and trends in the impact space. Events like Sankalp Global Summit, Villgro Unconvention and Development Dialogue represent some of the best emerging ideas and can be great congregations for telling your story.
A speaking slot in such an event is the best opportunity for you to be heard by those who matter and to use this opportunity to tell a story can create a powerful effect on your audience. Even if you are attending an industry event as a participant, a quick story or an anecdote about how your organization changed someone’s life can make for a great conversation.
2. Investor Boardrooms
The only reason you will find yourself in an investor boardroom is because you are talking to investors for raising funds for your startup. A boardroom environment is probably the best place to put your storytelling skills to practical use. You could open your presentation with a brief audio-visual story of your impact work before you proceed to facts and figures. According to a study by Wzyowl, humans tend to remember only 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. As against this, they can strongly remember and recollect 80% of what they see. Use this fact to your advantage.
3. Annual Reports
If your organization has been in impact space for a while, it’s highly likely that you must be publishing annual reports to inform key stakeholders about your performance and challenges. This piece of documentation can showcase some stellar examples of change brought about by your organization. Select stories of your impactees, impact partners, field staff and key projects embellished with real imagery can help your readers get a glimpse of your ground level work, beyond the large volume of information contained in the report.
4. Crowdfunding Platforms
Documentaries and non-fiction short films created for the specific purpose of crowdfunding campaigns have the right mix of all ingredients required to communicate the cause of the organization. Crowdfunding based stories need to be sharp,crisp and have a definite call to action in them. Objective of such stories is to yield the intended outcome of inspiring your donors to sympathize with you and to convert that feeling into a monetary donation, especially when there is nothing in it for them.
5. Social Media Channels
Social media is the best channel for telling stories on a regular basis at your will. It could be through paid or organic posts on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Choice of channels depends on where you think the bulk of your audience is. For example, if you want to reach out to investors with a well crafted story, the natural choice would be LinkedIn. If you want to create awareness about some the latest products of your fair trade brand, you may want to deploy good visual content on Facebook Or Instagram. The biggest advantage of social media channels is the freedom they accord you to experiment with your stories and messaging at affordable costs.
Your website is near synonymous with your brand and the most versatile channel for storytelling available to you. It can host a wide variety of content- videos, still imagery, articles and infographics. A well run blog on your website can prove to be a big communication asset for you. The importance of your website in pulling traffic and thus attention to your impact work cannot be emphasized enough. It also serves as the ultimate destination for your social media followers to know more about your organization.
7. Digital Media Platforms
Third party digital media channels like YouTube, Medium, Vimeo to name a few and leading email marketing tools like Mailchimp accord a mass market reach to your stories. Use them if you want to create a popular appeal for your impact work.
Every story has a target channel of communication where the probability of finding the target audience is the highest. As an entrepreneur or a marketer, if you often wonder where to tell stories of your impact work then here are some of the most effective and commonly available channels.