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Successfully Promoting Stories

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 20, 2011 - 1:52pm

Many advocacy organizations are using the power of personal stories to both build community around a specific issue, as well as to sway policy. After developing the story tool on your website to both collect and display stories, you need to get the word out!

Online Campaign

  1. Initially promote sharing tool, rather than reading. It is sad when there aren't many stories to read yet. So, get stories first!
  2. Plan a set of at least 3 blasts specifically on your topic/action. Each of these blast should be action-oriented, not-too-wordy, with the link to the action (sharing the story) listed multiple times in the email, and perhaps even with a large button to click too.
    • First mention it in its own email, including an intro to the stories topic, anything time sensitive, and why it is so important to share
    • Second, follow-up email featuring a story that has been submitted, tips for a great story and link to submit your own
    • Third follow-up with a shorter email with invite your friends/sharing links, perhaps with quotes from other stories as well.
  3. Before, during and after, mention the campaign in any other emails you send.
  4. Post several times on Facebook for people to participate, sharing stories and sharing link for the stories.
  5. Tweet multiple times (with various content/links/dates/times ofday to encourage people to share and read stories.

Promote with Google and/or Facebook Ads

Search terms and ad language dependent on campaign. For example Apple Cart Stories –
Sample search terms: apple cart, small farms, apple farm, apple tree, cart vendor, fruit vendor
Sample ad: Apple Carts are Fabulous! Share your story - http://www.cra-nc.org/node/add/your-stories-loan-mod

Down the road, after people are participating, it is good to expand the story functionality and integrate it with action, like:

  • Coordinate with General Assembly votes
  • Find hallmark story to promote, hold press conference and have that person speak
  • Online Petition
  • Video stories

Resources

Overview Articles and Tips -
http://documents.csh.org/documents/policy/AdvTraining/TellingStories.pdf
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/SP215.pdf

Context -
http://www.epolitics.com/2009/08/07/digital-age-media-relations-pitching-stories-in-a-challenging-news-environment/
http://www.storynet-advocacy.org/news/

Stories in Action -
http://www.kiracorser.com/matriot/advocacy.html
http://tools.iscvt.org/advocacy/stories_from_the_field/coalitionstories
http://www.performingartsconvention.org/advocacy/id=263