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!
- Initially promote sharing tool, rather than reading. It is sad when there aren't many stories to read yet. So, get stories first!
- 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.
- Before, during and after, mention the campaign in any other emails you send.
- Post several times on Facebook for people to participate, sharing stories and sharing link for the stories.
- 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