Presentation on theme: "TELLING YOUR STORY Using Narratives to Engage Others, Cultivate Champions, and Advance your Vision."— Presentation transcript:
TELLING YOUR STORY Using Narratives to Engage Others, Cultivate Champions, and Advance your Vision
Objectives Participants will: Refine their ‘message’ for communicating their Healthy Communities Initiative work Understand how storytelling fits into HCI communities’ strategic communication approaches Familiarize themselves with tools for cultivating and curating effective stories for advocacy Be inspired by other examples of effective communication as a tool for social and community change
Building on your Foundation What communications goals have you outlined? Who are the audiences with the most influence over your success? What pressures do those audiences face? What do you need to communicate about how your policy success will help these audiences alleviate these burdens? What do you most want people to understand about this element of your work? What message do you need them to take away? What does communications ‘success’ look like, in this case?
Why your Message Matters Self-Assessment: Where are you currently communicating? What is your ‘frame’ for your current messages? How well do your messengers match your message? How well do your messages match your audience? What evidence do you have that your messages/frames are penetrating? Have you developed messages for likely scenarios—speaking with policymakers, approaching potential donors, soliciting partner support, responding to a critical incident in the media, initiating media coverage about a special event?
Mass Media and Beyond Improving your communications: Are your delivery vehicles versatile enough for the arenas where you use them? Do your messages translate what you’re expert in into what others/outsiders can relate to? Do your messages allow you to drive the narrative, so you don’t get trapped only responding to the frames others pose? Do you have malleable messages that can, for example, tell your story in grant applications, communications with allies and potential clients, and public officials, as well as media?
What is your message? Examples from other advocacy work: Mental illness is common. Recovery is possible. Healthcare for all improves the health of all. Medicaid expansion is good for the Missouri economy. Examples from Healthy Communities Initiative?
Message Boxes Tool that forces message discipline (3 or 4 key subpoints as evidence—some can be stories) NOT sound bites—you can vary the words that you use, as long as you communicate the core content Versatile, in that you can pivot to any point on the message box, in response to an opening, and in that any messenger can adapt them to his/her emphasis and style and voice Aggregative—the messages should build on each other (in any order), towards a coherent thesis Authentic—these need to be messages that you would really use, that feel comfortable for you to say
Building your message boxes First, core/main message What you want people to be left with (even if unspoken) Second, 3-4 subpoints The few things you’d like them to really remember Third, the evidence you use to illustrate the inherent logic of your subpoints Stories and data Fourth, revisit that overall message Are the subpoints really driving toward that overarching theme? Do they all really support that message?
Why stories? Help people connect to your journey and imagine their own Invite others to be part of your work Reduce defensiveness, because your story is your own Provide inspiration to others—and encourage them to tell their stories Complement the data we collect about our work Increase our own investment
What makes an effective story? Focused Positively charged Crafted Framed Practiced
Examples Mom advocating for funding for Early Headstart Mothers Against Drunk Driving Operation Breakthrough urban poverty bus tour Teen’s experience in foster care ‘We are Marie’ campaign Early breast cancer awareness
Story Tools Story Maps Six-Word Reasons Storytelling/collection Systems Collective Narratives