Best Practices

Make Me Care: Telling Your Organizational Story

Published Apr 09, 2015 by SourceLink Administrator

Laura Packer knows that the best way to the truth is through a good story. She has helped for- and non-profit organizations around the country identify, hone and celebrate their stories, all with the goal of more effective and persuasive communication. Through listening and speaking exercises as well as story gathering and telling experiences, organizations come to a clearer understanding of their vision, needs and possibilities.

Laura will be a presenter at our 2015 U.S.SourceLink Conference.

By: Laura Packer

The greatest story commandment? Make me care

 - Andrew Stanton

How does this apply to business? How caringdoesn't it apply?! If you want people to purchase your product, use your services, donate and evangelize, they need to care about what you do. And the quickest way to engage emotions is to tell a story that resonates with them.

Think about the stories that have moved you. The ones that made you wipe away a tear or two. The ones that made you laugh until your sides ached. The ones that made you open your wallet. You are your customer. Find the stories in your business that will evoke a reaction. Dig deep. You have them.

Are you a construction firm? What happens in the homes you build, the public spaces you've designed? Get more specific. Wedding proposals, babies born, problems solved, lives lived. This will move people to action because they will understand that your structures are where life happens. They know it by the story.

Maybe you're a non-profit. Tell the stories of the specific people you've helped. The staff member who discovered their true calling. The times when you could have done more. This will move people to action because they will empathize - we all want to be the hero who creates change. The story makes it possible.

When we care about something we are moved to action. We want to own it, support it, change it. Stories are the short cut to caring. If your story lacks emotional resonance then it won't move people. If it does, you can move the world.

Visit Laura’s blog, ThinkStory: The organizational storytelling blog

Reprinted with permission (c) 2013 Laura Packer

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