There’s some excellent food for thought in this article tackling the hype around storytelling, by Patrick Olszowski of Outrageous Impact. We’re big advocates of storytelling here at Digital Charity Lab, but can’t disagree with Patrick when he argues that there’s too much short-term thinking in the way many organisations approach storytelling. People get too fixated on spikes of online interest and don’t think about how they can build a coherent story over years that demonstrates impact and heart.
As Patrick says:
Once you know your customers and supporters and your own story, the next step is telling your story. Here think long-term. Not for you the short term, heady fix of a heavily retweeted graphic – but a long-term, developed, ‘universe’.
This again is a word attracting a LOT of ‘snake-oil sales-personship’.
Buoyed by the success of Marvel’s multi-billion dollar, Marvel Cinematic Universe (TM), where different characters (Iron Man, Jessica Jones, The Hulk) all inhabit the same world – organisations are rushing to generate their own worlds/universes – often with shambolic results.
One mistake people are making is to think that they have to make up characters and plot lines – you don’t.
Instead it is about uncovering and empowering the real people, staff, supporters, customers who are tackling real problems and trusting them to tell your story – over a far longer period than most normally do.
Patrick is the founder of Outrageous Impact, a UK based consultancy that works with organisations to tell long-term, data-driven stories that increase support.