As 2012 winds down, many of our Chamber and Association clients are recapping the year. Here’s a fun year-end project: Make a list of all the WONDERFUL things you’re organization has done in the past 12 months. Remember the nights at City Hall or County Council where the Chamber of Commerce was the only voice being heard on behalf of your business community or the local service efforts your Association made to raise funds or build awareness to your cause.
Now for the scary part! Ask your members what THEY remember. Ask your staff…your community…
There’s a major disconnect at Chambers and Associations across the country. As an industry, we’re fantastic at getting things done, putting out fires, seeing projects to completion, raising funds and helping our constituents. Unfortunately, we rarely take credit for the work we do. We’re not very good at telling our stories.
Stories excite us. Great storytellers know how to use words and images to capture us and engage us at a very emotional level. We become so wrapped up in the story, we sometimes lose track of time and just sit wide-eyed as we listen to the tale unfold. How powerful would it be to have the ability to get our members wrapped up into our stories? Nobody is going to do it for us…we have to champion this effort ourselves. Here are a few tips that will make YOU a better storyteller for your organization:
- Define the ACTION you want your audience to take after reading your story (join the organization, donate time or money, contact their elected officials, etc)
- Identify an EMOTION that will lead the audience to take the desired action (unfortunately, negative emotions are usually the most effective…fear of losing out on an opportunity, frustration with the current situation or the proposed change you’re hoping to defeat, and so on)
- Tell your story from the WHY vantage point (forget who, what, where, when and how for a moment and focus on why they should feel the emotion and why they should take action to fix the problem).
As Chamber of Commerce and Association professionals, it is up to us to make sure we take better advantage of the opportunities we have to communicate to our constituents effectively via emails, newsletters, videos, social media posts and whatever else we have at our disposal. At Membership180, we can’t WAIT to hear the stories YOUR organization will tell in 2013!