Thu, November 01 2007
Filed under: Marketing essentials •
Katya’s note: Pictured here are Robert Dickman (left) and Richard Maxwell (right), the authors of a new book called The Elements of Persuasion. This book, which helps you use storytelling to do all of your work better, is a favorite of mine. I liked it so much that I cited it heavily in Network for Good’s recent Nonprofit 911 Call on Storytelling, which you can listen to for free here. I invited the The Elements of Persuasion co-authors to do a guest post here at my blog talking about how their book can help nonprofits, and they not only agreed, they’ve done TWO guest posts. Very nice! So enjoy this first segment today - the second will run tomorrow. They are also bloggers, so be sure to check out their regular musings here.
As important as having the right story is to any organization, it is even more important in the not for profit arena. There are lots of reasons for this. Turning people on to your issue requires a great elevator pitch that doesn’t seem like one because you never know when you will run into a good volunteer or a donor ready to give. A good story helps people see that your issue is their issue too. And word of mouth is both the cheapest way to get your message out and the most persuasive form of fund raising. The right story, well told can make all the difference.
In our book The Elements of Persuasion we define a story as “a fact wrapped in an emotion that compels us to take an action that transforms our world.” A good story needs to be both emotional and truthful to work.
To be a great story it needs to use what we have identified as the Five Story Elements. Every successful story has all five – the PASSION with which the story is told, a HERO who provides the listener with a point of view to enter the story and see it as their own, an ANTAGONIST or problem that the Hero must overcome, a moment of AWARENESS that allows the Hero to prevail, and the TRANSFORMATION that results in the world. To find out more about these elements operate, you can read the first chapter here. It’s free.
Tomorrow: How you, the nonprofit, can use each of these five elements.