The irresistible power of storytelling for organizations

“Good stories surprise us. They have compelling characters. They make us think, make us feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that numbers and text on a slide with a bar graph don’t.” Read more

How to engage your readers, courtesy of UNICEF

Here’s a great way to raise awareness of and engagement around pertinent issues or major reports, courtesy of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This photo story on walks us through the major accomplishments regarding the child-related Millennium Development Goals, while highlighting what still needs to be achieved over the next 15 years, under the Sustainable Development Goals. After scrolling through the page, we’re invited to read the report that the content is linked to, namely the Progress for Children report.

Here’s what we can learn from this example: tell an engaging story centred on people (whether it’s the people that are benefiting from your initiative or the people that support it), use accessible language, highlight the issue(s) clearly, back up your statements with effective statistics, and never forget to use powerful imagery, whether it’s through photos, video or infographics.

Is anyone actually reading PDFs?

The World Bank asked this question earlier this year, analysing their web traffic data to find out. The conclusion? Nearly one-third of their PDF reports had never been downloaded. Another 40 percent had been downloaded fewer than 100 times, and only 13 percent were downloaded more than 250 times.

In a somewhat witty article looking at the problems with PDFs, Washington Post journalist Christopher Ingraham writes:

“Still, it’s fair to assume that many big-idea reports with lofty goals to elevate the public discourse never get read by anyone other than the report writer and maybe an editor or two. Maybe the author’s spouse. Or mom.”

Burying PDFs in some forsaken area of a website or using PDFs as the sole/go-to source of communication to stakeholders is rarely the best way to ensure outreach with maximum impact. Research finding’s like the World Bank’s make a case for more strategic, tailored and interactive approaches to information dissemination. There’s a wealth of communications tools and approaches out there – all we need to do is take outreach more seriously. I’ll be sure to share more information on the alternatives in future posts.

Read Ingraham’s full article here. It’s a good (and short) read.

Quick tips for effective content marketing

In the wide world of communications, nothing beats strong, well-written content. Great content effectively communicates your objectives and value to your stakeholders, with or without photos, video or other media. But in order to maximize the full potential of this great content, it needs to be sharable and reach the right people. This is where content marketing comes in. Check out these tips for effective content marketing.