Three Powerful Stories that Drive Impact

Stories have the power to change hearts and minds. In social change communications, a story can be a powerful tool to drive support for an issue, change perceptions and build movements.

Scientific statistics and facts are important to demonstrate evidence and support arguments, but oftentimes emotions drive decision making. Throughout history, people tend to vote in elections with their gut.

But it’s sometimes challenging to pinpoint what kinds of the stories will resonate most with your target audience.

Check out these three examples of powerful stories that drive impact.

Detroit Tells its Story

The City of Detroit shares powerful stories about its communities at
TheNeighborhoods.org to tell a greater narrative about the city. The stories of individuals are personal. They shed light on the the city—its history, its culture and its people.

During Pride Month in June, TheNeighborhoods published a series, #QueerinDetroit, which shares the voices of queer individuals in the city.

The person behind the stories is Aaron Foley, Chief Storyteller for Detroit. Check out his talk at the frank gathering last year, Why Detroit’s Story Matters, where he explains how this storytelling drives impact in Detroit.

We the People Shares Immigrant Stories

The docuseries We the People shares immigrant stories. Filmmaker Swati Ali aims to recreate dinner conversations she had with friends who have immigrated to the U.S., hoping to capture their interesting and oftentimes challenging journeys.

The Skanner reports: “Through personal tales, ‘We the People’ touches on themes of stereotypes, language barriers, identity and loss, while focusing on the human – and often humorous side – of immigrant stories.”

These video stories help viewers understand and relate to immigrants in their communities. Though the topic of immigration is politicized, these videos show the faces behind the issue.


Darkness to Light Drives Awareness and Action

Darkness to Light administers educational materials to help adults detect and stop child sex abuse before it happens. Though it’s a tough topic to talk about, the organization lifts up stories from survivors of child sex abuse to convey the importance of addressing this issue.

The videos are deeply personal. They are so powerful, that viewers are compelled to take action.

There are plenty of statistics and other data to back up their work and demonstrate that it’s working. However, it’s often the stories that tug at emotions and drive action.

 

If you want to learn how to tell powerful stories with purpose, check out the Communication Network’s new Storytelling for Good platform.

Jenna Cerruti

Managing Director and Vice President Jenna Cerruti leads Prichard's client work. Before Prichard, she spent several years working with for-profit, purpose-drive brands. When she is not developing strategic communications plans, brainstorming digital communications strategies or executing media relations for clients, she is on the hunt to find the best pizza in Portland, likely listening to her favorite diva, Beyonce, along the way.
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