The stories provide the frameworks through which we view and understand the world, they tap into emotions and values we hold dear and help us communicate and understand each other better. This is why storytelling is a powerful tool for civil society organizations and activists, journalists or influencers that seek to generate an impact, mobilize resources and promote a systemic change inside society.

Social change is about narratives, because it depends on the emotional connection we manage to establish with the audience and in the future change their way of thinking and perceiving what is happening around us. This is why narratives and stories are the ones that change the world, do you know how they differ?

  • The story is “something that happens (events) to someone (character) that teaches us something (learning)”. Story connects us to emotion. Great stories are high on emotional engagement and low on facts (while they have information and facts within their structures, story is better at holding one or two key facts and surrounding it with emotion).

  • A narrative is a group of stories that all equal the same thing (or promote the same learning).

  • An idea is a concept, the core, the underlining truth of the matter

Social organizations face the challenge of capturing the attention and support of an audience that is increasingly saturated with information. Storytelling allows them to overcome this obstacle by creating deep emotional connections with their audience, which generates the mobilization of the public with your campaigns. Do you know how to identify your target audience? Answer the following questions and learn how to identify and segment your audience:

  • Who is your target audience?

  • What actions do you want to change?

  • Who do you want to influence?

  • Who do you want to persuade to do or not to do something?

  1. Now, to create the story consider the following components:

    1. Who is your protagonist (target audience, social group, society in general)
    2. What is the problem or what are the difficulties they face (dangers, threats, injustices, fears)
    3. What is our vision of society (a world without that problem)
    4. What solutions do we have to address the problem or make our vision a reality, what are the objectives or goals we aspire to?
    5. What is the call to action? Examples of what we are talking about.

In summary, narratives are an essential tool for social organizations in their effort to generate positive impact on society. By creating emotional connections, building identity and credibility, mobilizing action and creating lasting impact, storytelling can transform not only individual perceptions, but also social structures and public policies.

🔗 Head to the Hive Mind free, self-paced course on Building Positive Narratives, to enhance your story-telling skills: