While there is no magic formula to creating a successful campaign for your organization, we have gathered four helpful steps inspired by the social justice communication lab, Opportunity Agenda’s communications toolkit: “Vision, Values, and Voice”. We hope this can inspire you and guide you to build a compelling narrative that both speaks to your organization & moves the heart of your audience to achieve a higher impact for your cause!
Step #1: Lead With Values
Before you introduce the social problem your organization’s mission is seeking to improve, start by enabling a connection and establishing a “common ground” to help set the tone. Beginning with shared values not only aligns with your organization’s voice & mission but is more effective in making your audience respond to your message.
The following questions and "Empathy Map" can both be great ways to get "into the minds" of your audience:
- Why should your audience care about your cause?
- What does your audience say, feel, think, or do about your cause?
- How can you share your message from your organization’s voice in a way that also speaks to your audience?
Download Empathy Map template here
Step #2: Introduce the Problem/Cause
Framing makes a significant impact on communication, so you should not only increase awareness of the issue, but also make it resonate with your target audience. Now’s the time to maximize your storytelling! Opportunity Agenda suggests that portraying the problem you seek to tackle as a “threat” to your organization's vision & values, and by providing more context as to the cause of the problem, brings more focus & support.
The following can help you introduce your problem:
- Share relevant data that highlights & affirms the need for your work
- Display your impact & metrics
- Add photos, stories, relevant quotes, and more visual storytelling to support the need
Step #3: Pivot Quickly to Solutions
Once your audience understands the dimensions of the problem you seek to solve & is captivated, what solutions are out there they can take? While it's important to acknowledge the many challenges that social issues have, try to avoid “compassion fatigue,” which happens when solutions to social issues seem too complex to be resolved. Instead, emphasize how your audience CAN make a difference, and encourage them to take action in specific ways.
- Include wording that is inspiring and encourages a positive action
- Use expressions like "make an impact now" and "here's how to be a changemaker"
- Reference to shared responsibility & how “we are all in this together”
Step #4: Assign a Concrete Action
The more clear & realistic your call to action (CTA) is, the more effective it can be. Imagine what your audience can see themselves doing, whether it’s donating online, sharing content on their social media, signing a petition, making a phone call, telling a friend, etc. For this step, we recommend the following:
- Make sure your CTA sends them in the proper direction. Double check for broken links, incorrect email addresses, or unavailable websites.
- Be as practical as you can, while still daring to dream big! You never know until you ask.
- Showcase multiple ways to make an impact, such as fundraising, donating, volunteering, and more! It is never one size fits all.