Leveraging Events and Building Engagement Through Storytelling

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Leveraging Events and Building Engagement Through StorytellingAnita Fitzhugh, Senior Communications Specialist Sam Churich, Communications Specialist

Good stories stand the test of time and unite us

Identify stories within events

Leverage those stories internally and externally Guests Sponsors Community Media

Dan Griffis, VP Experiential Marketing at Target Corporation

Asks if events: Will be warm?Will be cool?

How do you find a story that will make your event stand out?

Storytelling isnt about you.. its about whos listening.

Find an overarching message that helps create a compelling narrative and lasting impact.

March of Dimes March for Babies

Story Sample #1

Join us at the Capitol for a walk with friends to help raise money for babies born too soon.

March of Dimes March for Babies

Story Sample #2

Meet Hazel Day. Shes two-years-old and an ambassador for March of Dimes. She was born weighing two pounds, 11 ounces. The smallest diapers didnt fit her and she spent five weeks in the ICU. Shes alive thanks to people like you who believe in the March of Dimes mission- and in Hazel.

American Cancer SocietyMaking Strides Against Breast Cancer

Unique Story Angle #1

Meet John DiMichele, male breast cancer survivor.

American Cancer SocietyMaking Strides Against Breast Cancer

Unique Story Angle #2

Meet Randy. Shes a breast cancer survivor who is now giving hope to others fighting the disease. She volunteers at the American Cancer Societys free Look Good.. Feel Better makeover sessions, providing patients with wigs, make-up tips and a boost of confidence.

Changing Perception

What if the event needs a refresh? What if the event has decreased attendance? What if trust needs to be built?

Stories can change narratives and public perceptionWith the right message, stories can inspire action

The best storytellers embrace: Empathy

The best storytellers embrace:Vulnerability

The best storytellers embrace:Simplicity

Before:

Identify a story that will make your event memorableBegin telling your story via social media, blogs, the event website and any publicationsCreate a unique and memorable hashtag for your event to start building buzz on social media

Before:

Use your story in any invitations and emails to keep the message consistent Post photos of event prep or go live on Facebook for a sneak peak

Tip: Build anticipation by posting behind-the-scenes video or photos

During:

Harness your audiences enthusiasm and invite them to check in and use the events hashtag and tag themselves Provide real-time customer service

During:

Recruit attendees to act as social media ambassadors to promote the event from their experience

Tip: Social media ambassadors can help build the buzz

After:

Post photos and videos Keep your website and social networks fresh with content reinforcing the story of your event Create your photo galleries in Facebook and SmugMug Be sure to reinforce your story and message in any follow-up communication and emails

After:

Take a look at your analytics for websites and social mediaIdentify reach, trends, popular posts and new followers What stories were your attendees posting in their networks and are those in line with your goals?

Tip: SmugMug is a great resource for creating shareable photo albums of high-res images