Storytelling and the Power of Making Headlines

A whitepaper from M+R Strategic Services provides insights as to why organizations and campaigns need to embrace storytelling to advance and protect the causes we care about.
Stories have the power to move people to connect, feel and act. Storytelling and the Power of Making Headlines offers recommendations on how nonprofits can connect with the news media to reach new and current supporters. The whitepaper helps organizations determine “What kind of story will attract reporters so it is told credibly as well as far and wide?”
Storytelling matters because stories:
Are Universal – They help us bridge cultural, linguistic, generational divides.
Help us process information – Because our brains think in narrative structures.
Shape identities – Stories define how audiences identify with the issue.
Make connections – We want to know that others understand us vice versa.
What is it that reporters, editors, and producers are looking for in a newsworthy story?
Personal: A person’s life is affected by a situation.
Relatable: You can imagine being in the situation – and you don’t like it.
Surprising: The situation is unheard of or opposite of what you’d expect.
Relevant: The story adds to a conversation or is related to an issue currently happening in your community or state, on Capitol Hill, or across the country.
Timely: The time to tell that story is now.
How do you place your powerful story in the media?
  1. Get powerful stories – Ask your supporters or your partners to submit their stories, scan social media, and pay attention to the media narrative around your topic.
  2. Vet your stories – Create a vetting guide and contact people you can help move along the conversation.
  3. Organize your stories – Keep and update a simple database of your stories.
  4. Let your stories loose! – Customize your story pitches for the medium you have in mind.
  5. Keep your story-tellers engaged – Nurture an ongoing relationship with story-tellers.


Date: 2013
Authors: Leslie Kerns
Strategic Approach: Engagement, Framing, Other
Author: Leslie Kerns
Strategic Approach: Engagement, Framing, Other

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