I often say that one of my life’s purposes is to bear witness to the stories of human suffering and joy, to improve on and honor these circumstances, and to tell those stories.
And that theme could not have echoed more loudly than over the past twos days I spent at the 11thAnnual Cause Marketing Forum in Chicago. For the past nine years companies, nonprofits, and those of us who work with them to create meaningful, high impact programs, have gathered to share tales of success, missteps and growth in our field.
The tales we tell are those of partnerships, programs, societal issues and needs, and, most importantly, narratives of the people and places whose state in our world is better as a consequence of our collective work.
Storytelling was a poignant theme for me throughout the conference. Our community undoubtedly is grappling with the questions of what to say about our work and the work of our clients? Are we communicating enough or too much? What is the right tone and the most powerful tactics? And the question I ask myself every day – To what end?
But perhaps the most resonant display of storytelling came from the emotional videos shown throughout the conference that told the stories of the people and places impacted by some of the most meaningful corporate-cause partnerships in the marketplace.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a sucker for these videos, an “emotion junkie” who loves nothing more than to immerse myself where the rubber meets the road in our work. And that is why I was so excited to learn about The Daily Do Gooder. The Daily Do Gooder was started by Michael Hoffman at see3 communications in an effort to distribute the many videos being produced to communicate the rich cause programs coming out of our field. When you subscribe, Daily Do Gooder sends you a daily dose of the good vibe that propels me to my desk every morning in the form of a cause video. Personally, I love this and think it is a long time in coming!
Just as the programs we design have guiding business, organizational and social objectives, so too should our communications. Every time we look to promote our cause initiatives, we should ask ourselves: to what end? And mindful of why we are telling our stories we must continue to tell them.
Through story telling our field will only become more vibrant and sophisticated, the programs we create will be smarter and more effective, and the condition of our world will improve. Thanks to David Hessekiel and the team at the Cause Marketing Forum for providing one stage on which we can tell our stories!