When it comes to sustainability, there is a lot to communicate. And you’re dealing with multiple audiences. And those audiences have different needs. And the stories and information are often complex or loaded with acronyms and jargon.
If you’re charged with communicating your business or organization’s sustainability efforts, how do you make sure your stories reach the right people, with the right message, at the right time? How do you make sure your stories are compelling and engaging?
Last week we spent some time unpacking these questions and getting to the heart of what makes great stories at our Business & Environment session, Sustainability Storytelling: Going Beyond the Report.
Here are the three things I took away:
Our first speaker, Arlene Birt with Background Stories, kicked off the session talking about what makes a good sustainability story and how visuals can help your messages stick. Did you know a whopping sixty-five percent of the population are visual learners? The right visuals can help communicate context, convey emotion, and make complex data sets more easily digestible. Check out Arlene’s presentation or her TEDx talk on visualizing sustainability.
Measure in Dinosaurs
Mel Meegan, Director of Marketing at Peace Coffee spent some time during the session sharing some of Peace Coffee’s success stories. Did you know Peace Coffee delivers their coffee by bike and their bike couriers haul the weight equivalent of five dinosaurs per year? That is crazy! Measuring in dinosaurs might not be your metric, but it’s a great example of how you can make numbers immediately relatable to your audiences. View Mel’s presentation »
Use Your Barriers and Your Failures
Kate Lilja Lohnes with Lilja Communications facilitated a storytelling workshop during the final hour of the session. She also spoke about how to use barriers to your advantage. It can be easy to gloss over the “what went wrong” parts of a story to get right to the great outcome. But, that old cliché of failure being our greatest teacher is true. Let your audiences know where you tried, failed, and then tried again. This is the interesting stuff!
Missed the session? You can check out all of the presentations on our website.