One of the elusive questions that often surfaces in discussions about storytelling is, “How do we know when the story that we’ve told has been ...
Well, this article makes an interesting point: nonprofits and businesses might want to take a strategic and long-haul approach to figuring out the ROI of storytelling.
This big-picture approach to ROI is focused on finding the patterns of results your storytelling generates.
Hmmmm -- I think this is a kernel of a good idea. I do think that looking at patterns of results over time can be very informative. Yet the assumption buried in this notion is that the ROI of storytelling is hard to figure out. I don't think that's the case if you are clear on a few key points:
- In both the business and nonprofit world, we want our stories to move people to some sort of action.
- Being clear on what result(s) you want to produce early on will help you craft compelling stories that will more likely work to bring you your desires. Case in point: numerous times I've helped nonprofits tell a story for fundraising and saw immediate and significant results (big donations).
- Use measures appropriate for storytelling: connection, engagement, loyalty, knowledge transfer, sense of community, story sharing, specific desired action steps, etc.
So think about and craft your ROI to serve both short-term results and long-term patterns. Sacrificing the long-term for the short-term only means you will miss significant information and perhaps surprising unexpected results.
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it