Monthly Archives

November 2014

best practices character selection

You Say Community, I Say Crowd

Just a tiny word of caution about telling stories starring “the community.” Substitute the word “crowd” for “community” and see how it feels. For example, “Solutions to strengthen the local crowd.” The term is broad and ultimately yields a faceless mob. Be descriptive. Do your listener a favor and add descriptors (e.g., the Latinas over age 80 community). Once you have a descriptor in place, your listener will have a group he can picture. Truth is, once you have those…

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data stories persuasion

Small Scale Stories Keep Donors Generous

My friend, Kim Ervin, turned me on to this great NPR story, Why Your Brain Wants To Help One Child In Need — But Not Millions, by Shankar Vedantam. Please give it a listen. A story about an individual victim affects us emotionally. But a million people in need speaks to our head, not our heart. “As the numbers grow,” [Psychologist Paul Slovic of the University of Oregon] explains, “we sort of lose the emotional connection to the people who…

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