Storytelling: Crafting Your Message for Digital Platforms (A DVC Session Preview)

If you’re an organization working in community development or financial capability, it might feel like you’re constantly being reminded of the importance of storytelling. You know our industry should be talking about its work — specifically about the communities and people you serve. People enjoy reading about people after all, and the benefits are often practical: from securing grants to increasing your number of donors, telling a compelling story has the power to help you meet your goals.storytelling_pexels

With an influx of resources like blogs and webinars helping you to craft the perfect message, why is it then that integrating storytelling into your marketing or content strategy is so difficult to put into action?

It is likely difficult for numerous reasons, and all of them can seem like unwavering barriers. Time, money and people may all be limited resources. Your organization’s energy may be entrenched in ground work — it’s easy to forget or not have time to share what you’ve accomplished.

But for every challenge you face, CEDAM’s job is to find you a solution.

This year at Destination: Vibrant Communities and Financial Empowerment Summit, Troy Anderson, Communications Associate at CDAD, will address these issues and provide you with practical solutions in his session Storytelling: Crafting Your Message for Digital Platforms.

Anderson graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Urban & Regional Planning (with a focus in Community Development) in 2014. Video production, however, had always been a hobby, and his interest further materialized during his time in college. He saw how powerful the medium could be after watching a documentary produced by his roommate, and he started to bring both photography and video production into his work at his community development internships. He and his college roommate started an LLC through The Hatch, a student business incubator, that they still own today, and have produced work for clients like Ford, Fox Sports Detroit, distilleries and breweries, musicians and more.

Photo Credit:
Troy Anderson, Communications Associate at CDAD. Photo Credit:

Anderson has the unique opportunity to continue with both community development and photography and video production work at CDAD.

“There are compelling and important stories to tell in community development in Detroit,” Anderson said. “Community Development in Detroit, from a larger scale, tells the story of the state of the neighborhoods, the issues that residents are dealing with and the solutions that community development corporations, nonprofits, residents and block clubs are coming up with to meet those challenges.”

In his DVC session, the goal is to give conference attendees concrete, practical, low-cost ways to tell their own important stories.

“Being able to effectively tell your story and get your message out there is not necessarily tied to a big budget marketing strategy or engagement with an outside consultant,” Anderson said. “There are steps that organizations with smaller capacities can take to get their story and their message out there.”

You won’t want to miss this session that will look at Anderson’s own production process which will then get broken down into how you can use the same principles and messages on a scale that works for your organization. You’ll walk away from this hands-on session with the confidence to shoot compelling photos and videos, a better understanding of how to tap into your audience and the tools needed to tell your message.

Learn more about Destination: Vibrant Communities & Financial Empowerment Summit