I follow Solutions Journalism Network in social media and have featured their stories on this blog (such as here). They’re a group of national-caliber, Putlizer-winning journalists and support staff who comprise an “independent, non-profit organization working to legitimize and spread the practice of solutions journalism: rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.” They’ve now published a free organizational narrative toolkit that you can apply to your organizational narrative.
Solutions Journalism Network documents not just social problems, but the responses to problems. While their stories might have uplifting elements, they don’t write PR for good causes, think tank pieces, or paeans to heroes. They offer rigorous examination of what works and doesn’t work in addressing complex and critical problems in communities around the world.
How does solutions journalism apply to marketing for social and public sector organizations?
You might not think journalism applies beyond the news media, but consider these points:
- Like all good journalists, solutions journalists work with characters and story. Using characters and story is crucial for marketers trying to motivate clients, funding, votes and volunteers.
- They work with data and evidence, which gives credibility to their stories and yours.
- They’re exploring “how communities may more effectively tackle serious problems,” just like many social and public sector organizations (and this blog).
- Solutions journalism provides a solid approach to writing stories about your organization that media outlets will want to publish.
The toolkit covers a J-school worth of topics including
- Seven steps to creating a solutions story
- Sample story structure
- Interviewing for solutions-oriented stories
- Pitching and promoting stories
- Advice from journalists
If you need to persuade audiences regarding your approach to serious communal problems, check out the free toolkit from Solutions Journalism Network.
Do you need help in developing and applying your organizational narrative? Check out my fixed-rate services.