People love to connect with other people. Not an organization, or a concept, but people.
The more you can share the faces—as well as the respect, admiration and gratitude—of those whom your organization has served, the more effective your overall communications initiatives will become.
This was among the messages I shared a few weeks ago with the West Suburban Practice Group of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.
Addressing a group of about 15 professionals at Braxton Seafood Restaurant in Oak Brook, I emphasized the need to start the testimonial-gathering (or case study development) process with the end in mind.
Before seeking out testimonials, identify those traits that are most likely to inspire the response you are seeking from your target audience: What do the individuals and groups you have served over the years appreciate most about your organization’s impact—past, present and future?
Once you have clarity on this front, then it’s a much more simple—and focused—matter of gathering, and skillfully communicating, the prevalence of those traits via testimonials in writing, photographs and video.
This ongoing effort is among the most time-intensive of PR endeavors.
But it’s eminently worthwhile.
Testimonials, when done right, carry significant influence on people to take the actions that you desire, whether it’s volunteering their time, buying your product or service, or any variety of objectives. So identifying and then drawing out these stories should receive major emphasis.