Bored of your story? Congratulations!

My family has a strange tradition.

When someone tells a story you’ve heard before — which happens all the time —  you indicate you’ve heard the story before by taking a bit of fabric from your shirt and pulling it through a clenched fist. The gesture was passed down by my Cuban grandfather and it stuck.

Non profit storytellers should NOT take heed of the Martinez “I’ve heard it before” signal. We must tell our stories over and over and over again. We might get bored of the story, but that’s just when our audience begins to hear it.

We just did a reader’s survey of a client’s flagship newsletter. Of the respondents — who clicked the link to the survey in the newsletter itself – 20% of them didn’t know the name of the newsletter!

It might be frustrating for us, but it’s a fact of life. Our audiences have other things on their minds than our stories, our newsletters, our issues. We have to repeat and repeat and repeat again.

So don’t abandon that story because you’ve heard it before. Tell it again. And tell it again with gusto!

  • So very true! We get tired of our stories/messages/appeals way sooner than our readers/supporters/donors do. Thanks for the great reminder.

  • Alia

    Thanks, Joanne. I’m going to go re-tell a story now!