Cecil the Lion: What can marketers and fundraisers learn?

You may have heard about Cecil the Lion. You may have heard about Walter Palmer. You may have even heard about Theo Bronkhorst.

You likely haven’t heard about the thousands of other African animals poached each year in opposition to local and international laws.

But this post isn’t about Cecil the Lion. Nor is it even about animals or conservation.

What we who want to make a difference in the world; who care deeply about a cause; who try to engage others to help solve problems, who have tied our livelihoods to our ability to create a better future, should be looking at is why you and most everyone you know are talking about one individual instance of poaching and why people on Facebook are calling for dramatic and transformative change in the way the international community handles poaching. Why are 4 out of 5 recent stories on poaching about Cecil the Lion at the New York Times?

This is the power of story.

Deep seeded in each human being is a desire to belong. Stories help people connect with your mission in ways statistics never could. Stories allow you to tap into the pain point that your product or service resolves like no other method. Telling one personal story with a REAL photo attached will have more of an impact than all the self promotional media creations you can imagine.

Stories persuade better than statistics to be sure, but more importantly, stories give meaning to statistics. When we tell stories we ensure that when people think of our organization or cause, they think see a face, and think of a story.

Cecil the Lion has a name and a face. People care about a hero they can put a name and face to.

Walter Palmer has a name and a face. People rally together when there is an easy to identify villian.

But if you go to some of the worlds largest organizations websites dedication to stopping exactly this type of activity, you won’t find much about what is today one of the biggest stories. And you won’t find many other stories either.

Storytelling is hard. But a great story has legs and will go so much further than a bunch of statistics.

Need help discovering, capturing and telling your stories? Contact us today.