Storify is one of those tools that I still find it hard to get my head around. MSF UK has recently started to use it to spruce up their press clippings and share them with supporters and staff.
Researching, preparing and sharing press clippings is probably one of the least favourite activities in most communications departments. More often than not, the daily media report lands on the intranet or is shared in an email that most people delete without reading. For the most part it’s futile and depressing, though necessary, work.
MSF UK has recently started using Storify to curate social media and online reports about the organization and turn it into an engaging and fun weekly scrapbook.
Visual and more fun
I have to say: seeing it on Storify is simply more fun than reading a report or getting an email. You have videos, large images etc.. It’s simply much more visual and engaging.
I was curious who the target audience for this was and MSF replied that it was mainly for supporters, but that staff were interested as well.
@timolue Hi Timo, our Storify stories are for our supporters, but it seems to work well for staff who want a snapshot of what's on our site!
— MSF UK (@MSF_uk) August 20, 2012
I can see why staff would be interested. After all they are often the last people to hear about what is going on in their own organization and a short weekly overview like that is both informative and helps you remember why you tolerate the many daily frustrations.
I’m also not surprised that media are – sensibly – not one of their target audiences. Most simply journalists don’t have the time to follow specific organizations on a regular basis.
What about bad news?
What I’d be interested to know is, how one would deal with negative news in a weekly missive like the MSF scrapbook.
Many NGOs have had scandals over the years (remember “Three Cups of Tea”?). Personally, I think that bad news should be included as well and the space be used to share the organization’s point of view. In my experience transparency is always better than pretending a problem doesn’t exist. But I can see how it can put a communications department in an uncomfortable position if they are being seen as actively communicating bad news.
Do you have good examples of humanitarian organizations using Storify? Please share them in the comments below.