December 15, 2016

Data and Insights Drive a Culture of Communication

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Your organization can drive a culture of communication when it embraces data as a means of sharing greater insight into the outcomes of its mission, and understanding of its cause.

A culture of communications is fostered by insight and data

I don’t necessarily mean big data (the current trend and buzzword). I mean anything observable and measurable: small data, patterns of behavior, feelings and triggers; stated and unstated motivation.

Insight is gleaned from what you measure, and from what you hear in your community’s voices and feedback. This is often referred to as the voice of the customer. Your customers are buyers, supporters, donors, and more.

Insight can be gleaned from everything. Numbers are part of our language of communication.

Numbers have the power to persuade and inform. Data can be your friend, and what better way to welcome a friend than to embrace her? She will help you tell your story in ways that cannot be argued against, and show you and others the results of your hard work.

Every person perceives your cause and your organization in a different way, filtering their interpretation and reception of its identity, messaging, and mission to create a unique perception that’s all their own.

This is where you realize you’re not in control of your brand, your audience is. You can’t control your brand, but you can influence the perception of it.

You can manage your identity, but those who interact with your cause will form their own perception of it.

Using your available data, observation resources, and information will help you create messaging that informs, speak to impact, and progress toward outcomes.

Think of it this way: You understand your organization’s character, purpose, mission, and culture. Your goal is to help your followers and prospects understand it in the same way you do, and use compelling facts and figures to make a connection between your community and your cause or company.

Information is knowledge that can help guide and give insight to mission-driven design choices and communication. Data can be the foundation of a very compelling story.

While numbers, and data, and information may seem boring at first—consider them part of your narrative that will help you connect your story in a compelling way, with the hearts and minds of your audience.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says of numbers, “I am advising you to grow to love numbers, not in themselves, but as a language of communication that can bring intimacy with the inanimate.” (Follow Rabbi Lapin at @daniellapin).


Ready to learn more? Join the movement of changemakers using data to create a compelling narrative.


Powerful stories have three elements: Emotion, logic, and credibility. In the storytelling tradition, these are pathos (emotion), logos (rationality), and ethos (credibility). Emotion and rationality, woven into the narrative, builds credibility. (Storytelling isn't effective when it's isolated from narrative. It's your voice that connects stories and events).

Inspire your audience by appealing to them from your heart to their heart. Tell them why yours is a meaningful cause with facts and information that speak to their mind.

To build your credibility, use your unique identity and voice consistently and authentically, to project a powerful image of the impact your organization is making.

What is there to love about your cause, and how can you tell that story in a powerful way to inspire your followers? How does your story make them feel?

How do you use the insights you glean to influence the perception of your cause or company?

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