Visual Storytelling

Posted on
10 Jul 2019
by Jayne Tennyson

Community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises have amazing stories to tell and are in a position to highlight the challenges facing our society and our communities. Visual storytelling is an effective way to share these stories and showcase your organisation's impact.

What is Visual Storytelling?

Visual storytelling simply means communicating your story through visual media. The story may be told using still photography, illustrations, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio. Visuals are the most effective communications vehicles for evoking emotion and getting people to take action!

Visual storytelling is more than just a marketing strategy. Visual stories can compel the audience into action. Stories can change hearts and minds. Through a story, you can transport the audience into the centre of a situation. It enables you to show an audience what it likes to walk in the shoes of another person.

Why tell your story visually?

Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the human brain. With an increase in the volume of content online, people can experience content overload and have a decreased attention span.  Short, powerful videos can get to people over the noise of content on online networks.

Here are a few examples of some great storytelling from Irish community, voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises:

Barretstown - The Colfer Family

Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness. In this video Andrea, mother to Abbie, share the story of how Barrestown helped her family. The relationship between mother and child is a universal and people can empathize and relate with Andrea. The video is hopeful and shows how Barrestown helped this family and how it could help more family with aim from future donations. There is a clear call to action at the end of the video.

Siel Bleu Ireland - I Can Walk 9km a Day, Noel's Story

Siel Bleu Ireland is a social enterprise who deliver life-enhancing exercise programmes to older adults and patient groups. The video clearly shows the impact the organisation has had on Noel’s life. Noel is a relatable character and the audience watch feels like they know him.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland - Sons' moving video to mum who has early-onset Alzheimer's.

Kathy has Early Onset Alzheimer's, and her sons Andrew and Matt got behind The Alzheimer Society of Ireland's Dementia Care Begins at Home campaign. They agreed to be part of this clever and creative video. Kathy’s son tell the story of their Mother’s illness with the use of printed messages on card. The video ends with a clear call to action and the audience are inspired to help by sign a petition.

Alone - Thank you!

Alone provides a befriender service to older people living on their own. This video is a thank you video for the volunteer. This is a powerful video with shows the impact of the volunteers have had on the life of the older people.

Feeling Inspired?

If you are feeling inspired to make you own impact video, remember to use relatable people and relationship that your audience can identify with. Engage emotionally with our audience. Use real visuals but be creative with your media.

Before you go out to film your story consider:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. On what platform are you going to share your video (if its on social media keep it short!)
  3. What is your call to action?

For tips on how to film check out the Vimeo Video School, Video 101: Shooting Basics is a good video to get you started!

Once you have your video ready to go, what not enter it into the Charity Impact Awards 2019? Find out more about the Charity Impact Awards here!