Effective Communications and Storytelling

A clear communications plan, based on your watershed group’s vision and mission statement, is essential to telling your story – and to your long-term sustainability as an organization. Yet in many cases, volunteer-based watershed groups work from project to project, press release to press release, and tweet to tweet, with little time or capacity for forming a more cohesive communications strategy. If you find yourself in this boat, you may be losing out on the benefits of strategic communications and storytelling, including the ability to:

  • Prioritize outreach efforts to make the best use of your time
  • Identify your most important audiences
  • Know which methods to use for which stakeholders
  • Build relationships with new and existing partners
  • Articulate your communications goals and objectives
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your communications efforts
  • Establish an overall direction for moving your work forward

This section of the Watershed Coordinators’ Handbook focuses on resources and materials to help local watershed groups fit comprehensive communications plans into their day-to-day work. Developing a six-month or yearly communications plan will help you better express your vision and mission to partners, donors, and community members, building support for your work over the long term.

If you don’t yet have a clear organizational vision and mission statement, be sure to get these in place before embarking on any communications or storytelling efforts. Joan Garry’s Nonprofit Leadership Lab can help you get started with this quick “Mission ‘Sniff Test.’”