With our one-of-a-kind Story Generator tool, you can have authentic impact stories auto-created FOR you from donors, volunteers, staff and more, all speaking to your organization's community impact.
This not only saves you significant time in creating content, but sharing these powerful stories helps build awareness for your organization, leading to increased donations, volunteers, and support.
How Story Generator Works:
For a quick overview of how Story Generator works, check out this short video:
- 30 sec - https://youtu.be/nxRwrrpvE14
- Using Ready-Made Templates to Save Time
- Setting Up Your Form for Storytelling Success
- How to Get the Most Stories Possible
- Editing Your Generated Stories
- Sharing Your Generated Stories
- Best Practices
Using Ready-Made Templates to Save Time
To use Story Generator and have it auto-create impact stories FOR you, you'll need a form. We highly recommend you start with one of our ready-made templates, which we've designed using industry best practices, to save significant time. Here are the templates available to you:
To create a form, head to the "Forms / Story Generator" page in your left-hand navigation. You will land on your "Forms" page. Select the green "New Form" button. You will have the option to choose a template or start from scratch with a blank form.
Setting Up Your Form for Storytelling Success
If you choose to use a ready-made template, you can absolutely use it as is, without making any edits, and send out a link to the form. Super quick and easy!
However, if you have a bit of time, you can customize a few things to create the look and feel you want for your generated story and set your form up for the best success possible.
Customize with your branding
There are a few simple ways you can brand your form to not only promote your company, but also give the form a warmer look/feel.
- Add a background colour - You can easily customize the background colour of your form to one of your brand colours by editing your form details.
Add an image to the top of your form - Add a colourful image to the top of your form by dragging in an Image element when in Form Builder.
Here's an example of these two tips in action:
Cover the basics
Sometimes the most obvious things are easily overlooked, so have a quick scan of your form to ensure you've covered off these basic tips:
- Keep your form short - To ensure you have the best response rate possible for your form, we recommend you keep your form short - ideally 3 questions max. (Some of the templates are set up with more than 3 questions to give you a variety to choose from - you can always delete 1 or 2 to keep your form as short as possible).
- Mark questions as “suitable for story” - Story Generator will only pull responses from form questions marked as "suitable for story" when auto-creating a story. All of the questions in the ready-made templated forms are already marked properly, but if you decide to add a question to one of the template, just be sure you've checked the "suitable for story" box in the question's properties window.
- Ask for a photo - Did you know that posts with images get 94% more views than those without? All of the ready-made templated forms already include a question asking for a photo, but in case you end up creating your own form to collect stories down the road, this is just a friendly reminder to ask for at least one photo by dragging in an Upload element in Form Builder.
Decide how you want your finished story to look
You have full control over what your auto-created story will look like - it just takes some simple reverse engineering. Tweaking these things up front will also save you time when it comes to reviewing and editing generated stories.
- Decide on photo/text order - Story Generator constructs your story in the same order as how your storytelling questions appear in your form (any marked as "suitable for story"), so ensure the order of your questions is how you'd like your story to flow. For example, in your story, do you want the photo to appear above or below the text...or perhaps a different order altogether?
- Set up headers - For each of the storytelling questions in your form (any marked as "suitable for story"), you can customize the header that will appear in your story above the response to that question in the properties box for each question.
- Set character count - The shorter your story, the more likely people will read it. To ensure your generated story is short, be sure to set a character limit for each of your storytelling questions in the properties box for each question. A limit of 300-400 characters will keep things succinct.
- Preview your story - As you make tweaks to your form to create the look and feel you want for your generated story, you can preview your story at any time to see your changes in action.
Test your form
When you feel like your form is complete, it's always a good idea to send the form link to a colleague or another admin on your business account to review the form and do a test submission.
If your form is NOT yet published, you can click on "Preview Draft Form" and send the form URL, but be aware that the person will only be able to review the form and not do a test submission
If your form IS published, you can click on the "Share" button next to your form and send the form URL and the person will be able to review the form AND also do a test submission.
When you are done testing your form, be sure to archive all test submissions by changing their state to "Archive" so they are not counted in your form reports.
How to Get the Most Stories Possible
Creating a great form is one thing, but how do you ensure you get the best response rate possible? Here are some tips to that should help:
Consider how to best share your form link
You know your audience and communication tools best. Where do you get the best response rate today? For external stakeholders, perhaps it's via your website, newsletter or social media sites. For employees, perhaps it's your intranet or email. Share your form link in high traffic areas or in ways that it will get the most uptake.
Use our sample message to contact people
We've given you a head start in sharing your form link by crafting a sample message you can use to contact people.
If you craft your own message, make sure you're clear on what's in it for them. Oftentimes knowing that they are helping in some way can be enough (e.g., By filling out this form, you will bring more awareness to your favourite cause).
Also be up front about how long it will take to fill out the form. If people know it will only take 2 minutes, they're more likely to do it.
Be Aware - People Need an Account to Fill Out Your Form
In order for someone to fill out your form, they will need to create a Do Some Good account. It’s really quick and easy and has some cool benefits for everyone. Learn more in this article.
Remind, remind, remind
Studies have shown that people need to see a message at least seven times before it sinks in, so be sure to frequently remind people to fill out your form. Better yet, remind them in multiple ways and mediums - by email AND in your newsletter AND on your website, etc. People are busy and often just need a gentle nudge to respond.
Editing Your Generated Stories
When your stories start rolling in, they appear in your Submissions tab. You'll also get an email each time a story comes in. If there is an auto-created story for that submission, you'll see a "Create a Story" link in the "Current State" column.
The newspaper icon indicates whether the story has been published (posted, shared) from that submission before:
Red means a generated story is available and HAS NOT been published (posted, shared)
Green means the generated story HAS already been published (posted, shared)
To view and edit your generated story, simply click the "Create a Story" link. You can also access the story by clicking the triple dots in the "Actions" column for that submission.
Once you click "Create a Story" next to your submission, You'll be taken to an editing page for your generated story where you're able to tweak the story before posting.
Although you have full control to edit your generated stories as you like, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep authenticity, avoid polish
When it comes to storytelling, there is a growing demand for stories to be as authentic as possible, so aim to keep the generated content in its raw form and avoid polishing your generated stories too much. Since these are others people's words, avoid editing for anything other than grammar, punctuation, typos, adding @mentions, re-ordering content, or length. (Learn how to pre-set the character count for each response here.)
Add a title and intro
You have the option of including a title or "headline" to your story which we highly recommend this as it will help your post stand out more when you share it and draw people in. Consider also adding a short intro (1-2 sentences) to lead into the story which could include your social mission, info about the partnership or relationship, etc. to help enhance your brand and reputation as a company that cares.
Sharing Your Generated Stories
When you are happy with your story, simply click "Post Story" and the story will instantly appear on your business profile, your website and intranet (if you have widgets embedded), and will appear on local media sites (where available).
You'll then be prompted to share your story on social media. With one click, you can easily share the story to LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, or grab a link to the story to share elsewhere.
Here are a few other tips to consider when sharing your generated stories:
Space out your posts
To increase your chance of media promotion, space out your stories by 1-2 days. You can post as often as you like to appear on your business profile or on your website and intranet, but Do Some Good will not promote multiple stories to the media from the same business in the same day.
Take advantage of Do Some Good integrations
Do Some Good has some powerful integrations in place that can help enhance your company's brand and reputation and save you time. When you post on Do Some Good, your story automatically hits local media sites (where available) and you can push your story to social media with one click. Also, if you haven't already, consider adding widgets to your website and intranet - it takes just a few minutes and then any story you post on Do Some Good will automatically populate your site(s).
Consider how else to share and to whom
Your generated stories are the gift that keeps on giving since you can share them right away or you can save them for future communications and projects such as quarterly/annual reports to senior executives and board, external newsletters, and more. You won't have to scramble to find or create content when it comes time for these communications - you'll have a collection of high-impact stories to choose from.
We've condensed all of the great tips mentioned in this article into a handy 2-page PDF. Just click on either the image below or the link at the bottom of this page to access.
We recommend you run through this like a checklist each time you work with Story Generator.