Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change

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Achieve Great Things: The Art and Science of Aspirational Narrative

Aspirational communication focuses on mobilizing ordinary people to support a cause. In this audio lecture, recorded during the 2013 Nonprofit Management Institute, Doug Hattaway of Hattaway Communications outlines the components of an effective communication campaign: crafting an exciting goal, motivational and non-technical language, and a compelling call to action. Drawing on psychological and anthropological studies, Hattaway describes the types of messages that appeal to a nonprofit’s audience. Such messages are emotion-based, intuitive, and communicated in simple language that can be easily spread via word-of-mouth. Hattaway argues that an organization must speak to the heart before it speaks to the mind; it must connect with audiences by using aspirational communication to place human stories in the context of a larger narrative.

Doug Hattaway is president of Hattaway Communications. In his 25 years of experience in the field of communication, Hattaway has served as a spokesperson and consultant to high-profile leaders in politics, government, business, advocacy, and philanthropy. He has worked closely with many global leaders, such as Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, and has traveled extensively to work with government leaders, political parties, and civil society organizations all over the world. Hattaway earned a bachelor of science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a master’s degree in English from Florida State University.

Listen to this podcast.

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