• Rain Bennett

The Storytelling Lab - Ep22: Nonprofit Communication Tips with Maria Bryan

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

For the first episode of season 3, we dive into nonprofit communication with Maria Bryan, a communications strategist specializing in writing and content marketing. Maria wants to make the world a better place by sharing inspiring stories! If you’re in need of quick social media marketing hacks, this is the episode for you!



We. Are. Back!

I hope everyone had a good summer break. I took a few short vacations -- a boys weekend at Lake Travis, a family Fourth of July beach week, and in September I’m taking my mom on a cruise. I also gave my first national keynote on storytelling! And I continued our monthly Health and Happiness storytelling night at WeWork in Durham.

So it was a good balance of work and play. ;)

But now, I’m excited to get Season 3 kicked off with great guests who will help you master the art and science of storytelling in your business.

For the first episode of Season 3, I go back to where it all started in my storytelling journey and where my heart still lies: nonprofit communication.

Maria Bryan is a communications strategist specializing in writing and content marketing, and she wants to make the world a better place by sharing inspiring stories!

We have the same mission! I knew we’d hit if off immediately.

In this episode, we talk about the best ways to take advantage of social media management tools, keep track of analytics, communicate with clients and much, much more!

For all the nonprofit marketers out there, and even for those business creatives in the for-profit world who struggle with a lack of resources, Maria understands the obstacles you face and provides tips and takeaways that most people neglect.

If you’re in need of quick social media marketing hacks, this is the episode for you!

Some highlights of our conversation:

  • Maria's background in journalism and how it helps her with nonprofits

  • Why Maria fell in love with public health and storytelling while working in the Peace Corps

  • Having to teach people where they are - you need to make sure all your communications are culturally & educationally appropriate

  • Why Maria decided to create Maria Bryan Creative

  • How to use marketing/communications to better represent the voice of your organization

  • Being a one-person-show in nonprofit communications & how it's just not enough!

  • Nonprofit communication hacks - tools and resources you can use to make your job easier

  • Common mistakes nonprofit communication teams make: like not having a strategy & picking off more than you can chew

  • How it pays off to spend a week on strategy!

  • How to take the strategy to the top and make sure everyone is on board

  • Picking the best (one or two) social media channels for your organization -- you don’t have to be on ALL of the social media channels.

  • Why it's important to check in on current trends & where your audience is online

  • Being HONEST with yourself about your resources

  • The best free or affordable social media communications tools (a lot of them have discounts for nonprofits)

  • Why you should figure out social media analytics and how to track basic metrics. Use Google Analytics to track websites and social media.

  • Good design sites to look into (like Canva)

  • How to use storytelling in your social media marketing -- maybe instead of telling an overarching story, tell the story of one person affected by your cause

  • How to write a blog post -- again, write stories about the people you are serving

  • How to be entertaining online -- people go on social media to be entertained! You have to learn how to entertain while also getting your message across

  • Why you should keep tabs on other companies and organizations in your field. HINT: see what's working & emulate that

  • How to form solid client relationships -- ask your clients: What’s the challenge? What are your dreams? If you had a $5000 communications budget, what would you spend it on?

  • Give your clients a solid communication strategy map. Spend a lot of time walking them through how to make the plan work & give them starter content.

  • Why social media management isn't just about posting. It’s also about engaging!

  • Why every nonprofit should have a brand guide

  • Why you need a workflow - you NEED consistency - you NEED policies and procedures

  • Why it's important that we tell the stories of vulnerable people in order to get others to support them

  • Maria's personal mission to help nonprofits tell important stories

And like Maria said,

"Social Media is the wild wild west..."

So (most importantly) try new things & have fun!

As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Peace and Love,



Follow Maria on Twitter @Maria__Bryan

And check out her website

For more storytelling tips and tricks,

Follow us on Instagram @sixsecondstories

Visit our website

Hosted by Rain Bennett (@rainbennett | Twitter) (

#podcast #thestorytellinglab #storytelling #valuesfirst


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