Weber Shandwick celebrates 23 years of helping non-profits tell their story


As part of an ongoing commitment to support local non-profit organizations in Minnesota, Weber Shandwick hosted its 23rd annual Telling Your Story workshop to equip non-profit professionals with storytelling strategies and communications best practices. The 2015 Telling Your Story workshop welcomed more than 40 non-profit organizations and communications and marketing students from the University of St. Thomas as they joined forces with 60 Weber Shandwick professionals to address challenges and opportunities in today’s evolving communications landscape.

The one-day workshop hosted at Weber Shandwick’s office in February featured a keynote presentation by PBS NewsHour contributor Fred de Sam Lazaro who shared some of his most memorable experiences while directing the Under-Told Stories Project. Fred leveraged past projects focused on public health development and human trafficking in countries where social justice organizations do not have the proper resources to tell their own stories.

“The thing that I really enjoyed about the keynote was seeing how important it is to connect with the human story while trying to motivate people to action. It’s a different kind of storytelling than I’m doing from an organizational perspective, but what I took away were the ideas of focusing on the people as opposed to just the problem and the data.” – Heidi Mastrud, advancement director for Bolder Options

From there, the workshop offered interactive presentations on topics from visual communication tactics to key message creation to creative and community management best practices. Together, colleagues from Weber Shandwick channeled their passion for non-profits along with their communications expertise to help attendees think strategically about how to create stories that connect with the resources readily available to them.

“Those of us who work in the non-profit field wear a lot of different hats so getting some real, easy and simple advice on how to do social media better, write key messages and improve our communication was well worth my time.” – Barb Bergseth, Synergy & Leadership Exchange

To cap off the day, non-profit organizations had the opportunity to pair with Weber Shandwick PR strategists to discuss their organization’s goals and begin a communications action plan. The free one-on-one consulting sessions proved to be a hit among attendees as many participants expressed their immediate plans to implement newly learned messaging tactics to help propel donor participation, audience engagement and storytelling resonance.

“I really liked the consulting session at the end of the day.  We talked about strategy going forward and how we can get more people to know about our program through some of the social media options that are available.” – Lori Imsdahl, Hennepin Health

Weber Shandwick would like to thank all of the non-profit organizations for attending this year’s workshop and we look forward to serving as a resource for other local non-profit organizations in the years ahead.


To learn more about Weber Shandwick’s commitment to supporting organizations who tirelessly give back to the community and make the Twin Cities a better place, please visit our Community page.

Weber Shandwick is global and local. In Minneapolis, we spend our days crafting engaging, compelling, innovative content + experiences for clients big + small.