How to Define a Social Impact Concern


How to Define a Social Impact Concern

Defining a social impact concern helps you describe what you’re working on in a focused way. You can think of it as a blurb that points out the core themes you need.

Up until now, we talked about gathering information to understand a social impact concern and adjust word choice when speaking to different stakeholders. Let’s combine what we know to define the social impact concern.

Step 1: Review Gathered Information

What information do you have?

Easy breaths. Don’t get overwhelmed.

You probably have tons of information you collected from different sources. The entire set might feel like a free-for-all, and you’re not sure where to start.

On the other hand, maybe you haven’t gotten your hands on a lot of information. You’re staring at disjointed pieces, not sure how you’ll help the dots connect. That’s fine too.

You want to place your attention on three key categories for organizing: source, data, and themes. From there, you’ll be able to take inventory of your information and trends, on top of being able to mix n’ match what you believe is important to telling the story of the social impact concern.

Organize where the info come from (source): media, interviews, surveys, and similar

Organize data: numbers or statistics from what you have so far

Organize the themes: core messages, what got brought up most, location, trends

Bonus: You don’t have to do this alone. This can turn into a team task. You can even ask people you trust what trends and connections they think of when they see the information. They might offer a different perspective or provide support for something you’re already thinking.

Step 2: Social Impact Concern Statement

Everyone likes a simple statement or clever description to get a quick idea of what they’re interacting with. Whether it’s a quick pitch of a bio for social media, the main goal is to get across the main aspects you want to communicate in a short description. Much like what you’ll do for the social impact concern.

In the previous section, you took a look at all your information so you could find the major themes and trends you want to mention. This is the main statement, which you’ll build in two ways.

First, write a statement based on the theme of the gathered information. This is a general statement that presents the overall purpose of your approach to the concern.

Let’s say you advocate for extended public library hours. From what you’ve gathered, high school students with rowdy homes or additional responsibilities shared that they want time at libraries for doing academics and hanging out. The public libraries close 2 hours after school ends, and the students say that’s not enough time.

  • the details of this example are only for this post and are not related to actual data*

Your main statement might look like:

Public library hours are too short for local visitors who need resources after finishing their daily schedules.

Here’s a template to use:

[Concern] for [general trend].

Second, write out your list of stakeholders and craft an additional statement that provides context more related to their part of the social concern.

Let’s say you go back to speak with the students to reintroduce your initiative. Your statement turns into:

Public library hours are too short for local visitors who need resources after finishing their daily schedules. “Open Hours” helps high school students access extended library hours after school so that they study and hang out in a healthy, resourceful environment without rushing or worrying about their home situation.

Here’s a template to use:

[Main Statement]. [Initiative name] helps [stakeholder] + [social impact solution] so that [desired outcome].

This statement combination explains the problem and also gives a peek into the direction your initiative hopes to take the social impact concern.

Step 3: On-Hand Stats for Social Impact Concern

In the best case scenario, you share your combo statement describing the social impact concern and people want to learn more. You sparked their interest, so they’re suddenly curious about what’s going on. Of course you want a natural conversation, but it’s a good idea to have stats you can provide for people in the moment.

Your go-to stats usually come from personal research and data of information you gathered. It’s honestly very precious, new, and novel information that’s more specifically related to your cause. You never want to discount what you were able to learn first hand or in conversation with those directly impacted by the concern.

If you lack data, feel free to include social impact statistics from general reports. For example, industries tied to fast fashion or pollution tend to publish reports you can regency. Using this information is another way to put your concern in perspective for those who are not familiar with the situation.

Hack: Sometimes the lack of stats could also be a great talking point in why your social impact concern needs more care.

People will be curious and question why there isn’t more information or why they never heard of what’s going on. Please see this as a chance to bring education and urgency/ agency into the conversation.

Step 4: Switch to Marketing Focus

Time to tell people all about it!

No one will know what’s going on if you don’t take time to spread awareness (which you’re probably doing actively as a social entrepreneur).

Questions to ponder:

  • How will you present the information?
  • How will you transition into your combo statement?
  • Which stats will you mention?
  • What media will you use to share the story of your social impact concern?
  • Will you have different ways to present the concern depending on the media or being in person?

When authors do book tours/ press tours on podcasts, they usually have a blurb to describe the book and they tell similar stories in each podcast episode. Those are their highlight stories and/ or stories that usually encompass the major themes of their book. You’ll notice the conversation flows, but they’ll find a way to share their main blurb and main stories.

Even for some well known speakers or thought leaders, they tell similar stories to describe the philosophy they’re spreading awareness about.

How will you offer audiences and stakeholders different entry points to engage and learn more about the social impact concern?

Take the core message of the social impact concern and constantly deliver the themes, stats, and stories that illustrate the most important takeaways you learned so far.

How to Define a Social Impact Concern
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