Social media storytelling at its best

For Anne Marie Pegg, International Women’s Day was a day much like any other day. A doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Pegg is serving people affected by the conflict at a trauma hospital in Syria and spent the day taking care of a wide variety of medical needs.

But International Women’s Day was also different for Pegg. She shared the story of her day with a worldwide audience through a series of posts on the organization’s Facebook page (see below), tweets on Twitter and in a piece published yesterday in the Toronto Star

I guess I should disclose that Pegg is from Kitchener and we knew each other from high school when we attended a boys and girls high school across the road from each other. Thanks to the world of social media, we are “friends” on Facebook and I’ve had some glimpses into her life since we made that connection in a way that almost certainly wouldn’t have been possible ever before. But also true of social media, I only had glimpses and had no idea for example that she was in Syria so it came as a surprise when I saw a tweet by Emma Lewzey on Sunday.

Nonprofit Social Media Storytelling at its best

I agree with Emma. The story of Dr. Anne Marie Pegg’s day and how it was shared is definitely social media storytelling at its best. I am featuring it here to help spread the story to more people who missed it. She is engaged in important work that and sharing her day effectively demonstrates the impact a woman is making on International Women’s Day. Telling this story through social media is a brilliant way to demonstrate MSF’s critical role in delivering humanitarian medical assistance. It’s a story that deserves a wider audience and I want to do my bit to share it forward.

I also believe its an excellent model for other charities and nonprofits. While they may not serve in such a dramatic situation, they all have day to day stories that people outside of the agency will find fascinating. I hope that they will be inspired by MSF to share a day in the life stories of the work of their staff and volunteers.

Too often these stories are missed because they are so commonplace to those that see them daily. I always like to remind the social profit sector that what is commonplace to you is interesting to many people who have different daily experiences but care about your issues and what you are doing to address them.

Whether you follow MSF’s model or not, find your ways to tell stories about how you are making a difference.

Anne Marie Pegg’s day as shared on MSF’s Facebook page

I’ve recreated Pegg’s day as shared on the MSF’s Facebook page to make it easy to see it since over time it’ll be lower and lower on that page’s timeline and less likely to be viewed–especially as a model of how to tell a day in the life story in your organization.

Lots of engagement on Facebook

One point I’d like to make first is that you can see from the stats on each post how much engagement they created on MSF’s Facebook page. From what I could tell this platform had the greatest level of interaction. I suspect that’s partly because of the large number of fans (over 500,000) which helped ensure a good number of people saw the posts but I also believe that it is because of the value of the content and how MSF has used Facebook over an extended period of time. There are lessons there for you too!

Pegg - first


Pegg 8Pegg7



Pegg 2

Pegg 3

Pegg - last