January 26, 2018, by Erin Barbaro

NAMC Oregon Gets Results With Data Story

Telling the story of an industry is an essential part of advocacy. Wrapped in a narrative, data and key talking points become more persuasive, memorable and engaging. For more on the science of how stories help us convey information for maximum influence, check out this article.

Something many organizations struggle with, however, is turning a bunch of data into a cogent narrative.

Most trade associations have access to low or no-cost data from partners on areas such as employment, economic activity, housing and more. But then comes the hard part: turning raw data into an advocacy storyline.

Staring at this mound of statistics, tables and charts can be an intimidating experience, especially when creating a data story from scratch isn't part of your day-to-day work load.

The following is a great success story from one of our clients, the National Association of Minority Contractors, Oregon Chapter. This is a story of a small organization punching above its weight.

Supporting Workforce Diversity and Job Training

Construction workforce development programs were not fulfilling current industry demand in Oregon, resulting in lost opportunities to create living wage jobs. The story needed to be told, but daily operational demands by necessity took precedence. By partnering with eImpact, NAMC Oregon was able to quickly turn both publicly sourced and member data into a compelling snapshot of the state of the industry.

Addressing Gaps in the Market

The construction industry in Oregon is huge and growing twice as fast as the economy overall. Despite this trend, data show that the benefits are accruing disproportionately, with many companies seemingly missing out on the full potential of the market opportunity.

NAMC needed to be able to tell its members what portion of that market they currently represented, along with the potential for growth. From there, a roadmap on how to grow their share and create new opportunities could be communicated to key partners, such as a local community college.

As the voice of our members and of the industry more broadly, we want to improve the awareness, capacity, and skills of certified minority-owned businesses to achieve economic independence. In order to do that we need to have the data and the ability to communicate it in a way people understand.
~ Nate McCoy, Executive Director

Boosting Communications

What good is a story if we don't get it into the wild. Effectively communicated over multiple channels (web, social media, newsletter) a data story can actually do a lot of the work for you – helping small organizations generate outsized returns on their investment.

For NAMC Oregon, this ability to efficiently disseminate and communicate their story and key talking points helped them forge partnerships and generate support that otherwise would have required significant additional leg work. Moreover, a professional data story put NAMC in a great light by "owning the narrative". Having been involved in this project, I continue to receive emails from organizations who saw the report and were moved by its message and content.

The NAMC Data Story

Going forward, NAMC Oregon continues to weave data into its strategy and communications. As improving workforce programs and advocating for effective policy is a process, not and event, it is necessary to keep that story fresh with current data. Using eImpact allows NAMC to "set it and forget it" with automated data updates.

eImpact makes it easy for you to create the industry story you need to have maximum influence.

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