Before You Share Your Story
Now that you understand the communication strategy, let's prepare to get your story out there. The seven steps listed below have been designed to help you stay organized and on task, by providing structure to your outreach plan.
Use these steps as "breadcrumbs" to help you find the PATH to your ideal donor.
Step 1: Learn as Much as You Can
Learn as much as you can about your chronic kidney disease and your renal replacement options. This requires a deep exploration in the difference between dialysis and kidney transplant, and the difference between deceased donor kidneys and a living kidney donor.
Step 2: Enlist a Buddy
Let’s face it, it's hard to share your story all by yourself. That's why we recommend you build a "buddy system" by inviting a friend or loved one to partner with you. You don’t have to go it alone! A third party can be your best voice. Be sure to educate your buddy before they begin to share your story with others, so they can relay the information accurately and answer questions.
Step 3: Create A List
Create a list of people that you'd like to get your story out to.
There's power in numbers. Don't limit the list to family members and close friends, or only those you think would be interested. Include work associates, colleagues, and individuals you know through professional organizations and associations.
Step 4: Script Your Story
Describe how and when you were diagnosed with kidney disease. Define your options and goals. Include facts on the organ shortage, the wait for a deceased donor's kidney and the blessing in living kidney donation. Be sure your story doesn't come across too needy or pushy. Be mindful of how you'd respond if you were on the other side of this equation. Use emotional intelligence.
Step 5: Send A Group Email
Ask your buddy to help you send out a group email to share your story. This exercise can exponentially expand your circle of influence at the touch of a button. Respectfully protect the privacy of your senders' information, by not disclosing the groups email addresses. The result? More people will read your email if they don't think they've received a mass mailing. They'll also take your message more seriously.
Step 6: Create a Written Intention
Imagine your best outcome and write it out as if you not only believe it could happen, but as if it were already true. This written visualization exercise can help you actualize your dreams.
Step 7: Share Your Story!
Take advantage of every opportunity that passes your way. Telephone calls, emails, work breaks, social events, even while you're exercising. Don't just wait for opportunities to present themselves. Create opportunities! Invite a friend to lunch. Invite neighbors over , or organize a group to walk with in the mornings and say hello to everyone you pass. If nothing else, it will make you feel good!
Your Ultimate Goal
Your ultimate goal is to build interest by eliciting curiosity. How can you do this? By encouraging your listeners to ask questions, lots of them. In doing so, they'll understand your circumstances better and be more apt to pass your story on. They may even find themselves slowly gravitating towards finding your a donor, or considering themselves.
This is a long process which can be extremely challenging to one's emotions and spirit. Do your homework and be prepared!
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