Visual Storytelling with Cell Phones

Following a few weeks of trending discussions around the negative impact of social media on society, there is no denying the enormous value it provides as a marketing platform for brands, and more specifically, for non-profit organisations (NPO).  

With limited marketing budgets, NPOs have come to learn that they can achieve significant traction for their causes by leveraging social media. That said, as the world becomes more content-hungry and more content-centric, it’s important to understand how best to harness the power of a good visual content strategy. 

Visual communication has shifted significantly, necessitating the need for content that resonates and stands out; key to an NPO’s ambition to make a meaningful impact. Video is now the most engaging format, and so it’s not surprising to learn that nine out of ten viewers said that they wanted to see more videos from brands and businesses.

Local NPO, Chefs with Compassion (CWC), identifies with this trend. The organisation collaborates with partners who rescue surplus food that would usually go to waste. They donate this food to kitchens where it is cooked to feed hungry people in food vulnerable areas, and through their network of volunteers and chefs have served over 2,302,651 million meals and rescued 821,9 tonnes of food. CWC’s presence on social media plays a significant role in helping them increase their reach, educate their followers about their mission, garner support and attract volunteers, and connect and engage with followers. Through their social media efforts, it’s become evident that sharing the NPO’s activities and calls for support are far more effective when done through visual storytelling. 

Marion Tanzer, CWC’s General Manager explains, “We’ve seen how emotive, real-life visual content inspires our social media followers to take action, even if it’s just sharing the content and helping us expand our reach and awareness. We were fortunate to receive a significant donation from Mobile in Africa recently. They provided us with Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S mobile phones. Apart from the obvious benefits of equipping our volunteers with reliable devices for communication, the high-resolution camera in the phone allows us to create better quality, more engaging content for our social media pages. Better quality images and videos are naturally more appealing and our follower interaction is better as a result.”

Research indicates that most information is visually taken in by people, and when compared to the written word, people digest and understand visual information 60,000 times faster. More than half of the world’s population learns through visuals with higher retention rates than when reading text. So, including visually compelling content through images and video is critical to a good visual content strategy and the most successful by far.

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Notes from the Kitchen

We received large donations of vegetables and utensils from Chefs with Compassion which are helping us maintain our homeless soup kitchen that feeds over 200 people daily and vulnerable children in informal settlements in Berea.

Themba Mbatha-Chalumbira,
One Moment Foundation

After my restaurant business shut down at the start of lockdown, I saw people struggling. They couldn’t get food to eat. I chose to make a difference and I started a soup kitchen to feed people, with help from my staff and family – and Chefs with Compassion.

Thandi Dyantjie,
Germiston

I used to have a catering business before Covid. Now I am involved with Chefs with Compassion in serving my community by cooking food and also sharing it with other organisations for their communities. I feed 1,500 people each week.

Busi Twala ,
Vosloorus

We would like to thank the CWC team as they continuously provide rescued produce that has helped us feed hundreds of thousands of hungry people since the start of the lockdowns.

Dr Nishaan Kishore,
Infinity Foundation

Hope of the Hopeless Centre would not be open if it was not for CWC, which came and rescued us in the pandemic.

Margo Williams,
Hope of the Hopeless, Ennerdale

CWC gives Army of Yahweh the opportunity to help other soup kitchens for children and old age homes and vulnerable people in informal settlements in different areas.

Pastor Adrian Breda,
Army of Yahweh