Jackie Russell: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Talk About the Good

Jackie discusses storytelling that resonates and tells us how nonprofits and sustainable companies can shift their perspectives to inspire and to generate support.

In This Episode

This conversation with Jackie Russell, founder of Teak Media + Communication, delves into the significance of authentic communication, greenwashing, and effective storytelling in the nonprofit and sustainable sectors. Jackie shares her journey into this line of work, driven by a passion for helping companies that are doing good but struggling to communicate their message effectively.

Jackie emphasizes the need for companies to avoid over projecting their environmental efforts and instead focus on transparency, perhaps by acknowledging that they are “less bad” for the environment rather than “good”. By sharing their positive initiatives and engaging in community involvement, businesses can inspire others and create a ripple effect of positive change.

A key aspect discussed is the power of storytelling to inspire donations and support for a cause. Jackie encourages businesses to center their storytelling on the work happening on the ground, rather than solely focusing on the big picture. By sharing personal stories of individuals and communities impacted by their efforts, businesses can create an emotional connection and demonstrate the real-world impact of their work.

In addition to discussing these topics, Jackie offers practical advice for effective communication in the nonprofit sector. She recommends using a problem-action-solution narrative, incorporating personal stories, and embracing the discomfort of self-promotion to inspire positive change and community involvement.

To learn more about Jackie Russell and Teak Media + Communication, visit their website at teakmedia.com. Jackie also provides top ten tips sheets for nonprofits and sustainable companies, including one on crisis communications. Interested individuals can find the tip sheets linked at the bottom of this page or you can reach out to Jackie at jackie@teakmedia.com.

First 10 Minutes
Dave and Emily kick things off with a shared appreciation for just picking up the phone and calling someone. Jackie Russell introduces herself and her company, Teak Media and Communication, a PR firm that represents non-profit and responsible companies. Jackie shares how she got into this work and reminisces about one of her first gigs, the “Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl.”

10-20 Minutes
Emily, Dave, and Jackie discuss the idea that “the game really starts when you’re told no.” Jackie shares info about the Certified B Corps Movement and the crew transitions into a conversation about what it feels like to ask for funding for non-profit organizations.

20-30 Minutes
Jackie shares insights into how non-profits can generate support from their audience using the Problem-Action-Solution strategy. The group then discusses the challenges non-profits and sustainable companies seem to run into when it comes to self-promotion.

30-40 Minutes
The group talks about how businesses need to get out of their comfort zone and talk about the good they’re doing. About how we need to get over that uncomfortable feeling in order to inspire. Jackie shares some incredible communication, marketing, and PR tips for non-profits.

Jackie Russell

Jackie Russell

Founder and President of Teak Media + Communication

In 1997, Russell started Teak Media + Communication with a simple goal: to spread positive news and help nonprofits and socially responsible companies get the media attention they deserve. With a background in journalism, having worked for the Eagle-Tribune and Connecticut Post, she knew firsthand the power of the media. Russell wanted to use that power to help these organizations grow, raise money, and make a positive impact on society.

Teak Media has been a Certified B Corp since 2013 and is a founding member of the Boston chapter of Conscious Capitalism. For the past 25 years, the company has solely represented nonprofit organizations and socially responsible companies.

At Teak Media, Russell is always pushing the envelope and setting the pace for the firm’s progressive approach to public relations. She only takes on clients whose values and ethics align with Teak’s mission, and she works tirelessly to promote their causes. Russell earned a BA from Skidmore College and an MA from Boston University, where she specialized in teaching high school English.

In short, Russell is a force to be reckoned with in the world of public relations. She’s passionate about using her skills to help socially responsible organizations make a difference, and she’s always up for a challenge.

10 Tips for Fearless Communications

10 Fearless Communications Tips for Nonprofits

10 Tips for Crisis Communications