3C’s Case Study: Community – Storefront Stories Community Project

Creativity | Community | Clients: 3C’s Case Study
This is a 3C’s Case Study examining the community engagement approach and creative process when producing the Storefront Stories project.


Background

StorefrontStories.com was started as an initiative to help businesses in downtown Anderson, SC tell their story during the COVID-19 crisis. After the Governor of South Carolina issued these two following orders in response to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, we wanted to find a way to support local businesses.

  • March 31 – All nonessential businesses to close by 5 p.m. The order covers barbershops and beauty salons, fitness centers, bowling alleys, theaters, arcades, museums, sports that share equipment or cause people to come within six feet of each other, spectator sports, and indoor children’s play areas, excluding child care centers.
  • April 6 – Work or stay home order given. It adds the potential for arrests of violators.

Businesses in downtown Anderson were uncertain. They still are uncertain. We wanted to help and use our core business talents and passions to help share the stories of business in downtown Anderson. We knew if we could create a simple video for them to share, they could instantly let the community of Anderson know they are still open, what they need, and how the community could help.

Many businesses have been forced to close. Many have tried to find ways to keep moving forward. Many have taken the time to refocus. And many have taken the time to even remodel and rebrand.

We never imagined what we would find when we started the Storefront Stories project! It has been an amazing journey since we recorded the first one on Tuesday, April 22nd.

Goal of Project

In close to one month since we launched the sign-up form on StorefrontStories.com; we started with this idea of capturing Downtown Anderson business stories sharing their experiences during COVID-19, a global pandemic, and how it has impacted our downtown Anderson main street.|

What we found…is amazing!

We publicized this initiative using simple word-of-mouth marketing, social media, and the help of the Anderson’s Office Economic Development. Each business was asked to go to StorefrontStories.com and sign-up to be featured. Here is what we required from each business signing up:

  1. Name of Business
  2. Name and contact information for a point person (preferably the owner)
  3. Agree to have their picture and video shared on Rettew Creative’s social media accounts?
  4. Agree to share the picture and video on their business social media accounts?

To date, we have had 23 businesses sign-up. We have captured and produced 16 of those business stories and we are still working to schedule each one that has filled out the form on StorefrontStories.com!

Each business has experienced this time period differently and it has been amazing the vulnerability shown by the business owners sharing tears of joy, sadness, and gratitude for this community that they love.

Production

To keep this project simple and to protect both the businesses and our team at Rettew Creative, we had to create a production process to allow us to do the following:

  • Capture multiple Storefront Stories in a single day.
  • Allow us to capture interviews using social distancing guidelines.
  • Feature the business owner in front of their business.
  • Ask three simple questions/prompts to streamline the video editing process.
    • Introduce themselves and their business.
    • When they hear the phrase Anderson Strong, what do they think?
    • What is their Storefront Story, a story that has inspired them to keep things going and stay open.
  • Capture content in 1080p since the videos would be used on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

We used a two camera approach to capture the the business owner interview, allowing for simple editing when creating a final video. We also used a boom microphone so we would not have to put a wireless lapel microphone on the person. Finally we captured a high quality image of the business owner in front of the business as a thumbnail when sharing on social media.

Results

This is what we have experienced thus far:

  1. We have produced 16 different Storefront Stories videos.
  2. Uploaded each of these business’s videos to YouTube and placed on the StorefrontStories.com website.
  3. We have shared these 16 Storefront Stories on social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  4. As of July 2, 2020 the Storefront Stories project has reached 39,932 people and has experienced 14,494 video views.
  5. Rettew Creative has invested close to $14,000.00 in the following:
    1. Billable time
    2. Creative time and energy
    3. Hard cost for the website updates, domains, and other resources
    4. Time to create social media posts and sharable content for downtown businesses

Podcast Episode

Here is a podcast episode discussing the passion behind the project; the process to envision, create, get the vision up and running; and finally the community impact from this project. We hope you listen to Bobby and Mark discuss their thoughts behind this project!