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Don’t let ‘media’ tell the story!

How do we tell stories using “media”? Hmm…well the latest trend is the idea of using “Social” Media(s)…
The idea of telling stories is becoming an integral part of communication campaigns. People can identify with stories, especially if the audience can see themselves via the stories that are represented in the campaign.
Take for instances the “Loads of Hope” campaign by Tide. Have you seen the television spots where this large bus with tons of washing machines built into the side drives around and allows those who have lost everything wash their clothes. They could have just shown images of the bus and some figure head describing the mission. NO! Instead they let the people directly impacted by this campaign tell the story…and it is repeatable as stated…”everything is better with clean clothes.” Their are so many of us that can in someway identify with that message. We have either lost our homes or have come near, damn close to being in that particular situation.
So how do we tell the stories to effectively, convey the message of the organization or cause? You have to identify the audience that will receive the message then you have to figure out what will impact that audience in a way which will let them see your message through your eyes.
It does not begin with the tool…OH, I have this cool thing that I want to send a message, let’s create something and we will be heard. IMHO, that is not targeted messaging and definitely not telling a rich story.
Stories can be told using video, the written word, music, etc…but the manner at which the story is crafted is most crucial. I am one that is mostly a purest…I like to find the stories that are most palatable, ones that have rich ‘red strings’ that flow through them.
Bob Dotson once told me that anyone can tell a story, but ones that are the most impactful are the ones that have multiple layers, many threads that need to be pulled back and uncovered. Each revealed in a way that brings a new awareness to the table, to help the audience experience a new way of thought, way to see something through a new lens.
Stories also have the most impact if they not only have a richness to them, but are told in a way that are repeatable. Think of the many stories that have been passed down through the years in your family, between your friends, amongst your peers. They have a theme that is morally repeatable…that make such an impact it actually forces you to want to repeat. It comes so naturally when you pull up a chair at the next meeting and share with a new group of friends.
Good stories must be told in  frequency, so that the underlying theme creates a rhythm of awareness. Remember that ‘red string’ concept I was describing with Bob Dotson…well, here you must identify the ‘red string’…the underlying rhetorical position. Use that as the frame work to build micro stories over time, releasing them to your target audience. People not only crave good stories, but they look forward to the next dependable time they can watch another one again…and again…and again.
So…how does media play into this whole storytelling concept? Well, they are just the tools to deliver the stories. Build frequency in the delivery. We use them to generate interest and capitalize on their connectivity, delivering the audiences to the right place at the right time, to find that story.
The story is not the media that delivers, it is the fashion by which the audience is delivered to that story and how ultimately that story is relayed.
We all have the tools to tell a good story, but the great story tellers are ones that recognize the ‘red string’ and capitalize on the delivery mechanisms which insure their story will be heard again, and again, and again!

How do we tell stories using “media”? Hmm…well the latest trend is the idea of using “Social” Media(s)…

The idea of telling stories is becoming an integral part of communication campaigns. People can identify with stories, especially if the audience can see themselves via the stories that are represented in the campaign.

Take for instances the “Loads of Hope” campaign by Tide. Have you seen the television spots where this large bus with tons of washing machines built into the side drives around and allows those who have lost everything wash their clothes. They could have just shown images of the bus and some figure head describing the mission. NO! Instead they let the people directly impacted by this campaign tell the story…and it is repeatable as stated…”everything is better with clean clothes.” Their are so many of us that can in someway identify with that message. We have either lost our homes or have come near, damn close to being in that particular situation.

So how do we tell the stories to effectively, convey the message of the organization or cause? You have to identify the audience that will receive the message then you have to figure out what will impact that audience in a way which will let them see your message through your eyes.

It does not begin with the tool…OH, I have this cool thing that I want to send a message, let’s create something and we will be heard. IMHO, that is not targeted messaging and definitely not telling a rich story.

Stories can be told using video, the written word, music, etc…but the manner at which the story is crafted is most crucial. I am one that is mostly a purest…I like to find the stories that are most palatable, ones that have rich ‘red strings’ that flow through them.

Bob Dotson once told me that anyone can tell a story, but ones that are the most impactful are the ones that have multiple layers, many threads that need to be pulled back and uncovered. Each revealed in a way that brings a new awareness to the table, to help the audience experience a new way of thought, way to see something through a new lens.

Stories also have the most impact if they not only have a richness to them, but are told in a way that are repeatable. Think of the many stories that have been passed down through the years in your family, between your friends, amongst your peers. They have a theme that is morally repeatable…that make such an impact it actually forces you to want to repeat. It comes so naturally when you pull up a chair at the next meeting and share with a new group of friends.

Good stories must be told in  frequency, so that the underlying theme creates a rhythm of awareness. Remember that ‘red string’ concept I was describing with Bob Dotson…well, here you must identify the ‘red string’…the underlying rhetorical position. Use that as the frame work to build micro stories over time, releasing them to your target audience. People not only crave good stories, but they look forward to the next dependable time they can watch another one again…and again…and again.

So…how does media play into this whole storytelling concept? Well, they are just the tools to deliver the stories. Build frequency in the delivery. We use them to generate interest and capitalize on their connectivity, delivering the audiences to the right place at the right time, to find that story.

The story is not the media that delivers, it is the fashion by which the audience is delivered to that story and how ultimately that story is relayed.

We all have the tools to tell a good story, but the great story tellers are ones that recognize the ‘red string’ and capitalize on the delivery mechanisms which insure their story will be heard again, and again, and again!

FYI….Bob Dotson is one of my all time favorite television storytellers, along with Carolyn Mungo!

Follow Bob Dotson & Carolyn Mungo on Twitter!

Brand New Day

I’ve stayed in one place for too long
Gotta get on the run again
I saw the one thing that I want
Hell bent, get outta bed
I’m throwing rocks at your window
You’re tying the bed sheets together
They say that we’re dreaming too big
I say this town’s too small

Dream
Send me a sign
Turn back the clock
Give me some time
I need to break out
And make a new name
Let’s open our eyes
To the brand new day
It’s a brand new day
~ Ryan Star “Brand New Day”

What is right for Anderson?

“There’s a lot of people who talk about doing good, and a lot of people who argue about what’s good and what’s not good, (but there were also some other folks who) just put their lives on the line for what is right.”
– mother of Ruby Bridges (first black child to integrate New Orleans schools) in Robert Coles, The Moral Life of Children

What are you passionate about? Where does your passion lie in this ever changing world of business and culture? I am passionate about telling stories…stories are the foundation for how I do business. I tell stories for my clients, the students I teach, the causes I represent…but does this help the greater good beyond just creating revenue?

I want the community I live in…here is Anderson, SC to be successful. A community that supports entrepreneurship and innovative business…they type of growing innovation that provides local support to big businesses like the AnMed’s, Bosch’s, Michelin’s, and Walgreen’s of Anderson County. It is their best interest that innovation and entrepreneurship live right here in Anderson County, and eco-system of the knowledge wealth that promotes innovation and a prosperous educational, knowledge economy.

Isn’t it in the best interest of the Anderson County School Districts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, a conversation that resonates at the dinner table every night between families. How about Tri-County Technical College and Anderson University, creating entrepreneurial education for the working class along with the innovative education for the high-school graduate who might want to be a nurse or a teacher, who might have an idea one day that turns into a high-impact business. One that stays local and grows as big as the organizations it supports.

Where are the stories of individuals who have been raised, educated, and become successful right here in Anderson County. The ones that have transformed the way that we view Anderson merely by being leaders right in their own classroom, their emergency room, their business…and have gained that knowledge to become successful right here in Anderson.

It is time to start finding those stories..right here, right now.

The old days of storytelling…

Facebook is such a wonderful thing. It has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. When I got up this morning, I did my usual by logging into both my personal & business email. I also check my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I am not sure if this gets you excited, but I love it when there is a little red pop-up in the lower right hand corner of the Facebook screen that lets you know there is an update; whether it might be someone has tagged you in a photo or even commented on a status. Today…I found this, a picture posted from 2000 in Phoenix at the Rocky Mountain Emmy Award Ceremony.

ASU-UA Team Shoot 2000 Emmy's

This is a picture of some of the team that worked together to produce a short documentary from the ASU/UA football rivalry game in 2000, where we had nine cameras all over the place capturing the day’s story. Not the action, but the story from the fans’ point of view. We wanted to tell the story…provide a slice of life…what the fan experienced during the last big game of the season. Nine of us all over, interviewing people from the top of the stands to the bars surrounding Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. We captured the essence of the day…then that night, we took all of that footage and edited it down to a three and half minute story to air on the Sunday Night Sports Show for KPHO-TV in Phoenix. What teamwork…what away to pull a group of people together with a common vision…to tell a story. Apparently, it must have been good enough to win us all an Emmy Award for Sport Reporting in 2000.

There is something about Facebook bringing communities back together…especially ones that have a common bond and now use a new tool to embrace connectedness. Who knows, we might get back together again, after all this time to tell another story…can’t wait to see where it will take us!

Using Online Video To Promote Your Business

Ever thought about using online video to promote, raise awareness, or distribute a message that is important to a target audience? Well, the experts think you should embrace online video as a professional means to spread your targeted message to your targeted audience.

Video Sharing Market
The market is huge and continually growing. 14.3 billion videos were viewed online in December, 2008 and increased by 13% in February 2009.

“For both startups and Fortune 100 companies, getting on board with online and mobile video is increasingly key to attracting and engaging a fickle audience. The next generation of big-time consumers (those under 18) are already more likely to be watching video on a computer or mobile phone than they are on a traditional television set.”

“Deliver content consistently. There should be a predictable pattern to retain and grow your audience. Sign up for long-term deals, so your audience doesn’t find that you dropped their favorite video content from your site.”

“For both startups and Fortune 100 companies, getting on board with online and mobile video is increasingly key to attracting and engaging a fickle audience. The next generation of big-time consumers (those under 18) are already more likely to be watching video on a computer or mobile phone than they are on a traditional television set.”

Know, engage, and interact with your audience. Understanding exactly who you are targeting with your video content and what their needs are in terms of information or entertainment will help you make a compelling proposition to potential advertisers and ultimately sell ads, especially if you cover a niche topic.

Record year for video content consumption
“How could it not?! Video consumption continues to grow at an astonishing rate. As of October 2008, 13.5 billion videos were watched online. That is a 45% rise on the number watched in October 2007. The availability of super high speed broadband along with more HD video content will drive more people to consume more video online.”

Video monetization becomes reality
“Professionally-produced content, targeted to specific audiences, will see a burst of excitement as advertisers will see this as a safe bet to put their money on. In response to the influx of advertising dollars, video publishers will need scalable platforms with a wide range of performance metrics.”

“The good news is top notch content should eventually stand out from the marginal stuff. And the vast majority of Web content would probably fall into the marginal category, if that. So it’s important to put some extra time and effort into consistently creating good stuff — the kind of content that will turn heads, lead to conversations, and eventually build long lasting relationships. And that’s really not so bad after all, now that I think about it.”

Sources: Mashable.com, Clemson University’s Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurship, and Inc.com Technology