Tag Archives: storytelling

Our Growing Connectedness: Changes in the Tech Space that you Need to Know About

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rachael-roark-weekly-reads-centertable-our-growing-connectedness-changes-in-techIn this age of being constantly connected, people have come to expect that the information they are looking for is at their fingertips. This edition of Weekly Reads covers how technology giants are continuing to push the envelope in terms of the amount and type of information that is accessible and where it is accessible. We as users are also raising our expectations around the level of transparency that these giants are providing.

Marketing Land: Google Expands Google Assistant Integration

Google announced a slew of new capabilities and integrations for Google Assistant. It will now be able to switch interchangeably between languages and Google is partnering with new third-party smart display and smart speaker companies. There are also a wide range of new connected home devices that will support the assistant such as thermostats, security devices and vacuums. Google is doing this in an effort to continue to increase the advantage that it already has in international markets. Read more after the jump…

The New Era of Creative Storytelling (Part 2 of 2)

{Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part post focusing on what we’ve learned as social media marketers over the years and what our industry looks like moving forward}

Live journalAs you (hopefully) read in the first part of this post, social media marketing and user behavior have covered a LOT of ground in 15-ish years. First, being able to share written word on the Internet, then the ability to start your own personal web page with photos and music, on to easily being able to create and post content of all kinds online, interacting directly with brands and organizations, and eventually live streaming content that “disappears” after a few seconds. Creative storytelling has never been more complicated. Which brings us to today…

2018: The Modern Age

What is Happening?

Blog period3There’s a TON of noise. And individuals are (successfully) trying to find better ways to receive and organize the information they want. The social media algorithm pendulum has swung from content we wanted/selected, to what the platforms assume we want to see (the echo chamber effect), back toward the content we interact with most often (but definitely NOT chronological, because there’s no money in that). The interesting outcome of the “Hooli Effect” (mentioned in Part 1 of this post), is that individuals are using social platforms the way they want to use them, not necessarily how each platform would want you to use them.

Read more after the jump…

The New Era of Creative Storytelling (Part 1 of 2)

{Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part post focusing on the history and set up of how social media has been used by marketers. Part Two will explore what we’ve learned and what social media marketing looks like moving forward} 

It’s helpful to look back at history and understand how and why things happened before talking about how we can improve our digital storytelling.  This is a social media history tour through the eyes of a guy who has been involved in the industry since the pre-MySpace Days. (Some obvious, but not-as-relevant-to-social-media details have been omitted so this post doesn’t turn into more of a novel than it already is):

Read more after the jump…

How do you elicit emotion in an on-camera interview? Embrace your own

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Everyone knows the shot. And everyone wants it. We were on set at a video shoot with a client recently who really wanted it. And he didn’t mince words about what it was that he wanted as we spoke before the interview.

“You’ve got to make this guy cry, dude.”

I hope I was able to bury the cringe I felt building up inside — and that was the last emotion I wanted to bury that day.

“If I take that approach into this interview, there’s no way he’s going to cry, dude,” I replied.

That’s the one sure thing I know about trying to elicit an emotional response in an on-camera interview: If you’re trying to do it; if you’re employing calculated tactics in your effort to make it happen, it’s likely that you’ll personally extinguish all the emotion in the room.

That being said, there is one methodology that I have found particularly fruitful — and even personally therapeutic — in these moments: letting go of all the thoughts about how you want this interview to go, and taking the time to seek out a genuine, human connection with the person you’re interviewing.
Read more after the jump…

Thoughts from CenterTable’s 6th SXSWi Denver Download

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Capitalizing on in-person opportunities as well as digital opportunities brings us Back to the Future.

Last week we hosted our sixth South by Southwest Interactive “Denver Download” – a chance for our clients and partners who attended the SXSWi conference in March to share the knowledge they gained with other clients, partners and colleagues back here in Denver. This year’s panel consisted of Comcast’s Cindy Parsons (who hosted one of the festival’s on-site social media lounges), Sukle’s Dan Schultz, Children Hospital Colorado’s Elizabeth Whitehead and yours truly. Below is a recap of common themes that were discussed during the event – all relevant concepts to look to as evolving trends in digital marketing in 2017.

Knowing your audience (and segmenting your messaging and marketing plan accordingly) is more important than ever.

Gone are the days of distributing one message to as many people as possible through digital channels. With so many social media and digital marketing platforms, combined with the fact that it’s not “solely Millennials” using Instagram or “only older people” using Facebook, it’s more important than ever to create specific audience personas and speak directly to each one of them with tailored content and messaging. Read more after the jump…

Even Professional Designers Need a Creative Outlet

As the director of creative services at CenterTable, my goal is to make sure our clients have all the tools they need to visually tell their stories. I love the variety of projects I get to work on and all the amazing businesses and nonprofits I’m able to collaborate with. Telling meaningful stories is what inspires me to become a better designer and a more creative problem-solver. However, for a long time I’ve missed telling my own stories through art and design. Read more after the jump…

Top Presentation Tips From SXSW

It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.

Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr

In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.

Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…

The Storytelling Power of Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs became more accessible than ever when Apple created its GIF keyboard for iOS 10. The addition offers users a fun, easy way to interact with friends on mobile that has further broadened our digital forms of expression. GIFs provide us with a visual way to describe how we’re feeling. My wife knows exactly what I’m trying to say when I send her a simple GIF of Michael Jordan crying, or Kim Kardashian rolling her eyes. Though sending these types of GIFs is an entertaining form of expression, they don’t even begin to show how powerful animated GIFs can be as a storytelling device. Businesses have an opportunity to use custom-designed GIFs to help tell their story and expand their reach. There are many super-talented artists creating amazing GIFs that transcend how most people view the medium, and companies should take notice. I’ve listed some of my favorite artists below:

Read more after the jump…

Tips to Improve Your PR Storytelling

I was on a road trip with my family recently and we had some time to kill. We decided to take turnsstorytelling telling stories and after we each had a run at it, we shared our favorite. My nine-year-old’s account of the creepy clown under his brother’s bed was my personal favorite, but the majority agreed they liked the story I shared about time travel and our cats, Gizmo and Butch. I celebrated the accolades quietly to myself, and then thought I sure hope I can tell a story, after all, it’s what I get paid to do.

Much of what we do as PR professionals is storytelling. We craft and share our client’s stories with the audiences that matter to them. That can include consumers, legislators, educators, industry groups or the media. And, as the vehicles with which we communicate continue to change, it can mean telling a story in 140 characters or 1,400 words.

I thought I’d share a few of the rules I follow when telling our client’s stories – particularly to the media. Read more after the jump…

The Importance of Storytelling

Photo from: ereleases.com

Photo from: ereleases.com

I attended a meeting on Monday – a convening of 14 co-grantees of The Colorado Trust all working toward the common goal of improving access to health care for Coloradans. During this convening, we shared strategies and tactics, successes and challenges – and discussed ways we could be more effective in our efforts. One of the biggest themes of the day was the importance of storytelling – and how it can make abstract topics (such as health care) concrete and relevant to your audiences.

Now, it may seem fairly basic, but the conversation served to remind and reinforce for me our role as storytellers in PR. It can be easy to get caught up in statistics, survey results, product features and the like – and those are all important pieces of the puzzle. However, when we can engage our audiences through stories that they can relate to – that is when we really hook them.

Read more after the jump…