Posts from the ‘Storytelling’ category

Healthcare Social Media Review #41: Tap into Visual Storytelling

Visual Storytelling

How can visual media bring healthcare social media to life?

This edition of the Healthcare Social Media  (HCSM) Review explores visual storytelling. Storytelling alone could have been our sole focus, but the increasing prominence of visual media, especially across social networking sites, couldn’t go unnoticed. Posts span visual communication research, content strategy, and storytelling techniques. Read More… >>>

Call for Submissions: Health Care Social Media Review #41

Visual Communication

How can we harness the power of visual storytelling in healthcare social media?

65% of the American population are visual learners. You may want to read that a second time. And should we be surprised? Photos and videos (visual, multimedia content) serve as social currencies online as evidenced by the infographic explosion combined with social network sites bringing this content to bear: Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest to name a few. Even Twitter recently updated to offer more visual tweets.

Read More… >>>

Wow Experiences and Liquid Content

Coca-Cola Journey and Wow Experiences
What can we learn from Coca-Cola’s marketing and advertising approach? 

Many, including Melinda Gates, have commented on how we in the social sector can learn from Coca-Cola’s place-based strategy. Now there’s more: the Coca-Cola Journey.

“Today, Coca-Cola is taking its digital communications to a new level,” said Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.  “Coca-Cola Journey is the most ambitious digital project Coca-Cola has ever undertaken, and we are doubling-down on our commitment to be a quality publisher of compelling content.

It is a wow experience.

In his book Platform, Michael Hyatt says that the essence of WOW is exceeding the customer’s current expectations. Coca-Cola achieves that with Coca-Cola Journey largely thanks to its smart packaging and display of quality content.

With Coca-Cola Journey,  you experience the Coca-Cola brand, its story and vision within a context that invites you to participate. Rather than provide a standard corporate website, you’re offered a dynamic, digital magazine that features original and curated content designed to invite conversation in a creative, welcoming way with a side of intrigue and delight.

Take notes.

Learning from Coca-Cola, here are just four items to consider as you continue to evolve your own digital presence:

1. Prioritize the user-experience. “More than anything, we prioritized what creates a great user experience over the latest design trends,” explains Ashley Brown, Coca-Cola’s Director of Digital Communications and Social Media. Yet–the site still has appealing design. Think wow, not just what’s hot now.

2. Speak visually. As Laura Kisailus of Forum One recently posted, “Visual media reigns supreme…consider the packaging of your content across the social web.” Coca-Cola takes this to heart by pulling some of its key data points and shaping them into a visual format.

3. Leverage inbound marketing. One of the biggest shifts in Coca-Cola’s web strategy is the strategic decision to be a quality publisher of compelling content. Many marketers see value in this type of shift but only a fraction of organizations have put resources behind it.

4. Create liquid content. Coca-Cola isn’t stopping with inbound marketing. They have bet the farm on content marketing with a “Content 2020” strategy. It’s mantra: “move from creative excellence to content excellence.” Content excellence equals liquid content, creating ideas that are contagious. As evidence, according to Marketing Week, Coca Cola’s new approach to creativity and advertising saw it create more than 120 pieces of content as part of its London 2012 Olympic sponsorship activity, compared with just three TV ad executions and six outdoor ad executions for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Go 70/20/10.

Watch the videos below on Coca-Cola’s full “Content 2020” strategy, especially time stamp 3:04 in the second video to learn more about Coca-Cola’s 70/20/10 principle to liquid content. In the comments, share how are you’re evolving your content efforts so we can also learn from each other. What barriers are working against you?

Imagineering InstaGood: 7 Examples You Won’t Find On Mashable

How do you think about your content?

A new comScore report reminds us that audiences are not audiences and that content can be discovered as much as broadcasted. According to the report, Instagram tops Twitter in mobile engagement achieving an average of 7.3 million daily active users compared with Twitter’s 6.9 million. This means 7.3 million people access and use Instagram on any given day. What’s more,  the study also found that the average Instagram user spends more time accessing the app, 257 minutes compared to 169.9 minutes spent on Twitter.

Sharing Experiences

image courtesy of reavel

Does anyone else feel like Twitter has become a broadcast mechanism? I’m guilty of this myself. But Instagram, now that takes true imagineering. Just look at Sharpie for inspiration. Rather than trying to configure Instagram into a promotional tool, Sharpie uses it for storytelling with its images receiving an average of 1300 likes and over 21 comments.

For those unfamiliar, Instagram is a photo-sharing application that can be downloaded for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. You know–that app Facebook bought for a billion dollars? You snap a photo and can apply a variety of filters to it to make it look weathered, faded, vintage, or enhanced. While you follow friends like you might on Twitter, the use of hashtags become all the more important as people tag photos as a main way to find content. Oh, and there’s a number of third-party apps to play with as well.

What makes Instagram unique is that is can capture moments, visually, from one person or from a crowds–while on the go. As Geoff Livingston shares, “People are sharing real experiences [on Instagram].” Another descriptor: “The revolution won’t be televised, it will be instagrammed.

7 Unique Examples of Using Instagram for Good

With over 40% of the top brands on Instagram, I’ve rounded up some examples of using Instagram for good that go beyond Mashable’s list of 10 inspiring nonprofits using Instagram. If you know of others, please add them in the comments below!

photo by Jeffrey Young from the BART InstaWalk

  • Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) InstaWalk: East Bay Instgrammers, are one of three large Instagram groups in the Bay Area that organize photo-walks. This past January, their photo walk was amongst the BART system.  If you want to address commuter health or promote walking, biking or taking the rail to work, this could be up your ally. Note: There are InstaWalks and then there’s InstaMarketing.
  • Green NYC: The New York City Government is using Instagram in its Green NYC initiative by having their Mascot, Birdie, snap and share photos of his New York adventures. Green NYC looks to reduce greenhouse gas emission by encouraging New Yorkers to reduce their energy use, choose a more sustainable lifestyle, and take small actions that will help shrink the citywide carbon footprint and improve environmental quality.
  • The #Kenya365 Instagram Project: A grassroots group of friends are starting a photo-a-day hashtag #Kenya365 to highlight life and community in Kenya.  How can you expand perceptions of a geographic location or use the picture-a-day concept for your mission?
  • Capturing moments: This may be taking things too far but Instagram was recently used to livestream a toddler’s open heart surgery. How can you provide access to big events or give view to the inbe-details of your work?
  • U.S. Forestry Service’s Digital Leaf Press: Using Instagram, the service is taking conservation education digital! How else could you use Instagram for education?
  • From Instagram to Inspired Media: This link actually shares five brillinatly creative uses of Instagram. While not necessarily social good specific examples, the creative concepts could be easily adaptable–an instagrammed music video? menu? mosaic art? Say no more.
  • Advocating Through Visual Storytelling: Jana Baldwin, activist and blogger is a graduate of The George Washington School of Public Health who observed how many students never left campus to understand how different life is from NW to SW to NE to SE in Washington D.C. Thus, NW to SE was born where Jana sheds light on differences in life and culture within DC’s own city limits focusing on public health and safety issues. Instagram has become her latest tool of choice, sharing compelling images that capture life from NW to SE.

Try it out: Visual content shouldn’t be an after thought. See how your organization or content area is viewed on Instagram. Use tools like PinstagramWebstagram and Statigram to search hashtags like #climatechange, #empowerment or #medicare. Are you inspired?

The Story of a Church Making the Impossible, Possible

I wrote this post about a year ago and just re-discovered it this past weekend while doing some blog maintenance and wondered–why did I never post this? This is good stuff!

Yes, in the title, I said the church. I debated sharing this case study because I was afraid people might not read it because it says church. But then I thought, some just might read it because it does say church.

The focus in this post, however, is not the “church.” It’s about a creative, integrated strategy that utilizes a social marketing approach to achieve to strengthen America’s concept of love in the union of marriage. This love is admittedly, from the perspective of the Church, but don’t we always have the question in social marketing of – who decides? (That dear friends is another ethical conversation that can range to anything from paternalism to essentialism and everything in between.)

Onward. Have you taken the Love Dare? Is your marriage Fireproof? In the social marketing realm, there’s been talk about providing tools that equip and empower individuals to not only make personal behavior change but to help evangelize behavior change in their communities and networks. Let me walk you through a movement started at a church in Georgia.

Sherwood Baptist Church created Sherwood Pictures, a volunteer-driven moviemaking ministry in Georgia. This movie studio was created from within its congregation and uses volunteers to act, produce, film and market their movies. Sony caught on and premiered these movies across the United States in movie theaters everywhere. The movie studio’s goal is to harness the influential power of Hollywood to influence behavior change: adopting Christ as one’s God, while also working to address societal issues. Their first two movies were Flywheel, followed by Facing the Giants. Facing the Giants was a surprise hit and was the best-selling resource in Christian stores in 2007.

A Lesson from the Church on Social Marketing

Building on this momentum, their latest movie, Fireproof, went above and beyond the work that even Call+Response or Invisible Children have propelled. Not in terms of raising “awareness,” but due to the plethora of TOOLS the Fireproof movement has around it. First, Fireproof has a few interwoven objectives (according to the makers of the film):

  1. Show what real love is.
  2. Show how this love is integral for a successful marriage that is Fireproof against today’s high divorce rates.
  3. Show how families are a foundation of today’s society that should be nurtured.

I’m not here to debate whether you agree or disagree with the message behind the movie. But look at the TOOLS! These tools help someone commit to changing, take action to change and help them maintain that behavior over time while also encouraging others. What can this teach us about how to provide tools for people to address their health? Not just relationship health, but environmental health, public safety health, civil health, etc.

  • A national launch fueled through grassroots evangelists for “premiere night” with watch parties through already-built church networks.
  • Fireproof DVD and movie at a low price (about $8).
  • At purchase, you can opt-in: 1) their email list survey, their feedback survey, or for their ambassadors survey, where you can get involved in the MOVEMENT for healthy marriages.
  • Download and/or purchase an educational curriculum. This curriculum can be utilized in churches, small groups and/or between individuals to assist in marriage preparation classes or for sermon series.
  • Step-by-step DVD to assist in nurturing healthy discussion about the topics presented in the movie.
  • Because the movie is centered on a concept called, “The Love Dare,” which is a 40-day challenge to love your spouse. The producers of the movie actually wrote a hard copy of the “The Love Dare,” so that any couple can walk through the same process the actors in the movie did to nurture their relationship and/or marriage.
  • And, if you don’t have a way to view the movie, the movie “Fireproof” was also developed into a book for those that prefer reading to video.

As for promotion? It all started with Facing the Giants. A Christian movie produced by a church in Atlanta all by volunteers within the congregation that premiered through Sony in movie theaters across America. Congregations rallied around the movie and its purpose–here again, with Fireproof, people did the same. Couples, churches, communities, businesses, firefighters, and the Catholic community all pitched in to help promote the movement. In addition, any consumer who bought the materials online, could also opt-in to be an ambassador of the movement to arrange get togethers, watch parties and more around the central themes in the movie.

What This Means…

Let’s remember where this all started…at a church, by a group of volunteers wanting to a) show the power and love of God and 2) work to address societal issues in a big way. In other words–they started with their goals. They didn’t see barriers. They didn’t stop at possible. They saw the impossible and made it happen.

What does impossible look like to you? Make it possible.

PS: Interested in Christian churches who are creating a movie-making ministry? In McClean, Virginia, McLean Bible Church has a group of congregation members working to create a Christian movie studio, named In Jesus’ Name Productions. Their first movie, The Messiah, has a $75 million dollar budget and is due out 2012.

Do You Follow Your Head or Your Heart?

I believe you can learn something from just about anything–including The Celebrity Apprentice (stay with me). I haven’t watched the show all season–but tuned into the finale by chance. On the finale, an interesting debate arose: In making decisions, including business decisions, do you follow your head or your heart? Here’s the gist:

THE FINALISTS: The finale came down to two people: Holly Robinson Pete and Bret Michaels. Holly–the top-notch, professional project manager who knows the foundation lingo and raised the most money ever for a charity on the show. And Bret Michaels–the rocker with a heart whose creativity has been a driving force, leading to strong results.

THE CAUSES: Bret’s cause is the American Diabetes Association as he himself was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was six years old. While on The Apprentice, Michaels also learned that his 6-year-old daughter is borderline diabetic as well. Holly’s cause is the HollyRod Foundation–originally inspired by watching her father struggle with Parkinson’s disease, Holly and her husband created the foundation to support families who might not have the means to support a loved one with a serious medical condition. When Holly’s oldest son was diagnosed with autism–the Foundation turned its focus to autism.

THE DIFFERENCE? Storytelling. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I think Joan Rivers said it best when she said something along these lines: “If it were as it should be, it would be Holly hands down. But Bret has my vote–the emotion he’s brought to it–you got to go with him.” In sum: Bret shared his story and went behind telling us his story. He drew us in with his raw personality–sharing the effects of diabetes, living his passion and opening his heart. In the end, the crowd and Trump himself, wanted to be a part of that story–they wanted Bret’s story and his mission to be triumphant.

THE WINNER: Bret Michaels.

Holly’s story was personal–but she was more professional. At one point, she said, “I know how to impress executives.” That might be true, but at the end of the day, you’re selling yourself, your story and your mission. Holly impressed us from a professional perspective–she did everything right. But, Bret made it personal. Thus, the big question, do you follow your head or your heart? The case of The Celebrity Apprentice just goes to show–that there are times when the heart wins out, despite all the logic, Excel modules, planning and preparation.

So your challenge–Are you speaking to the head or to the heart? To executives–or to the people? Know your story and share it–real, raw and right to the core.

PS: Join us @read4change and our special guest Stacey Monk of Epic Change as we talk about how storytelling and its role in creating change.

Defining Your Organization’s Story

I believe the importance of storytelling is currently under-utilized in the market–yet it’s becoming ever more needed. As a customer myself, I value companies that take a position, that share their values and back them up with action–companies that are more than a company–but a passionate group of people not afraid to add to the manuscript.

But as an organization–how do you get everyone on the same page? Sure–a communications brief, a missions statement, or a value statement might provide a route to defining one’s table of contents. However, constructing those documents can be an intimidating, formal and painstakingly long process. So, I have another remedy for you.

Jump over to Ogilvy PR’s recent post where Patagonia’s VP of Marketing shares Patagonia’s story. The simple, bullet format provided offers insight into the values Patagonia has, the position it takes and how it translates both into business.When done reading, try the exercise out for your own organization. Try it with a colleague or even try it with a customer–what were your answers? Did you have an answer? And if you did the exercise with someone else–how’d the answers differ?

Now, my next question: What process might you recommend for an organization wanting to define its story?

PS: I want to give props to an organization who is doing this right (examples always help)–> Worldways Social Marketing. The title of their blog is my favorite title of any blog, We Take Sides. It tells me where they stand. It gives me a feel for the type of company they are, and communicates to me that they are a passionate group of people who believe in what they do–without any corporate speak. Your turn: Who do you think is doing it right?

flickr photo credit: JeremyHall

Who Pooped in Your Cereal?

Sometimes, you have bad days. When those bad days hit, those are the days you could use some inspiration. Yesterday, I woke up and was inspired.

This image is taken from Franke James’ book “The Real Poop on Social Change.” In it, James delivers an important message regarding awareness vs. behavior. It’s an excellent read, and it’ll take you less than five minutes. (Warning: The text below is a bit provocative, but I think is presented just right–especially in the context of the whole story. One more reason to read it…)

Hope the image brought a smile to your face as it did to mine. Other points James’ makes that may not bring a smile to your face, but instead, infuse renewed energy to your actions:

  • “Look at global warming. Lots of awareness. But how many are doing something?”
  • “U.S. women have lots of awareness [about breast cancer]. But if they don’t have the money to see a doctor–what good is awareness?”

And then, I came across Sheila at LiveWell360, who I felt was so poignant in her questions that she got me thinking further about individual awareness vs. behavior battles:

  • “Why do we work and work and work so that when we are 65 we can *hopefully* retire and do nothing and/or “whatever we want”… at the sacrifice of our time with our family and living a joyful life now? That seems so backwards.
  • Why do we ask each other how we are doing, and the acceptable response is “not bad.” Tell me what you ARE, not what you are not.
  • Why is it weird to ask someone, “What inspires you?”
  • Why is it considered “wishful thinking” or even sometimes laughed upon to go after your dreams and believe that you can do more than status-quo?
  • Why are we willing to buy premium gas for our car, but not buy premium food for our body?”

What about you? Do any of Sheila’s thoughts speak to you? I mean, just because we pick up doggie-do-do, doesn’t mean you have to feel like doggie-do-do. As you wake up this morning, I hope this post leaves you inspired. It’s a new day–experience it.

[Thank you to LaDonna Coy for her tweet, as she is the one who originally brought Franke James’ illustration to my attention.]

Michael Jackson & Iran: Music to Your Ears

I’m no expert on the Iran situation. But, I do know when a video has that extra powerful “umph.” Talk about responding to current events (Michael Jackson), harnessing in on emotion, and making a statement through visual storytelling.

Have you seen this video of the events in Iran set to the music of Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” yet? What are your thoughts?


(One more tip: Jocelyn Harmon, in her latest post, also talks about how the Sierra Club recently leveraged ‘timeliness’ in one of its new initiatives as well.)

Did You Know? 2 Must-See Videos to FLY Together

My dad sent me this great video today. It makes you think. It motivates you, like @garyvee, to get off your butt and get moving. You may think that doing nothing only affects you. Tuning out is a choice. So, that can be your opinion. But, standing, means not helping others to fly.

No matter your political leanings, you must admit this quote is poetic. On NPR, a man talked about getting ready to vote for a president for the first time was being asked who he was voting for and why. He recalled this text message he received from a friend:

“Rosa sat, so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. And, Obama is running so our children can fly.”

What if that could be you? What if your actions could empower others to succeed. Think about the power that ripple effect could have. Whether it’s for Obama or McCain, Vote. Act. Do. No matter what, after the election, we will all need to keep moving, if not faster. Let’s get busy, and let’s FLY together. Just ask these guys:

*Don’t quote me on the stats, as I’m still trying to find this video’s source. But, it is powerful.

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