By now I am sure you have heard the song “Mans not Hot” by Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq. He went viral with his “Mans not hot” rap and has been the talk of the internet for the past couple days. I was watching an interview with Michael and something he said stood out to me. He said that one of the hilarious things that happened to him is people are reaching out to him and calling him an overnight celebrity, however, that overnight success took him years to happen.
I had a conversation yesterday about business, branding, marketing advertising and a host of other topics. The discussion centered around marketers and their ability to sell anything, no matter how crappy it is. I have a different view of that topic, for me, no amount of marketing can sell a crappy product. However, it was pointed out to me that marketing sells crappy product all the time.
I was about 9 or 10 years old, in primary school (St Andrew Anglican Primary School). I remember on a daily basis, my peers will be selling different things at school at break time. Whether it was candies, cakes, tamarind balls, anything that kids in primary school will buy. The school sold snow ice, so every break time I purchased a snow ice and a cake or something else. One day I asked myself, why do I have to be the one always buying stuff. I wanted to get in on the hustle. There was a big tamarind tree close to my house, so I decided to pick tamarind and make tamarind balls. I asked my mom for one dollar to buy a pound of sugar, and it was game on.
In 2013, I became quite fascinated with Social media and the way businesses were using it to build their brands and get customers. I went all in on learning everything I needed to know about social media and today I am a proud social media strategist. After being in Canada for a little bit, I quickly realized that one of the most significant assets you can have here is “Canadian education” So I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree.
This past winter, Transmedia Zone Director & Associate Professor Ramona Pringle challenged her Interactive Storytelling class at Ryerson University with the following question: What are the best solutions to engaging audiences in user-generated campaigns?
“I was in primary school, and we had a school trip. You told me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go because you couldn’t afford it. I understood the situation, so I didn’t make a fuss, but you saw how much I wanted to go. I told my friends I wouldn’t be there. I woke up the morning of the trip started doing my housework as usual, and you walked up to me and said. “Go bathe, you going on the school trip” and you handed me the money. I don’t know what miracle you worked, but this is one of many memories that I will cherish and appreciate as long as I live. Happy Mother’s day Janice Corion, thanks for always being there.”
In 4 months, I will be finished with my Master of Digital Media. I am currently working on my Major Research Paper. The topic for my research is “Analysis of Narrative-Driven Social Media Content Use Within Successful Social Media Campaigns Across Multiple Social Platforms to Develop a Campaign Strategy.” I am basically looking at how storytelling, in particular, transmedia storytelling, impacts the success of social media campaign in Non-Profit Organizations. My hypothesis in its simplest form is if you want to be successful on social media, ensure your content tells a story and reflects the overall narrative of your organization.
The 2017 SMART START Youth Summit is an initiative led by a multicultural group of young Canadians. The Summit will engage diverse young Canadian friends and supporters to honor and celebrate young Canadians of African and Indigenous ancestry; and young Canadians in need of societal support, including newcomers.This opportunity is an all expenses paid (including meals and transportation),weekend,daytime retreat for youth aged 13-24.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Economics degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City Campus in December 2010. After crossing the proverbial stage, I went back to Grenada and worked at the Grenada Public Service Co-operative Credit Union, now known as the Ariza Credit Union, as the officer in charge of the Grenville Branch. After 3 years, I resigned from my position and moved to Toronto Canada.
I soon realized that jobs were hard to find in Toronto. The main reasons for my difficulties were my lack of Canadian working experience and no Canadian education. Eventually, I found a job as a Claims Processing Agent in an insurance company. Because I am fluent in English and Spanish, after three months, I was promoted to the bilingual help desk to deal with all the grumpy, angry clients. During that time, I was also freelancing in the digital media world, working with clients on Facebook advertising and social media management. I then started looking at the prospect of obtaining my master’s degree to give me the extra push as an up-and-coming entrepreneur. I remember seeing the Master of Digital Media programme at Ryerson University; however, I took a while to apply. Admittedly, I initially had reservations about applying because possessing technical and creative skills appeared huge parts of the consideration for applicants and many of the past students professed about having the requisite skills.
Although I had a knack for doing business, I was technologically limited, so I must admit that I had some self-doubt. Additionally, my shortcomings were obvious because I can’t code nor use photoshop, so I thought I would not have gotten in. However, after investigating some more and speaking to some more people, I decided to apply in 2016, which I later did. To make a long story short, I got in, and I am currently pursuing the degree. Admittedly, I entered the programme thinking I would have been working on building my digital agency as a Facebook advertiser and Social Media Manager. However, after starting the programme, I instantly fell in love with transmedia storytelling. Even though I am still into social media and different digital technologies, I am now viewing those areas from a storytelling angle.
I fell in love with transmedia storytelling because I realized that many of the successful business personalities and entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk were not just experts in social media. Instead, they were storytelling on these platforms based on the context best suited for the particular platform. Additionally, from observation, it became quite clear to me that not many people understood the importance of storytelling in business, so I am willingly taking the onus on myself to spread the word.
Stories are the currencies of our conversations. If you want to persuade persons to do or buy something, the best approach would be to appeal to their emotions by telling a story. I was listening to an interview with Dave Kerpen from Likable Local, and one of the things he said was that a good story could be tested using one simple question, ”Is it shareable?”. For that reason, I have been looking closely at why stories spread. Admittedly, I do not have all the answers here; however, I will be documenting, testing, and sharing my findings in due time.
I wish to also mention, however, that one of the findings that was interesting to me was that there are what we call activation emotions which cause persons to take action such as sharing a story. Examples of these emotions are happiness and anger while sadness for instance is a deactivation emotion which leads to little or no shareability.
To end this piece, I would also say it was enlightening to find out that one of the secrets to telling stories online is to understand the context of the platforms where you are storytelling. For instance, it is unlikely to find the same videos from Buzzfeed on Facebook as you will find on Youtube. Therefore, it is important to understand people’s state of mind when they are on different platforms and share stories with them based on why they’re there. I also found that there were different types of stories namely timely, seasonal, and evergreen stories. However, I will sign off here for now and delve deeper in a subsequent post.