I was sitting watching Mcguyver on demand when I received a video from an acquaintance from one of the online groups I am a part of. The video was about a guy with some religious message, and I decided not to even bother to watch it. However, while I was posting an image on Whatsapp a few minutes later, the video started playing, and the guy started telling a story about a civilian that saved a soldier’s life. The story highlighted that the civilian’s mom wanted to abort him a few years earlier, and the mother of the soldier whose life he ended up saving sat with her and encouraged her to keep the baby. The story got me hooked, and I watched the entire video, even the message after the story.
That got me thinking; it validated what I have been working on for the past few months; storytelling is how Brands can use their story to grow their businesses. Gary Vaynerchuck stated that he day trades attention and build businesses. To him, the ultimate asset in business , in this internet led era in which we live, is attention. Therefore it is of utmost importance to find ways to get and keep this asset. I believe that to get the attention, we need to tell stories.
In January 2016, a tourist (Jessica Colker)was murdered while exploring a deserted beach while on vacation in Grenada. Note well, Grenada is my home country.The incident generated lots of international media interest; most of it negative. The coverage painted a picture of a dangerous, barbaric island with savage people and where rapists and murderers roam freely. Some literature even issued travel warnings and advisories.
As a Grenadian, Colker’s murder stunned me; particularly because Grenada is one of the safest and friendliest Caribbean islands with extremely low crime rates. I anticipated the coverage given the international ties of the victim, however, what I did not expect was the very negative image that was painted of Grenada and Grenadians like me. This sparked the creation of the #IamGrenadian counter-project to share the real stories of Grenada and Grenadians online.
Six months later, the Facebook page garnered 11,000 likes and massive engagement; that’s when I realized that storytelling was a powerful way to shape a brand’s narrative online. As part of my Masters Degree in Digital Media, I am currently working on the best way that brands can tell their stories across multiple platforms. I will keep everyone updated on my progress. I am not going to talk about the benefits of storytelling or the steps to create a story; these can be found with a quick search on google or by visiting the business of story website. Nevertheless, storytelling is the future, and I will be writing about the different ways a story can be created and shared across multiple platforms. Stay tuned for progress updates on my research.