Digital storytelling refers to a short form of digital film-making that allows people (and in our work, leaders and teams within organizations) to share meaningful aspects of their story. It’s a modern extension of the ancient art of storytelling, only now it’s interwoven with the magic of digitized still and moving images and sound.
At Five Elements Consulting Group, we have always felt that storytelling is an incredibly important part of the culture of our organizations. Sharing stories helps us understand the history of our work, how people behave and why, company folklore, and to celebrate successes…and learn from our failures. Our organizational stories are also an important way we brand and market ourselves, our business and our services.
So why is this important? The ongoing growth of digital technology now enables us a totally cool way to present our clients’ stories in compelling and emotionally engaging formats…as “digital stories.” This type of digital storytelling is important because:
1. Listening is hard.
No offense, but today’s reality is that most people are too distracted most of the time to be really good listeners. So we create the space for people to listen by taking them on a short journey into a compelling story or experience that gets to the heart of the matter.
2. Technology is a powerful tool for creativity.
New media and digital video technologies give us amazingly cool, thoughtful, participatory approaches to share your leadership and team experiences and to share those experiences with others.
3. Sharing powerful stories can lead to incredibly positive change.
Personal narratives have the ability to deeply touch viewers, perhaps even moving them to reflect on their own experiences and modify their own behavior. When we share our experiences via digital stories, it becomes an INCLUSIVE gesture: others who weren’t there have an opportunity to get a sense for what the event…and the “feel “of the event…was about. And when people in your organization feel included, it builds their trust and catalyzes a level of engagement that can change EVERYTHING. And let’s face it: great stories simply INSPIRE people.
We capture our client’s stories in these ways:
►DIGITAL STORIES: typically are no longer than 2-3 minutes long, they are multimedia movies that combine photographs, video, sound, music, text, and sometimes a narrative voice. A sample digital story might include snippets of interviews of your leaders, video pans of graphic recording maps from your offsite retreat, and participant photos woven in from your teambuilding event, for example. Once completed, these stories can easily be uploaded to the internet on your organization’s public or private YouTube channel, on Vimeo, via DropBox, or on other electronic distribution systems that work best for your audience.
►PHOTOGRAPHS: we capture the profound expressions on your people’s faces that come from the power of group interaction. This isn’t stock photo kind of stuff…this is real photojournalism taken from cool angles with truly amazing clarity, to document your event in a powerful way. We can make an incredible photo slide show combined with music to show as a recap on the last day of your event, or we can print and display photos for participants to take home (a lá cruise ship).
► DEEP DIVE STRATEGIC WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT for SMALL BUSINESS: give us 5 days (and access to you) at your location and we’ll design, develop and get your website up and running…NO JOKE – IN JUST 5 DAYS. How’d we come up with this idea? Michelle Boos-Stone has a marketing-focused brain and is a fantastic copywriter and Matt Rutlin is an incredibly creative web developer, photographer and videographer. In an “a-ha” moment we realized we could drastically cut down on development time by having Matt and Michelle work together in person: Michelle handles design aesthetics, content development, writes (or helps you write) copy and teaches you how to blog; Matt takes photos, creates video, handles theming, sets you up on social media, and manages overall development. The result is our amazing website that you see here, plus others [click here to link] that demonstrate the power of collaborative, customized messaging.