Are You Well Equipped To Tell Stories In The Digital Arena? You Need To Be.

According to Ad Age, a growing number of marketers are directly engaging consumers through original content, instead of pitching their stories to reporters.
Take this Coldwell Banker video:

The thing I find interesting in the Ad Age piece is how PR agencies are being tasked with content creation. For instance, Coldwell Banker enlisted the help of its PR shop Cooper Katz, to gain presence on YouTube. I don’t have a problem with PR agencies doing this kind of work, but I’m not convinced they’re always the best team for it.
One of my favorite mantras is “May the best storyteller win.” I see it as the rallying cry for our time, and the reason some people are saying things like “this is a great time to be in advertising and/or media.”
The digital disruption of the market created a situation where production and distribution are now very inexpensive. That means the focus is now totally on the story.
PR shops have traditionally told brand stories to the press, whereas copywriters and art directors are used to telling brand stories to mass audiences. Digital distribution provides a more intimate venue for story, but it’s nowhere near as intimate as a lunch with a reporter.
Additionally, the Ad Age piece points out that nearly 30,000 reporters have left the industry since the beginning of 2008. Add to that the army of videographers roaming the globe and I’d say the stage is set for a new model to emerge, one where content pros (many who’ve never made an “ad” before) are increasingly asked to weave brand narratives.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.