Last week, I attended a panel presentation put on by Chicago’s PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Young Professionals Network. The panel’s title, “Storytelling through Multimedia Content,” immediately caught my attention. Whether you’re agency or in-house, all public relations and communications professionals share the expectation to deliver fresh and relevant multimedia content to engage consumers in new ways. To get diverse perspective on the matter, PRSA consulted four Chicago professionals: Sarah Gitersonke, executive producer at AKA Media Inc.; Prash Sabharwal, digital manager at Golin; Lisa Trafficanta, vice president at Res Publica Group; and Geoffrey Frankel, senior vice president at Edelman.
Continuing my exploration of digital storytelling, the medium’s cost-effective production and strong potential for engaging audiences makes it an ideal tool for non-profit groups. Digital storytelling for social change focuses on raising the voices of subordinate groups who are directly affected by social issues but seldom heard in public deliberation. The two to four-minute video format – composed of primarily voice over and still images – serves as a feasible platform for subordinate groups to speak beyond their immediate communities and to contribute to broader public debates by challenging commonsense understandings.
Today, there is a lot of hype in the communications community around the concept of storytelling as well as the importance of leveraging digital platforms to engage users. Combining these trends, we’re seeing more and more organizations incorporate forms of digital storytelling in social media campaigns as well as larger web strategies. Given my background in higher education, I recently partnered with a fellow DePaul Grad student (s/o to Kelsey Peters) to explore how colleges and universities are using digital storytelling to talk about college experience, success and affordability.