If I were to talk with you about how storytelling is important at a journalism and mass communications college most folks would gravitate towards how journalists write their articles in creative and interesting ways to keep readers engaged. With that said convergence is a huge buzzword where all facets of journalism and mass comm working together to most effectively communicate and connect with audiences.
The first few days at Colle+McVoy, not surprisingly, has seen a ton of research and ideas being put together to present to clients. What is interesting is the focus on the story that is being told to effectively get their point across while building up to the ideas that will go into the strategic plan for a project. I cannot begin to count the amount of times I have heard, “so what is our story” or “how are we going to tell the story.” I like this approach to presentations and strategic thinking a lot, because it is very similar to a journalistic process of searching for answers and solutions. This exploration is not only telling clients what great ideas you have, but how to engage an audience and craft an effective reasoning behind why these ideas will work for the clients needs. All that said this is not a new concept, it is strategy, but students sometimes get hung up on generating ideas without a solid foundation for why and how the ideas address objectives.
Further down this road of convergence social media is another huge media channel that is being tapped. No surprises there, but further thinking about them as media channels is very interesting. Publishing schedules are produced to keep content fresh and keep audiences involved. Thinking about social media as a publishing tool is an easy way to approach the media in a sense that content needs to be relevant to the “publication” as well as interesting and informative. Taking these ideas further is social media and interactive in general opens up opportunities to connect and communicate with audiences and not at them.
One very fun example that C+M has produced is Caribou Coffee’s “Make the Cup” where visitor’s are asked what they stay awake for? The is a wall of submissions with comments, photos, and video all in the style of Caribou’s iconic coffee cup with the best being selected to be featured on the next set of cups.