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Digital Storytelling Strategy
Upcoming SessionsApril 30, 2015
October 15, 2015
The Norwood Club, NYC
$1,950 (includes breakfast, lunch, and all materials)
Storytelling has always been central to human experience – it's how we explain and make sense of the world.
As media-savvy audiences begin to tune out advertising messages but look for immersive entertainment, the way businesses need to tell stories is changing. Led by best-selling author Frank Rose and marketing expert Paul Woolmington and offered in partnership with the School of the Arts, Digital Storytelling Strategy is designed for executives of all levels who want to understand what immersive digital storytelling is and how to leverage its potential.
Whether your field is brand marketing, corporate strategy, or media and entertainment, this high-level, one-day seminar will help you understand the digital media ecosystem and gain the expertise you need to communicate effectively within it.
With every new communications technology, the way we tell stories has changed. Now it is changing again: to a new form that is profoundly different from the one-to-many broadcast model of 20th-century mass media.
The digital transformation is reshaping media and marketing: blurring distinctions between content and advertising, author and audience, fiction and reality – while provoking new and challenging expectations among audiences and consumers. Columbia’s hands-on intensive seminar will supply the understanding and context you need to navigate this new world.
Through a series of lessons, case studies, and highly participatory workshops, you will gain insights and learn techniques that will be of immediate value. The day is designed to balance perspiration with inspiration, combining theory and practice to impart a practical, on-the-ground understanding of the challenges we all face.
Summary of Benefits
- Understand the central role of stories in the human experience, including our experience of brands and entertainment.
- See how storytelling is changing in response to transformative technologies and why these technologies are having the effects they do.
- Understand how to leverage universal storytelling techniques while embracing new rules and strategies.
- Understand the role of social media in the overall storytelling ecosystem.
- Recognize the appeal of immersive experiences, especially among Millennials.
- Learn the difference between immersion and engagement and how they can work together to achieve maximum impact.
- Make the transition from simply telling stories to creating rich and immersive environments that people can enter and make their own.
Upon completion of this program, you will earn one day towards a Certificate in Business Excellence. Learn more. Participants also receive a Certificate of Completion from Columbia Business School Executive Education.
Digital Storytelling Strategy incorporates a mix of spirited talks, lively discussions, and highly participatory workshops. The session will focus first on strategic concepts and then move on to case studies involving immersive storytelling in a business context. Throughout the day, executives will periodically form small groups to address specific, real-world challenges that require innovative thinking as well as an understanding of narrative issues and techniques. Participants will leave with an essential grounding in immersive storytelling strategy as well as a conceptual framework and a set of tools they can put to use at once.
We will cover a series of key topics as the day progresses:
Why stories, why now?
- People have told stories for centuries. Why are they changing now?
- How did mass media evolve – and are they really "traditional"?
- What's changing in storytelling, and what isn't.
- Why do digital technologies blur the boundaries we've grown used to?
- Understanding brand voice and its role in brand storytelling.
Understanding communications platforms
- What immersion really means, and how it can be achieved.
- How immersion differs from social engagement.
- Why people share online – and what holds them back.
- How immersion and engagement can work together.
Building story worlds
- Why people want to step into stories.
- Spanning the digital and the physical.
- What you can learn from Sleep No More.
- The essential building blocks for creating immersive story worlds.
Audience & Testimonials
Digital Storytelling Strategy is designed for senior-level executives who want to understand what immersive digital storytelling is and how to leverage its potential.
Whether your field is brand marketing, corporate strategy, or media and entertainment, this program will help you understand digital media landscape and assess how your company or organization can take advantage of what it has to offer.
"I’m extremely grateful for this. Because of the Internet revolution, everything has changed—the rules are totally new. We’re closer to the campfire now than we were during the broadcast years, and we have to understand again why stories are so important for human beings. It’s such an important topic—maybe the most important topic for brands and corporations and people. The academic insights, the questions you raised—I will be able to use this a lot."
– Matthias Ehrhardt, managing director, CMC Consultaris
"This is so far in advance of what most people in the business world are thinking. This class has really taught me that story matters, that narrative matters, and that being consistent in your brand narrative is incredibly important. The strategies I’m learning here I feel are going to be applicable over the entire brand ecosystem."
– Bryan Sims, creative coordinator, Sewell Automotive
Senior Fellow, Columbia University School of the Arts
Author, The Art of Immersion
Frank Rose is a leading authority on the future of media and communications. In his most recent book, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories, he argues that we are witnessing the emergence of a new form of narrative that is native to the Internet – one that is nonlinear, participatory, and immersive. He has addressed this issue at marketing summits and film festivals in New York, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Sydney, and Hong Kong, in academic gatherings at Stanford and the Politecnico di Milano, and at such companies as Google, Lucasfilm, Unilever, and the BBC. The book, hailed as "an essential overview" by the International Journal of Advertising and “a new media bible” by La Repubblica of Rome, is required reading for business, film, and game development courses at Cambridge, Columbia, Georgia Tech, USC, and other schools.
Previously, as a contributing editor at Wired and a contributing writer at Fortune before that, Frank worked as a journalist at the intersection of media and technology, covering such developments as the making of Avatar, Samsung and the rise of the Korean techno-state, the posthumous career of Philip K. Dick in Hollywood, and the future of television in the digital age. Among his earlier books are The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business, about the rise and eventual unraveling of the oldest and at one time most successful talent agency in Hollywood, and the 1989 best-seller West of Eden: The End of Innocence at Apple Computer, which detailed the ouster of Steve Jobs from Apple and was named one of the year's ten best by BusinessWeek. Having gotten his start chronicling the punk scene at CBGB for The Village Voice, he currently contributes to The New York Times, strategy + business, and The Milken Institute Review, among other publications.
Senior Fellow, Columbia University School of the Arts
Co-founder, Naked Communications Americas
Paul Woolmington is known as one of the world's most innovative marketers, dis-rupting and redefining traditional communications models while working with many of the world's leading brands. Named one of the ten most creative people in marketing and advertising by Fast Company, he has launched two successful media and communications concerns and served as an advisor to governments, startup firms, and social cause organizations worldwide.
Born in Africa, raised in London, and for many years a resident of New York, Paul comes with a global perspective. During the '90s he worked as a senior executive at Y&R, at the global holding companies IPG and WPP, and at MDC Partners. Then, acting on his belief that media strategy needs to be an integral part of every brand's message rather than just a means for distributing it, he founded and ran the Media Kitchen. In 2006 he co-founded Naked Communications Americas, an award-winning brand and communications management consultancy that spurred clients to rethink their marketing and communications efforts and embrace the changing media environment. Naked has been called "marketing's most creative business" by the Financial Times and "the agency of the future" by The Washington Post.
At Naked, Paul advised such companies as American Express, BP, Coca-Cola, CitiGroup, Diageo, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, NBC Universal, Pernod Ricard, Samsung, Thomson Reuters, Unilever, and Virgin Group. He currently acts as an advisor, advocate, and angel to a number of dynamic businesses and partners with Frank in the brand and digital consultancy Woolmington/Rose.
Co-founder, Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab
Director of Experiential Learning & Applied Creativity, Columbia University
Lance Weiler is widely recognized as one of the key thought leaders in storytelling. Business Week named him one of the 18 who changed Hollywood; Wired named him one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment. An alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, Lance has designed experiences that have reached millions of people via theaters, mobile devices, and the Web. In 2011, he was nominated for an International Emmy in digital fiction for his work on Collapsus: the energy risk conspiracy. He sits on two World Economic Forum steering committees, one focused on the future of content creation and the other on the role of digital media in shaping culture and governance. He teaches the art, craft and business of 21st-century storytelling at Columbia and is currently developing a slate of next-generation storytelling projects.
Founder and CEO, Hello Products
Craig Dubitsky has dedicated his career to transforming commodities into desirables and turning consumer insights into disruptive, emotionally charged brands. With his latest venture, Hello Products LLC, Craig and his team seek to disrupt and elevate the staid $30 billion global oral care category. Bringing together thoughtful, come-hither design and highly-natural formulations that embody its seriously friendly™ mantra, hello has taken its category by storm, going from concept to commercialization in six months and from launch to approximately 20,000 top US retail outlets in as much time. It is available in the UK at Selfridges, Superdrug, and Boots and recently launched in Canada, Ireland, and Norway as well.
Hello was named to Inc. magazine’s annual “most audacious” list as one of the 25 companies that are changing the world, and Dubitsky himself was recently named to the Advertising Age Creativity 50, the publication’s annual list of the most influential and innovative creative thinkers. The brand also received the Good Design Award and the Red Dot Award, two of the world’s most prestigious design prizes, and achieved Leaping Bunny status for its friendliness with respect to animal testing.
Prior to hello, Craig co-founded the Kind Group, a privately held company where he conceived eos, a line of women’s personal care products that turned the category on its head with its innovative, purse-search-friendly design and USDA-certified organic composition. He was retained as an advisor by Boots, the UK’s largest health and beauty retailer, for the US rollout of its No. 7, Botanics, and Mediterranean cosmetic and skin care brands, and by green home care brand Seventh Generation to help with innovation and design. Earlier, advising the nation’s largest publicly held retail REIT, Simon Property Group, he identified and led the initial investment in Method Products, the category-busting innovator of premium eco-conscious home and personal care. He served as a director of Method from its inception in 2001 through 2004 and as a director of the prestigious Art Directors Club from 2008 through 2012.
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