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"What we really focus on here is how the internet is changing storytelling, how digital technology in general is changing not just the way we tell stories, but the way we experience them."
– Frank Rose, Co-Faculty Director and Senior Fellow, Columbia University School of the Arts
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.
Download “The Power of Immersive Media” by Frank Rose from Strategy + Business.
Please Contact Us
Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at 212-854-3395 for a personal conversation to learn more.
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 with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.
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.
PARTICIPANT PROFILE & 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.
Brand Director, Absolut Vodka
Afdhel Aziz is a brand strategist and marketer who has worked for global brands such as Procter & Gamble, Heineken and Nokia, in London and New York. He is currently Brand Director for Absolut Vodka.
He is an expert on how to deliver cutting-edge campaigns, content and experiences that harness popular culture, working with world-class artists such as Lady Gaga, Swedish House Mafia and Kanye West, as well as diverse partners like the TED Conferences, Art Basel, Coachella Festival, London Fashion Week, US Open Tennis, Afropunk and the Andy Warhol Foundation.
He has been a featured speaker at SXSW, Advertising Week and the Social Commerce Summit, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Vice, Fast Company, The Guardian, Coolhunting, Billboard, Hypebeast and more.
General Manager, VICE News
Over the past seven years, Sterling has developed and implemented distribution strategy across VICE's platforms. He has worked on business development, sales, operations, and strategy in the launch of VICE's digital channels. In 2012, he oversaw the launch of VICE on YouTube, leading it from launch to over 6 million subscribers and 500 million views in 24 months. As director of platform, Sterling runs global digital operations across VICE's family of channels, leading the charge on growing the VICE network across its 36 offices worldwide. In 2014, Sterling was also named general manager of VICE News, launching and overseeing business & operations for VICE's global news channel. Less than a year old, VICE News has become the fastest-growing digital news channel in a generation, with over 200 million views, 1 million YouTube subscribers, and a direct monthly reach of over 50 million.
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