Inspired PR: How digital storytellers move their audiences to take action

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What You’ll Learn:: 

This kid named Caine Monroy spent a summer assembling a cardboard game arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles. But nobody ever wanted to play.

One day filmmaker Nirvan Mullick dropped by to buy a car door handle, and he became so interested in the creative youngster, he made a 10-minute documentary about him—and inspired a movement.

This story, told by Andrew Davis, demonstrates the power of content. “Caine’s Arcade” had no call to action, but viewers wanted to help the boy go to college, something his family couldn’t afford. They chipped in $170,000 over 10 days, and Mullick was inspired to create an Imagination Foundation to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.

Organizations, both for- and non-profit, are telling powerful stories that drive revenue, Davis says in the Ragan Training video “Inspired PR: How brilliant digital storytellers create a sudden urge to act.”

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • Why you need to inspire people
  • How even stodgy B2Bs can tell great stories
  • Why you should reconsider long-form video
  • What companies and non-profits have done to create a movement that boosts their goals or bottom line

Because of the show “Mad Men,” sales of Lucky Strikes has spiked by 44 percent since 2007, with 10 billion cigarettes sold. That’s five times faster than the industry. And after 17 years of declining sales, Canadian Club whiskey has seen a 4.3 percent growth each year in the same period.

“Every episode, 70 episodes, on and on and on, has inspired people to buy crappy whiskey and terrible cigarettes that can kill us,” Davis says. “That’s amazing.”

How about inspiring people to change the world, he asks.

Learn about the importance of suspense, and how to foster aspiration. If you understand what your audience aspires to, you know how to inspire it. Even if you’re a B2B, your target audience still has aspirations.

Learn about the company whose distribution center movie ended up getting broadcast on Japan’s NHK TV network.

Hear about the importance of creating empathy in your stories. Can you create empathy for a computer? Just ask IBM.

Sign up for Ragan Training for this and other video education on cutting-edge strategies and tactics.

April 2014

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Presenter bio: 

Tippingpoint Labs Chief Strategy Officer Andrew Davis’s 20-year career has taken him from local television to “The Today Show.” He has worked for The Muppets in New York. He has marketed for tiny start-ups and Fortune 500 brands. His latest book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, is one of’s Top 100 Marketing Books. He has produced for Charles Kuralt and MTV. He even produced a documentary film called Roadside Ambition: The Amazing True Story of One Small Town With Two Huge Balls.

In 2001 he co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where he and his team helped companies like Putnam Investments, Breville and TomTom. They built digital strategies for publishers like Rodale and Meredith. For more than a decade, Drew has led the charge to change the way publishers think and how brands market their products in a digital world.