Storytelling with Street Cred
up some great tips from the National Association of REALTORS™ on how to break
free from that same-old tired approach to telling your members’ stories.
estate agent Lee Taylor, the sole performer in a music video, raps away as he
dashes about Atlanta, telling anyone who will listen how much he cares about
it. The piece is brief in length, but long on charm and humor. AM&P Annual
Meeting attendees chuckle.
went the opening of Meg White’s conference session, "Engage Readers via
Superpower Storytelling,” presented at AM&P’s Annual Meeting in June. White,managing
editor of REALTOR Magazine, the official publication of the National
Association of REALTORS,kicked things off with the video and wasted no
time displaying her publication’s refreshed portrayals of real estate
redo started a year ago. "We wanted stories that are more transformational,
less transactional,” White recalls. To achieve that, staff brainstormed,
looking past conventional notions of what real estate agents do. To hear White
tell it, they faced down doing the same-old-same-old as they made their way
through the mother of all brainstorms.
decided be open to all of the things real estate agents do” she says. The walls
of convention stood tall. White’s team seemed to need the see-through eyes of
superheroes. In the end, what a vision they beheld: Realtors who live and
breathe their communities, who interact and contribute to them in all sorts of
ways. And the final result:REALTOR Magazine gained fresh ideas
about content and how to convey it. "We wanted more variety — including having
agents tell their own stories,” she explains.
spread the word to members that they were interested in unique ways realtors
engage in their communities. The response jelled into Street Cred, a project with
a presence of its own on the magazine’s website.
has Street Cred? Judging from a project listing, quite a varied and interesting
group. Entries include a story about the agent who draws from his real estate
experience to write fiction. There is also one about the realtor who supports
local budding artists. And how about the incredible account of the real
estate agent involved in his community at the young age of 100.
attendee-charmer Lee Taylor surfaced when Street Cred announced a video
contest. Talk about a man in his métier. Long before Street Cred went online,
Taylor had lots of musician friends and attended shows regularly. In a Q &
A with his video, he revealed that Lee Taylor, rapper, had never been far from
Lee Taylor, real estate agent. The contest gave him a chance to join the
thought, well, I can rhyme. I have a good vocabulary, and I have a unique
affinity for Atlanta. I had the song in my head, too, which is called ‘Atlanta
Bounce.’ It’s the piano track that we sampled for the rap song.”
won himself an honorable mention, and he no doubt wins fans whenever White
takes audiences through the superpower storytelling at her publication. Meanwhile,
overall contest winner — Lisa Molinari from Morristown, New Jersey — produced a
polished, in-depth guide that celebrates her town’s many offerings. Her
prize:REALTOR flew Molinari to its Chicago headquarters for a guest
for Molinari the benefits haven’t stopped. She reports she has used the video
to show off Morristown, something that fits what White and company envisioned.
Indeed, all along a primary goal has been to create "a future where realtors
are seen for the role they play as ambassadors for their communities,” White
told AM&P’s Annual Meeting attendees. It is amazing what superpower
storytelling will do.
Cerquone is director of
public relations for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.Association
Media & Publishing sincerely thanks Joseph for volunteering to cover this
session for our members who were unable to attend the Annual Meeting this year.