Since I was little I always wanted to write, to communicate stories, not just fictional ones but ones that made sense of the world that I actually lived in.
Retrospectively, so many of those stories that I lived, weren’t enough. They didn’t satisfy the urge in me to connect in ways that reflected my internal values. I didn’t know I was developing a strong sense of social justice and a desire to be more actively involved in change.
I devoured other people’s stories. I could finish a book a day and think nothing of it. Some stories resonated with me. Sometimes aspirationally, sometimes inspirationally and sometimes fantastically. Other books left me cold.
I fell into marketing, brand and communications rather than choosing them but if the truth be told, they were a natural fit for my strengths. My problem in my earlier years is that I always tried to shape myself to fit into the places I thought I should be, rather than stretching tall and strong in the places I fitted.
All my jobs have allowed me to learn more about what I love and what I am good at. And the startling truth, it is the thing that I discarded as a career option all those years ago – the art of storytelling to help people connect with ideas or concepts – is what I am good at.
Storytelling is at the core of all successful communications – whether it’s a letter, an article, a newsletter, customer service or a successful marketing campaign. It’s in small talk and conversation. It’s the key to relevant training. It’s in branding. It’s in the people we recruit. It’s our connection with audience. It’s our customers perception of our business. It’s the way to inspire change. It’s the inspiration. It’s the education.
It is what fascinates me about social media. Personal social media is the chronicling of our daily stories, in just the same way as we used to write letters or keep journals. It widens our opportunities to connect with people with similar stories or interests. It is powerful. It can and does influence change. It allows us to connect to people in other countries, gain a deeper understanding of issues that interest us, intrigue us or enrage us.
Business social media has been one of the most disruptive events of the digital revolution. It has allowed the customer to drive innovation in companies. It demands businesses be proactive rather than reactive. It allows businesses to build a relationship with the customer that is not purely transactional. It allows for transparency. It challenges businesses to showcase their talent and expertise. It empowers customers to reach them when it’s convenient to them and to share their thoughts in their own words. It allows customers to demand excellence in customer service.
It has also allowed for people’s participation in social justice projects or a company’s corporate social responsibility activities to be given a greater focus. In the age of information, we can’t say we don’t know. Social good initiatives are creating change in the wider world while creating profits and employment across the globe.
Business and marketing objectives cannot exist separately to “the social media” any more. It is the front line for customer interaction and it needs to be conducted with the same commitment to excellence and transparency to which the rest of their business adheres
I also strongly recognise that to be an active citizen, one needs to understand the tenets of good digital citizenship and how they are now irrevocably linked. Real and on-line are no longer separate and have not been for a long while.
So in founding Elverson Social I wanted to be involved in social story telling. I want us to be a company that educates, inspires, and helps implement robust social media approaches that support business and personal objectives.
I want Elverson Social to be instrumental in changing the way businesses tell their stories because they understand the power it has to empower both their external and internal audiences. I want businesses to understand that their social story telling needs to be representative of all aspects of their business. I want people to understand the power of being positively social.
And for me individually, separate to my role as a business owner, I want to continue being proactive about positive social so that people understand the strength of social media in implementing social good in their personal and wider communities. I want people to embrace disruption with enthusiasm rather than scepticism. I want my daughters and their peers to grow up comfortable with the public aspect of their own stories while retaining an understanding of how active citizenship is not just a face-to-face concept.
As a social advocate – both media and justice, as a writer, a blogger and most basically, as a human, I want to tell stories. I want to keeping training and mentoring. I want to be a positive force in a world preoccupied with the negative. I want to remain me. Not a game player – but a slightly unpolished, irreverent and outspoken individual who has strong opinions, strong beliefs and even fact checks occasionally.
So there it is. That’s why I do what I do.
I love it.