In episode 43 of the Charity Charge Show Margaret Myers, Senior Editor at Atlantic 57 shares how to stand out amongst all the noise in the digital age. Margaret is an editor, storyteller, and digital media strategist with a passion for teasing out the big idea from the smallest nugget. With over a decade of experience as a newsroom leader, Margaret uses her journalism skills to help brands develop their authentic voice and connect with audiences.
Can you share a bit about Atlantic 57 and your role there?
Absolutely. I am a senior editor at Atlantic 57, so that means I work with brands to help them develop their voice in the marketplace. I have a background of about 15 or so years as a reporter and a writer. So I’m a journalist, but I use those same skills and apply them to my work with clients with their business objectives in mind. I help them reach audiences through storytelling that hopefully becomes a part of their lives and ideally an essential part of their day. Right now, I’m working on a platform for Allstate called the Renewal Project. Together, we launched this branded multi-platform, multi-year, social campaign that celebrates local stories, people, and organizations who are moving America forward, including social entrepreneurs such as yourself.
We’re always looking for those nuggets of great ideas, which is why we were attracted to Charity Charge. It was unique. I had never heard about something like this. You really touched upon a great way to solve fundraising problems for nonprofits in a very creative way. So that’s what we look for and that’s what Allstate looks to me for. I have that background in storytelling, in finding stories and then reporting on them. But that’s just one tiny slice of what we do here at Atlantic 57. We are a team of strategists, editors, designers, researchers and engineers who take on the combined work of a creative agency, a content firm, and a business consultancy to help clients disrupt and endure, is what we say. We’re designed not just for disruption, but for endurance. We’ve learned that by being a part of this 160 year old plus organization, called the Atlantic. Many of these lessons that we’ve learned from this enduring brand are kind of cooked into our DNA as a firm.
Do you have any tips for organizations that are trying to craft or share their story?
Well, one of the pieces of advice I give to folks who want to share their story is to share your personal story. I don’t necessarily want to just hear what your mission statement is, although that is probably very important and you will bake it into your message that you convey to the world. But tell your authentic story in a way that is going to connect with folks who want to connect with you. One of the most popular stories last year that really surprised me was a woman who owns a bar in New York. She told us about how she is training her staff to spot the signs of potentially abusive or violent situations in their bar to keep folks safe. She wrote about why it was so important as well as some of the signs that you can look for. And I think that really resonated with people. After sharing on social media, people opened up and shared their own stories and it was a way for everyone to talk about this very important subject as well as connect with each other.
So, Allstate provided the platform and I think it was magical for us to realize that people were craving a platform to talk about these issues. We wouldn’t have been able to build this platform without social media, without you know, speaking to folks, especially on Facebook. That’s definitely been one of our biggest drivers. But we do also use a variety of tactics such as SEO to really optimize our stories to answer the needs of readers.
Are there any brands that you admire or draw inspiration from?
I was talking earlier about that emotional connection and maybe it’s because I’m from Detroit, but I always have an emotional connection with cars. Full disclosure, although I would never drive this brand because again, I’m from Detroit. I drive my little GMC, you know, to support Detroit. But I really love Subaru. I love it because Subaru has created this connection between a hunk of steel in your driveway and equated that with love. It was their tagline, “Love, it’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.” But it’s so true because it carries your family around. They’re so sweet and they have a lot of dogs in their commercials. They’ve created this whole narrative of keeping you safe and taking you on adventures. I feel like people who drive Subarus are part of a club. So I love the way that they have really developed that and I admire it.
How do you stand out amongst all the noise from every other brand?
We surround ourselves with the products and services that reflect our values. When I buy something, it says something about me if I decide to showcase it in my home. It says something about who we are. So, you’re not going to get people to stop and pause and look at what you have to say with a simple group photo and a few lines of copy. Find a writer to help you write your story and invest in a photographer for a day. Get like five or six solid action photos of your clients, your core people, doing what you do best and make it beautiful, real, and authentic. That’s where we come in as storytellers, sellers, and marketers. We help brands project that value and that story out into the world.
If people are interested in working with you or learning more, where should they go?
Check out Atlantic57.com to see our work. Obviously, subscribe to the Atlantic magazine. It is an amazing read. It really questions what you think you know in the world and then check out the Renewalproject.com so you can see some of the stories.