The Craft of Visual Storytelling

As a PR professional, I often find myself in a lot of meetings where the term ‘storytelling’ is thrown around by the advertising agency, digital agency and, of course, by us, the PR agency.

So, what’s all the fuss about, and is this just the next short-lived marketing fad or something more sustainable?

My gut tells me branded content and visual storytelling is here to stay, here are a few reasons why I believe this to be true:

Images win over text

tanya blog visual
Image : Urs Fischer exhibition at Garage Gallery of Modern Art Moscow.

Text can be complex, pictures, by contrast, are simple.

Every day, we face a flood of messages and information for which we have little time to process. Text takes time to read and comprehend, but pictures function quickly, breaking through to consumers to grab their attention.

The world is global, and so our communication needs to work globally. Text must be translated, while images effortlessly tell a story across cultures and languages.


Storytelling toolbox delivers

We now have a number of tools to help us craft visual stories: The infographic is already considered ‘so yesterday’; multimedia and video continue to gain popularity; and gifs are on the rise along with cinematography, not to mention the growing use of virtual and augmented reality.

All of these are aimed at grabbing our attention, decorating the story, entertaining, inspiring and motivating, and forcing us to visualise.

The new grammar of storytelling includes colour, focus, style, contrast, frames, and perspective.

We all see the value

The rise of Netflix has recently taken branded content to a new level; communicators have realised that to advertise effectively, to peak attention and interest, they have to break out of old habits and set new, compelling standards for branded content and video advertising.

A great example is Farmland, a documentary sponsored by major U.S. agricultural companies that offers an absorbing first-hand look into the lives of six farmers.

While sponsoring content may not seem particularly game changing, it’s Netflix’s market dominance combined with a willingness to test new advertising methods that’s changing the game for the better.

None of this is particularly surprising to us, right? Right, but finding, sourcing, licensing, publishing and sharing images that tell a story isn’t as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, now is the time to ride the tide of a visual tsunami to get our clients to see the value of visual storytelling .

Tanya Buckley
Head of Content

Changes in leadership at Magna Carta

Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants announced today the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

Sechaba Motsieloa joins Magna Carta as CEO at the beginning of September from McDonald’s South Africa where he is currently Corporate Affairs Director. An industry veteran who started his career at SAB in 1997, Mr Motsieloa is a seasoned executive who serves as Council Chairman of the Da Vinci Institute and is past Chairman of the Marketing Association of South Africa.  He has been at McDonald’s since 2004 when he was appointed Marketing Manager, promoted to Marketing and Communications Director in 2005, becoming their Corporate Affairs Director in 2012.

The appointment of Mr Motsieloa happens as current CEO Vincent Magwenya steps down from his position after having been with the TBWA\ Group for four and a half years.

In his three and a half years at the helm of Magna Carta, Mr Magwenya has established an extremely strong team and, collectively they have built the agency into the leading reputation management company in Africa while creating a fantastic platform from which to lead and grow the company in support of clients. The company has flourished under Mr Magwenya’s leadership, evolving from a PR agency into a world-class reputation management company with the ability to deliver to a diverse group of clients across the continent.

Derek Bouwer, TBWA Group CEO said “I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at TBWA\ to thank Vincent for the massive contribution that he has made to the network, the group and the company. We wish him all the success that he deserves in his future endeavours.

Sechaba is a seasoned professional who will bring a valuable perspective to our business, and I am really looking forward to working alongside him in shaping and driving Magna Carta into the future,” ends Mr Bouwer.

About Magna Carta:

With an ever-growing pan-African network of 19 countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Angola, Mozambique and, most recently, Zimbabwe, Magna Carta’s philosophy of continuous evolution remains a key driver in integrating global best practice, while keeping a finger on the pulse of local services and offerings.

 For more information please contact:

 Hilary Macaulay, [email protected], 0117842598