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  • Mythic Strategies for Modern StorytellingJoshua Johnson@JoshywashingtonContent Creator, Content Marketing Consultant


  • My Story1986

  • Italy 2003500+ person travel story email chain

  • 1000+ travel blogs150+ videosAudience of millionsAruba 2013

  • In 10 years of Travel Ive Discovered 2 Core TruthsEveryone has a journey to undertake, but you have to own it.The story of that journey - the lessons and morals -are very important personally and culturally.

  • Founded 2006 2MM monthly visitors14,000+ pieces of content 100s of contributorsCommunity of 1000s of active travelers500,000+ following daily on social and RSSWorking with top brands to create original travel content

  • Matador tells stories that connect people to the world (and brands to people)Matador has gained the audience it has because it is a brand of storytellers for storytellers that, through the connectedness of digital media, has create a rock solid brand culture.

  • 5 Reasons why your Brand should be Creating Content (telling stories) NOW

  • Text#1 Real Engagement

  • #2 the gift that keeps on giving TextPublished 2009 - still #1 Google search Text

  • #3 connect your platforms

  • #4 content is social currency

  • #5 you can create content NOW++++=WINNING!

  • But how?thats easy...Tell a STORY!

  • The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in. - Harold Goddard

  • STORY IS EVERYTHINGStorytelling was a quantum leap in information technology.Story describes the world and how you should behave in it.Stories build our culture, morals, national and personal identity.

  • STORY IS EVERYTHINGStories are vehicles for values.Stories break through receptivity barriers with metaphor and emotional language that can be repeated.The best stories self replicate - go viral.

  • Stories Create our Cultural DNA

  • The Edge of the KnifeI had to find a way to progress professionally but not compromise my authenticity. Dealing with travel brands, hotel chains and corporate messages can be creative suicide. The travel industry (as a whole) DOES NOT know how to tell authentic stories - and a professional travel storyteller can be led astray quickly...and wither...and die.The following tools gave me a new way of thinking about what I do - so that regardless of where I am or who the client is, I can tell authentic and meaningful stories.

  • Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs

  • Value Statements

  • Human Needs and ValuesIn the 1940s the psychologist Abraham Maslow studied top achievers who were living out their lifes purpose to chart what makes exceptional people stand apart.Maslow discovered a structure of human needs that seem to follow a basic progression - we call this Maslows Hierarchy of Needs.

  • Bottom of the pyramid = deficiency needsTop of the pyramid = self actualizing VALUES

  • Travel is a Self Actualizing EventRecreational travel is a top-of-the-pyramid activity...

  • ...and people love to broadcast that!

  • The Values found in our locations culture:The Values expressed in our products and services: The Values that we feel resonate with our customers:Exercise: Identifying Core Brand Values

  • WHOLENESS the need to feel connected to others and apart of something larger. PERFECTION the need to seek mastery of a skill or vocation, often through hard work.JUSTICE the need to live by high moral values and to see the world ordered by morality.RICHNESS the need to examine life in all its complexity and diversity, to seek new experience.SIMPLICITY the need to understand the underlying essence of things.BEAUTY the need to create and experience aesthetic pleasure.TRUTH the need to experience and express reality without distortion, to tear down falsehood.UNIQUENESS the need to express personal gifts, creativity and nonconformity. PLAYFULNESS the need for a joyful experience.from Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs

  • Broadcasting your Core Values

    Are you recognizing/connecting to the Values of your customers?Are your Values represented in your marketing and website copy?Are your Values apparent in your facilities and amenities?

  • Look for your Values in ActionLook at your brands social media accounts and identify how/if your CORE VALUES are being broadcast to your intended audience.

    What do your Values look like on Facebook? .... Twitter? ...your website? ...your blog?

  • Heros Wanted

  • Joseph Campbell

  • HJ for Travel StorytellersEach traveler is a HERO.The Journey is a transformative act.The Elixir or moral outcome of the Journey is of great personal and collective importance.Each act of travel contains a HEROS JOURNEY.

  • THE MENTOR: The embodiment of your brand. You are not the Hero, you are the force that puts the hero in motion.

    ALLIES: Secondary characters that aid the Mentor and the Hero.THE HERO: The embodiment of your core audience that you seek to reach. Your ideal customer.Your Brands Heros Journey from Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs

  • THE SPECIAL WORLD: The World of travel that your storytelling takes place in. This place is Special in that it is foreign and exotic.MENTORS GIFT: That special something that you give your Brand Hero that makes their journey possible, i.e. inspiration, information - giving the Hero the Brand Gift is your most important function as Mentor.

    THE ELIXIR: How, ultimately, life is changed for the better.

  • The Hero

  • The Ordinary World

  • The Mentor

  • The Mentors Gift

  • The Special World

  • Allies, Helpers

  • The Treasure

  • The Elixir

  • most liked FB pic742 likes439 likes

  • 1.5k likes The SPECIAL WORLD wins!

  • My Marriott Marquis : The Ordinary World

  • Marquis: Call to Adventure

  • Marquis: Brand Gift

  • Marquis: Special World

  • Thou Shalt Create Content10 Commandments of Digital Storytelling

  • #1 Create a ProcessWe aim to share/engage x5 social media daily.We aim to create x3 original content a week.We aim to publish x2 blogs a week.We aim to create and publish x2 videos a month.

  • #2 think outside the box

  • #3 explore your culture

  • #4 inspire wonder

  • #5 use your cell phone...a lotFood and Beverage Manager updates with his cell constantly & gets great engagement.

  • Juxtapose contrasting imagesCreate a before-and-after sequenceProduce a photographic series#6 Use Smart Phone Apps for Visual Storytelling

  • InstafoodInstaplaceInstaweather

  • Colorsplash

  • #7 be human

  • #8 announce your values

  • #9 be (extremely) visual

  • #10 outsource your storytellingcourt photographers / videographers.host cross-brand events with a strong social components.incentivize content with employees and guests.host bloggers / create a blogger event.curate contentUGC contests and promotions

  • Tell Value-based Stories that Empower your Brand Heros Journey

  • Thank You!JOSHUA JOHNSONContent Creator, Content Marketing Consultant and Storyteller...for HIRE!