At the beginning of 2018, R3SET Enterprise brought together an inclusive group of community members for the Small Cities Big Futures Idea Jam. The Idea Jam provided us with feedback and insight on community needs, including opportunities to invest in the Berkshires in ways that aligned with our skillset and resources.
We based the “Idea Jam” on the Berkshire for Initiative for Growth Report on the state of millennials’ retention and recruitment to the Berkshires. It highlighted the need to recruit and retain 700 young people per year to curb regional population decline.
At the idea jam, one of the issues ranked highest by the group was the need for additional forms of effective communication covering the positive things that happen in the Berkshires. The thinking being, let’s provide Millennials with reasons they’d want to visit, play, & stay in the region.
Community members at the idea jam saw themselves as a part of the solution, participating in sharing their own positive stories about the region.
The community members wanted it to be integrative, bringing together the organizations and people who share a similar vision for the collective growth of the Berkshires.
At the same time, we were researching contemporary marketing systems to create relevant stories and products for our customers. We landed on using podcasts and long-form video as pillar content in tandem with a narrative marketing framework and multi-channel marketing approach.
We were presented with an opportunity to house our narrative marketing efforts in our first studio when Karden Rabin, owner of Boundless in West Stockbridge and owner of the Werkshires, reached out to us about space available in his building. (Karden also attended the Ida Jam and helped facilitate the event.)
On August 9th, 2018, we opened the first podcasting and digital storytelling studio in the Berkshires in the Werkshires building of West Stockbridge. The rest is history!