Interesting

[caption id="attachment_63" align="alignright" width="295" caption="Wallace and Ruth"][/caption]



We’re doing some (early) spring cleaning at the AHA office. As we go through files, media coverage binders and jump drives, we have the opportunity to reflect a little on campaigns and projects from the past. This week, we came across the files for one of our favourite creative campaigns. In the early days of AHA, we were fortunate enough to be asked to work on a documentary series called Healing with Animals, produced by Mystique Films. This was a fabulous series that focused on how animals help humans heal.



We wanted traditional media coverage for the launch of the series. (This was back before social media was as widely accepted as it is today… Seems like a million years ago, but in reality we’re only talking about seven years.) We also wanted ongoing coverage as well. We were fortunate that the filmmakers (Mary Bissell and Chris Bruyere) were out-of-the-box thinkers and “got” what we wanted to do, because we used a creative approach that took a bit of a leap of faith on their part. (Which is why we loved working with them!)



One of the segments focused on Wallace, a llama that would visit homes for the elderly. It turns out that Wallace loved people and that seeing a llama in their lobby created a positive reaction in some of the elderly, especially those suffering with dementia. Quite often, the surprise of seeing Wallace would pull the person into a period of reality. They were able to interact, converse and connect in a way that they normally struggled with due to their condition. Wallace loved the attention and the people he visited loved him.



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My friend, mentor and former boss, Della Smith of Q Workshops, is a smart cookie. She may, in fact, be the smartest person I have ever met. (And I have met a lot of really, really smart people!)



Now, I am not sure I would put Della up against Jeopardy genius Ken Jennings—that’s just a different kind of smart (and one that I believe has more to do with memory than anything else). But I have seen Della in a wide range of scenarios—from dealing with an organization facing a huge crisis to sipping a cold beverage at an outdoor patio on a hot summer day—and along with her strategic, steel trap of a mind… There is something else, something special and rare and well, simple, that is the foundation of her style of genius (and her success). She is a relationship builder.



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Years ago, as a journalist for a national magazine, I had the opportunity to interview music legend Jimmy Buffett. Now, I happen to be a Jimmy Buffett fan (we are affectionately known as Parrot Heads), so this was a pretty special interview for me!



Jimmy Buffett has an incredible business mind and a true entrepreneurial spirit. (There are unsubstantiated rumours that he is related to Warren Buffett, so the business part of his brain kind of makes sense.) He was one of the first in the music business to embrace digital technology; he recognized the coming shift in the music industry and left his big name label to start his own. He has ownership in two successful restaurant chains (Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise), interests in hotels and he just opened the Margaritaville Casino in Las Vegas. He still performs worldwide, has made over 30 albums, written several books (four made it to the New York Times Bestseller list), and he pilots his own plane… the list of his accomplishments goes on and on. And, of course, above all else, Jimmy is a storyteller. We talked about storytelling a lot in our interview.



I recently pulled out my interview notes and took a look at what Jimmy told me back then. His key points about storytelling are relevant, even for those of us who tell stories in a more corporate environment than Jimmy does.



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The Vancouver Sun is reporting today that Shaw Media will launch an all-news channel for British Columbia in the summer of 2012. Global BC will be responsible for the content. Fingers are crossed at AHA that this also means that Global will have more television cameras available to record the news going on in the Lower Mainland.

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