A Perfect Storm


A Perfect Storm – 7-30-2014

Please visit:  news.comtechcorporation.com/blog

With one phone call, Comtech Multimedia Marketing Group was requested to the scene of something miraculous. The City of Rockford, With the help of Jeremiah Development and Home Depot are presenting disabled career veteran Anthony Birdwell and his family an opportunity that seemed impossible just days earlier. On September 9th, 2014 a set of keys will be turned over to the Birdwell family and their new life will begin as first time homeowners.

Misfortune struck Anthony Birdwell’s life when it was discovered that he had a tumor on his spine. Upon a rushed surgery and recovery, Bridwell could no longer serve his country like he once had. Accompanied by his wife Kerry’s troubled pregnancy, the families struggle became great as they had lost their home and moved into shelter care.

“Its a perfect example to make an impact on somebody’s life that couldn’t be done any other way,” said Chad Forrester, Store Manager at Rockford Home Depot, whom is at the head of this effort.

Upon receiving their new home, the Birdwells have big plans. Anthony will be attending Rockford Career College to study business. Anthony’s son Gavin, age 7, will be attending Haskell school, a year-round school that is just a walk away from their new home.

The impact of this project has touched us all here at Comtech MMG as well. As production intern Abby Bakke reflects, “To know that you get to be apart of this and help these people is truly an honor.”

Comtech MMG is filming this impact to be made into a documentary, and by utilizing several forms of Transmedia storytelling, transcending this story across several platforms of social media as well as through public and community relations. We are keeping our you informed and up-to-date with the entire project with weekly videos, photos, and highlights. From the impact Anthony and his wife Kerry and how the Birdwell’s grow as a family throughout this incredible journey, to the many volunteers and organizations that are coming together to contribute to this great gift, and also the impact that the project is making on the Rockford community as a whole, you can follow us every step of the way.

Blogger: Rachel Tripp

From House, To Home, for Local Veteran Family

Anthony Jr., Kerri Birdwell, Gavin, & Anthony Birdwell

The Home Depot, Jeremiah Development Group and the City of Rockford to Honor Veteran and His Family with Their Dream Home

Please visit:  news.comtechcorporation.com

Rockford, IL, July, 2014Disabled military veteran, Anthony Birdwell, and his wife, are soon to be first time homeowners thanks to the support of The Home Depot, Jeremiah Development Group and the City of Rockford. These organizations are working together to provide safe housing for homeless veterans. The renovated duplex is just one of 1,000 homes that will be repaired and renovated for U.S. military veterans as a part of The Home Depot’s Celebration of Service initiative this fall.

Birdwell is a disabled military veteran, who, along with his family, has faced many challenges in the past several years. About five years ago, Birdwell received the unanticipated news of a tumor attached to his spine. He was no longer able to serve in the Army, and the struggle to find employment to support his pregnant wife and young son with his new disability was daunting. With medical expenses growing and no unemployment benefits, their personal and financial struggles amplified.

The three organizations are working in conjunction to grant and reconstruct a Rockford house for Birdwell and his deserving family. The Home Depot Foundation is providing the funding needed to renovate the home and more than 50 The Home Depot associates and vendor partners will volunteer their time and talents through Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer force, to transform the home for the Birdwell family.

“We’ve got a great deserving family, a great city, a great organization with Jeremiah Development Group just pulling together to make this all possible. At The Home Depot, we’re committed to giving back and we are so honored to be able to do so for such a deserving family,” said Chad Forrester, Team Depot Captain and Store Manager of The Home Depot of Rockford.

The Birdwell family will possess ownership of both duplex housing units. One housing unit will be for the Birdwell family, who will be able to influence the design process alongside The Home Depot team. Meanwhile, the other housing unit will act as supplemental income as a rental duplex.

According to Kathleen Ferrero, Executive Director of Jeremiah Development Group, “This is the family for this house.”

The grand reveal of the house to the Birdwell family will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. As a house built in 1914, the Birdwell family is receiving a structure which represents the roots of Rockford and a branch to their family’s future. The Jeremiah Development Group, The Home Depot, City of Rockford, as well as many other local volunteers are providing a timeless gift to this meritorious couple. Not only is this gift representative of how groups can come together to remarkably impact the life of a veteran, but it also represents the personal growth of the Rockford community.

“Projects such as these are the agents that call for action to improve Rockford’s social and economic conditions, leading to a greater future. One deserving family, one community and one act of humanity will lead to a better tomorrow,” stated Joe Arco, President of Comtech Multimedia Marketing, which is documenting the duplex renovation process and family’s journey along the way.

About Giving Back at The Home Depot

Since the first The Home Depot store opened in 1979, giving back has been a core value for the Company and a passion for its associates. Today, The Home Depot, in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, focuses its philanthropic efforts on improving the homes and lives of U.S. military veterans and their families and aiding communities affected by natural disasters. Through Team Depot, the Company’s associate-led volunteer force, thousands of associates dedicate their time and talents to these efforts in the communities where they live and work.

Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has invested more than $65 million to provide safe housing to veterans, and along with the help of Team Depot volunteers, has transformed more than 10,000 homes for veterans. To learn more and see Team Depot in action, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.

The Four Pillars of Storytelling: Maximizing Your Storytelling Potential

In the marketing world today, the word storytelling has taken on a rather casual meaning. Every marketer has the desire to utilize the power of storytelling, but there is more to this buzzword than the logical formulas that are often presented.

There are countless blog posts and articles across the internet that claim to have the “secret formula” of storytelling. More often than not, they usually have the same content and advice: You need characters that you want to root for. You need to include conflict that keeps your audience at the edge of their seat. You need to follow a proper story arc that rises, climaxes, and falls with the main character’s journey. This advice follows the storytelling structure that we have all been accustomed to, but these logical formulas are proving to be obscuring the real story rather than clarifying it.

I am not saying throw away all of the structure that you have ever been taught in regard to storytelling, because it is important to have effective characters, conflict, and a definite story arc.  However, too much of these formulas can mask the message that you want your audience to see. The solution is not in your logic, but in your heart.

>You can begin by tapping into your own intuition. What do you believe in? What will you fight for? Answering these questions through storytelling will help you to do more than solely touch your audience; you will connect to them on a deeper level. The topics that tug at your heart are what your audience will identify with. So escape from the logic and focus on what you feel.
The four pillars of storytelling are a tool for storytellers to utilize when you are unsure if your story is reaching its full potential using emotion. The pillars are as simple as people, places, plot, and purpose, but it is how they are utilized in a story that makes each of them so powerful. Each component has its own role in the storytelling process, but it takes all four together to have a message that will really impact your audience.

Continue reading next week as I elaborate on each of these pillars and how using your beliefs, interests, and feelings will help you in your storytelling process and connect with your audience in the most effective was.
Blogger: Rachel Tripp