Robert Pratten on Making Your Fans Your Marketing Team

At the Storyworld Conference that will be held in LA October 17-19th, 2012, Robert Pratten will be hosting a panel entitled “Participatory Storytelling – How to Create Raving Fans.”

There are numerous reasons for creating raving fans, but - in the New World of social media, where the power of recommendations and referrals outweighs the power of paid ads - filmmakers (and others with products to sell) are increasingly relying on raving fans as the tip of the marketing spear.

Fans who influence others are nothing new. The word of mouth produced by avid fans has existed for centuries. And there is even evidence of a fervent audience interacting with and appropriating a text for itself that dates back at least to 1852 and the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin, which inspired an entire genre of unauthorized minstrel shows called “Tom Shows.”

What makes this particular moment (2012) in the history of storytelling so exciting is that the power of word of mouth has been amplified by the internet - and new storytelling tools are emerging that allow a (previously mostly passive) audience to become active co-creators.

This shift is affecting all sorts of entertainment - from books to TV shows, movies and video games.

What Robert Pratten - a filmmaker - and his panel will discuss at Storyworld is the how participatory storytelling (where users expand, create or influence parts of the narrative or storyworld through their actions) can be encouraged and fine-tuned to increase engagement and advocacy.

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