Everyone has a story to tell. All you have to do is ask a few simple questions to jumpstart the dialogue.
Questions such as “Where do you live, what do you do for a living, what are your goals?” can take listeners to places they’ve never been before. The conversation can spark new opportunities and adventures. It can evoke emotions that may be hiding under the surface just waiting to be released.
The process can take place only when one side trustingly shares its story while the other side openly listens. The impact of the message that is processed and received may never be fully known. What matters most is that the story is told.
When Ron Goldfarb and Tony Weber, founders of Goldfarb Weber Creative Media in downtown Cleveland, sit down with clients, they carefully listen to the message that is being relayed. With 50 years of combined media experience, their job is to condense an unlimited amount of information into an entertaining, short, unforgettable video that has the ability to move not only an individual, but an entire community.
Year after year, longstanding nonprofit clients (which make up more than 60 percent of their clientele) and major companies return to them to share their annual achievements. Destination Cleveland, MetroHealth, Parker Hannifin, Greater Cleveland Partnership | COSE, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Sherwin-Williams and United Way of Greater Cleveland often make the videos produced by Goldfarb Weber the focal point of their annual meetings.
“Our annual meeting draws over 1,000 people every year,” says Megan Kim, managing vice president, membership development and marketing for Greater Cleveland Partnership | COSE. “It’s our chance to share with members the work we’ve been doing to advance the economic environment in Cleveland. It can be a little bit challenging listening to talking heads. They develop a video that helps us be more impactful in telling our story.
“The quality of their work never ceases to amaze me year after year. We always end up going back to them because they know us, and they know this business community. If there is something they don’t know — which doesn’t happen often — their whole team dives right in so they can deliver the best product for us.”
When Annie Murmann joined Goldfarb Weber six years ago as a writer/producer, she was inspired by the list of companies with whom she would be working. Prior to being hired, she was a client of Goldfarb Weber’s through her job as director of client services for Spaner Marketing Communications.
“My jaw dropped,” Murmann says of the client list. “It’s everyone, not just in Cleveland, but in Ohio. It’s my wish list. It’s everyone I wanted to work with.”
As the successes of Cleveland continue to snowball, Murmann is grateful to have a job that allows her to document the events in a creative way. It was Murmann who wrote the piece Goldfarb Weber used for the pitch video Cleveland produced to land the Republican National Convention. Once Cleveland was named host, Goldfarb Weber produced more than 40 video modules for the RNC Host Committee.
“We are Cleveland,” Murmann says of her employer. “We love telling these Cleveland stories. We are always thinking of creative ways we can top what we’ve already done.”
A Cleveland story beginning to take shape is the transformation of MetroHealth System. The construction of a new 12-story hospital, which includes an upgrade to its main campus on West 25th Street, is scheduled to begin in 2018 and completed in 2022. A Goldfarb Weber video entitled MetroHealth’s Transformation: From Promise to Progress was featured at MetroHealth’s annual meeting in June.
The video’s voiceover was done by Walter Jones, senior vice president of MetroHealth Campus Transformation. Instead of reading off a script, Murmann conducted an interview with Jones, which allowed for an authentic dialogue.
“For someone like Walter, they are content experts,” Murmann says. “Whatever they are talking about, they could do it blindfolded with no script. It’s about encouraging our corporate clients to have some trust in the system. It’s about making editing our friend in the situation. It’s about getting Walter to speak from authority, from the heart, which we know we can do. We’ll craft the message to be what it needs to be.”
As a result, a story unfolds. Questions are asked, and answers are provided. Goldfarb Weber then scripts a message it hopes will make an impact for a day, a year and possibly a lifetime.
“We’ve worked with Goldfarb Weber for several years on projects that take place around our annual meeting,” says Nancy Fishburn, director, shared services, marketing and communications, MetroHealth Systems.
“They know how to tell a story. They know how to frame it. They are very talented, good people,” she explains. “We come up with our ideas and what we think we need. They come back, and they think of something even better. They are creative and have a good vision. I enjoy working with them.”