September 21, 2019

Cayman Islands college explores the power of stories

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Personal stories have a powerful effect both corporately, to promote goods and services, or personally, to drive change in the environment around us. Patrice Donalds, Adjunct Marketing instructor, at the International College of the . Patrice was the lead faculty who assembled a panel of Marketing Professionals to explore that very idea. The Panel, which included Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Natalie Urquhart, Tanya Wigmore and Felix Manzanares, shared their personal stories and explored its impact on the trajectory of their own lives and how they do business.

Tanya Wigmore, Co-Founder of CRO: NYX Digital, an online marketing and web development agency, took students on a hilarious journey of the on-going feud between her and her brother to illustrate how statistics can be used support divergent views. Ethics and morals play a key role in guiding marketers in the use of statistics to tell important stories and engage with clients. She also shared how her affinity group of eco-warriors, a sense of Eco-justice and the protection or our environment, has shaped her orientation and process on both the large and small decisions.

Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Vice President of Marketing and Public Engagement at Cayman Enterprise City (CEC), grew up in a household where exploring ones creativity was both valued and encouraged. Her art teacher mom provided art supplies and placed no restrictions on what she could create. The path to discovering what was possible, interesting and appealing is an approach Kaitlyn employs in her life, even while furthering her education. This principle is firmly woven into her own artistic creations including a 30-ft installation of her work on display at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

Natalie Urquhart, the Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands tells stories all day every day at the Gallery and in published works by curating stories around objects and artifacts showcasing Cayman’s heritage and culture. Engaging with the community is the key to keeping the stories alive, ensuring that the longevity of the artifacts’ historical significance is maintained and shared with successive generations. But there is another important aspect to that work: documenting how culture changes over time. The conversations around how culture and heritage interact, and at times collide, are as important and require the space to have them. The national Gallery hopes to position itself as that space and makes that space available to all through free admission.

The impressive team of women was complemented by, Felix Manzanares, Lead Pastor of Journey Ministries. Felix spoke to the students about how we can use the personal stories of our past, whether negative or positive, to push forward. We can chose to use them as places of strength, and not allow them to break us down. Felix’s focused on “authenticity” and spoke at length about why it is important to “own your story”. Being authentic, or vulnerable can create a bridge, an important and lasting connection with our audience.

Some key takeaways for students were to “relate marketing concepts to your everyday life,” “stick with your studies, the value will reveal itself down the line,” “diversify your approach,” “know your strengths and focus on them” as your platform to market yourself, and your business. The common theme shared by all the panelists’ center around using your personal story as a bridge to connect and relate to your audience.

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