Rhea was asked to:
- Develop the overarching themes and title for the event based on research
- Identify possible speakers and argue their pros and cons
- Write collateral material about the event
- Pre-interview speakers and write summaries of their talks
- Interviewed the top executives of the host company, including the CEO, and wrote all their speeches for the event (about six in total)
Onsite at the event, Rhea:
- Listened to each thought leader and wrote an executive summary of the talk for a book that was given to participants after the event
Rhea drafted the case with an emphasis on a storyline that would highlight the challenges faced at the company and the company’s values. She specifically avoided a long recitation of facts, in an effort to set this case apart from the many presented to students at various business schools that are a jumbled set of facts and hardly readable.
In addition to the writing, Rhea had to anticipate in advance which points students would want to debate in the classroom – and which points would make good debate material.
Rhea conducted interviews in which she reflected back what she was hearing, repeatedly asking the executive to repeat what he or she was saying. The interactive process led the executive to formulate ideas in a way that was clear and succinct.
Rhea captured the ideas in various ways, writing Q&A’s, features, and change messages for internal audiences.
Rhea worked with company internal teams to brainstorm the subject matters to be discussed and the challenge questions to be tackled at the innovation events. She helped the team move from large, intangible concepts, to concrete, hands-on ideas that participants could work on.
The stimulus materials Rhea created then supplied the necessary input to participants to tackle the challenges.
After the event, Rhea summed up the work of teams that tackled challenge questions and helped mold the ideas into a whitepaper that highlighted the results of the co-creation event.
Sometimes in person, sometimes by telephone, Rhea interviewed the executives for story and wrote profiles that both explained a business model and captured the personality of the company’s leader.
She delved into the subject’s life and worked to capture moments from past that were turning points in the narrative of the business.
The company asked Rhea to regularly ghostwrite articles for the executive for publication on its website and various social media channels.
Rhea and the executive set up monthly interviews and talked for a maximum of one hour. Afterwards, Rhea wrote one to three stories based on the interview. The executive proofed the stories, Rhea wrote the social media to go along with the articles, and the articles were published on the company website under the name of the executive.
Rhea kept track of the stories the two had already covered and regularly made suggestions for new topics and angles.
Rhea came up with five story angles about trends and broader themes related to the innovation program. For each story idea, she wrote a detailed “pitch” that the company could use when approaching the media.
The storylines were:
#1 How and why large companies are using co-creation to solve problems that matter
#2 Arts and culture as part of the innovation process
#3 Asking the right questions as part of the innovation process
#4 Immersion research techniques in the innovation process
#5 Expanding networks of contacts as part of the innovation process
More information on request.
Rhea writes regularly for all sorts of corporate thought-leadership magazines and agencies that work for these magazines.
After she has framed the story and conducted desktop research, she begins interviewing expert sources. Sometimes she is asked to identify her own sources, other times sources are recommended with the briefing.
Stories in a “feature” or magazine style typically run from 900 – 1,500 words and are illustrated or include an infographic. Sometimes Rhea comes up with her own story ideas; sometimes she helps conceptualize an entire magazine.