Last year I was invited to be a part of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Under 30 focus group to help the city of Atlanta understand why we live in Atlanta, why did we move here and why do we stay.

This was part of an ongoing effort to help modernize the city of Atlanta to be more attractive young professionals. The city of Atlanta has 200,000 undergraduate and graduate level students but is having difficulty keeping the talent from leaving the city for work. It was also to ask for our help to engage our peers to go out and vote yes for the Transformation Referendum.

I was excited to have an opportunity to be part of something that could dramatically change where I live and offered to create a strategy and lead a team of designers in creating supporting promotional materials encouraging people to vote yes. These materials were to be handed out at events and booths the Chamber had at summer events around the city.

The strategy, To –> Through, guided them team through the creative process. In today’s networked society communicating to our audiences no longer has the impact it once it had. We’ve come to rely on what people in our trusted networks share with us, we’ve also changed how we consume information. Smartphones, apps, and social media have changed our habits. We expect our friends to push content to us. We spend less of our own time seeking it out.

In order for our message to been seen as authentic and resonate with our audiences we need to empower them to tell their own human and inspiring stories. These stories will bring the emotional impact of the referendum to life and create the shift from communicating to our audience to communicating through our audience. This has the ability to exponentially scale the reach of our messages and content as it is shared through our audiences trusted networks.