Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 17

MARKETING

Ethical Storytelling

REAL REPRESENTATION
Emilé Zynobia and
Sheena Dhamsania pose
in a Patagonia feature
shot by Sofia Jaramillo.

In the midst of social upheaval, the outdoor industry needs to
expand and tell more inclusive stories. But how to do that without
exploiting those groups we want to uplift? by Dani Reyes-Acosta

Sofia Jaramillo

" THERE IS NO GREATER AGONY THAN
bearing an untold story inside you. " The
words of poet and civil rights activist Maya
Angelou ring true. We know stories with
heart attract and convert better than traditional sales tactics and that " brand storytelling " can build lifelong relationships.
But in the midst of a cultural moment redefining social norms, our industry increasingly exploits many of the very subjects
whose stories we strive to tell.
Stories give brands currency. They invite
audiences in. But stories, just like people, are
not commodities for single-use consumption. In the same way that we are stewards of
the outdoors, we must also become stewards
of story. Ethical storytelling unites diverse
voices, an abundance mindset, and an openness to lifelong learning in ways that broaden
traditional marketing narratives. Ethical
storytelling is not exploitative or self-serving.
In the words of photographer and athlete
Micheli Oliver, ethical storytelling gives
" BIPOC creatives complete autonomy of/
over our work. "
Here is a level set to help you tell these narratives in a better and more ethical way.
DO NOT PERPETUATE PAIN
Profiteering to increase brand cachet is on the
rise. Cristal Cisneros, a doctoral candidate at
the University of Colorado Denver, recalls being asked about her journey to the outdoors.
She was prodded and pressured. " The sob
story really sells, " she was told.
Cisneros reminds us, " Not all BIPOC need
to share their struggles with the world to sell
a product. " Question your throughline, the
common element or theme shared by elements of your campaign or program. Does
your story elevate a journey from the subject's
perspective or your own?

HIRE BIPOC CREATIVES TOTELL BIPOC
STORIES
Adventure photographer Sofia Jaramillo (see
page 64) says, " Photo editors and art directors,
do your research to find the person who knows
the subject best. If you're doing a story about
BIPOCs, hire a BIPOC. If you're doing a story
about women, hire a woman. "
Take chances on BIPOC and non-men
creatives and athletes, " even if they haven't
reached elite levels of their non-BIPOC counterparts, " says Jaramillo. " We will show you
we are worthy of your investment. Put your
money where your mouth is. "
EXPLICITLY COMMUNICATE YOUR DESIRE TO
ELEVATE A SUBJECT'S CULTURE
Remember that your subjects aren't the embodiment of a " cultural moment, " the intersection of brand and trend. We are living, breathing manifestations of cultures to celebrate, not
trends to commoditize.
Appreciation broadens perspectives.
Appropriation hijacks narratives. Elevate the
underrepresented people you hire for blog
posts, photo shoots, interviews, and independent creative projects.
Historically marginalized voices, when given the microphone, can be extremely powerful
when given context.
LET STORIES UNFOLD ORGANICALLY
" Put your own motivations and goals for a
story on the back burner to actively listen to
the person you're speaking with, " says Amelia
Arvesen, founder of the Honing Her Craft
newsletter. " The story is more truthful [that
way]. It isn't about me and what I assumed the
story was; it's about sincerity and the message
my source wants to share with the audience. "
Give diverse voices the space to share without the imposition of your implicit bias. Do

not hijack creative ideas for your own uses.
Ask before acting.
CREATE SUSTAINABLE STORIES
Filmmaker, social documentarian, and artist
Forest Woodward challenges brands to reframe their goals from " How does this serve us
as a brand? " to " How does this serve the people
whose stories we are tasked with representing? "
" We need to ... stop pretending that 'exposure' is meaningful compensation ... When
we tell people's stories, look at how it serves
them in terms of support/resources that go
back to the person/community/initiative
that we are telling the story of, " Woodward
says. " Too often, that is an afterthought or a
last step in the process-both for brands and
creatives-and I think there is a lot of room to
evolve that conversation. "
GOING FORWARD
Certain stories resonate at this time of great
change because this is a pattern humanity
has seen before. At this crossroads, question
how you view our shared humanity; are people resources to be exploited or investments
to be made?
Honor our narratives. Elevate our voices.
And, if all else fails, ask for help. You can hire
us for that too. O.R

December 2020 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 17



Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MARKETING
RETAIL 101
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADERS
THE OR CHAT
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
NATURE AS MEDICINE
FREERIDESTAN!
BREAD + BUTTER
BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
GEAR GALLERY
HOT PICKS
THE VIEW
FIELD NOTES
#SHOPLIFE
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 12
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 16
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THOUGHT LEADERS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE OR CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - NATURE AS MEDICINE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FREERIDESTAN!
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 52
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 66
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #SHOPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 72
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKSTORY
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