Storytelling is among the most powerful ways a company can capture and communicate its brand, according to Paul Upchurch, president and CEO of Visit Milwaukee. The convention and visitors bureau markets the greater Milwaukee area, largely through storytelling, to draw tourists as well as convention and meeting planners to Milwaukee from across the country and the globe.
President & CEO, Visit Milwaukee
Industry: Leisure, travel and tourism
Employees: 34 full-time, 10 part-time
“I once heard a Sioux American Indian chief talk about how great cultures throughout history, including the Sioux culture, had taught their values and passed them on from generation to generation through storytelling. He talked about how powerful stories were in communicating ideas and how businesses should use them to define their brand.
“I believe storytelling is a powerful way to communicate the Milwaukee brand – DearMKE is a way I believe our city can generate local pride and change perceptions nationally through storytelling. Our DearMKE film series and website was launched last year and is the first-ever collaborative project that brings together an all-Milwaukee creative team under the direction of Visit Milwaukee and Hollywood producer Jack Turner, who grew up in Milwaukee. The films in the series are authentic slices of life that feature anything from a local artist who started out as a truck driver to the history of Harley-Davidson.
“DearMKE.com isn’t just for Visit Milwaukee to highlight Milwaukee’s stories, though. It’s for everyone who lives here. We hope you will explore the website and submit photos and videos to share your stories with your community.
“One of my goals as the leader of Visit Milwaukee is to inspire our great city to embrace its brilliance and show its pride for all it has to offer. We have world class entertainment, a dining scene that is second to none, and a tireless entrepreneurial spirit that has created new and thriving neighborhoods where people live, work, play and raise their families. These are the stories we want to showcase. These are the stories that inspire growth and drive our economy. These are the stories that make people and conventions want to Visit Milwaukee.”