A Consociate Manifesto – Lucky 13

Blog, News

A note to the Consociate Media team from Founder Steph Heinatz as we embark on 2024, the 13th year for the firm.

I wish I could remember who asked me the question that still haunts me whenever I get into a moment of reflection about what we’re doing, where we’re going, how we’re making decisions.

“What are you most proud of at Consociate Media?”

Pretty sure the interviewer was looking for me to talk about a campaign we worked, a website we built, a logo we designed. Maybe he wanted to know about business revenue or the size of our team and how the company has grown.

But that’s not what came to mind.

In fact, I can still remember the visceral way I answered without any hesitation.

“The moment someone finally sees themselves the way we and the rest of the world sees them.”

I know what we do is important. The written word. The photographs. The graphic art. The websites.

But it’s the impact of what we do – and on the people we do it for – that truly matters.

It’s also how we do it.

With heart. With story. With connection.

You see, how someone feels can dramatically affect the trajectory of their lives, their decisions, the future impact they can make.

Think about the parents who have been denied a home loan multiple times to move their children away from a crime ridden neighborhood only to keep trying to improve their credit and finally get approved. Then we share their story…and they see the inspiration, determination and grit in themselves that we’re all moved by. And they keep going.

True story.

Think about the small rural community that doesn’t think they deserve a tourism campaign because there’s nothing to do in their community but hunt and fish and visit with locals. Then we share their story…and they see what’s possible and that they DO have something that some people want. Something that could help transform the economic trajectory of their community over time.

True story.

Think about the small business owner (and you can insert any small business owner here) who is so busy hustling, trying to keep payroll going, sweating to stay ahead of competition and working all hours of the day. Then think about the way our team is able to come in and see what they’re doing with fresh eyes, develop programs that get at the heart of what they started. Events that help draw more customers in. We may be the ones who help shape the programmatic idea…but it’s all because of the story already being told by the small business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say to us in some fashion “wow…that sounds really good” OR “what a great idea, I wish I thought of that” OR “you make me sound so good.” The reality is all we do is use their words, their ideas, their work and shape the story in a way that they could see what the rest of us already see.

We’re storytellers.

We share stories as a way to shape and change the world for good.

That is the ethos by which Consociate was founded and it’s what motivates me each and every damn day.

And when I say world, it can be that big – helping enact massive change – or it can be small – a change in someone’s home.

The way we connect those stories to the world varies by medium, as you all know. It’s what we DO.

A logo. The written word. Art. Special events. Gifts. Websites. Photography. Videos. Graphics.

But our power – our secret sauce – is in our ability to connect.

Connect with each other.

Connect with people.

Connect with community.

Connect the power of modern-day storytelling mediums.

Connect people to their own stories.

As we head into 2024 – my lucky 13th year at Consociate Media –  I want to connect (or re-connect) us all to the core of who we are.

This is our manifesto. And it’s in this order.

Connect with each other.

This team is a work family. Every decision we make – from how we operate to what clients we take on to how we measure success – is made from the starting point that we take care of our house FIRST. What’s good for Consociate is good for the Consociate family. What’s good for the Consociate family will be good for the people we support and who have trusted us with their stories, their businesses, their life’s work.

Connect with people.

We do business with people. Not brands. Not companies. People. They become our friends, our extended work family. And we take care of our family.

Connect with community.

None of us exist in isolation of others. We live in a community, a region, a state, a world. Our connection to community and our love for it – wherever that community is – is a core part of us. Giving back to it. Recognizing the impact our decisions can have on it. Staying connected to it.

Connect the power of traditional and modern-day storytelling mediums.

Stories are told. Shared. Shown. Felt. We use all the tools we can as storytellers and in the best possible circumstances connect them all together to create true change. We are committed to continuing to learn new skills, new trades, new mediums. We are committed to being the BEST at our crafts so that we can be the BEST at story connections.

Connect people to their own stories. 

This is the magic. This is what I’m most proud of. And I hope it can be for you, too.

Let’s chase stories – and create our own next chapter – in 2024 together.

Always and with SO MUCH love –