At AMA Triangle our mission is our members. We’re building a community of marketers that truly represents our geographic community. And we want you to get to know them!
We sat down for a brief Q&A with a handful of our members, asking about their day jobs, favorite marketing tips and tricks, and more! Meet Melanie Deziel, a newer member of our AMA Triangle family.
AMA Triangle: Melanie, tell us a little about yourself.
Melanie: I’m a former journalist on a mission to help marketers and creators tell better stories and create better content. I worked in content strategy for numerous publishers, helping them adopt the best practices and processes of a newsroom to tell their brand partners’ stories. I was the first editor of branded content at the New York Times. In 2016, I founded StoryFuel, an education and consulting firm that offers keynotes, webinars, workshops, masterminds, and more to help teach those journalistic best practices to organizations of all types and sizes. I was born and raised in Connecticut, lived most of my adult life in New York City and New Jersey, and I relocated to Raleigh with my husband and our one-year-old daughter in June. In February of 2020, I launched my debut book, “The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas” which has since become a bestseller in marketing and business communications. Recently I’ve been focusing on adapting my business to suit the new working reality by setting up a home studio for virtual presentations and voice-over work and by taking on new consulting clients to help me keep busy while the conferences I normally speak at are on hold.
AMA Triangle: Favorite marketing campaign or project?
Melanie: One of my favorite campaigns to work on was a piece I wrote for the New York Times as part of T Brand Studio when I was the editor of branded content. We were tasked with creating an NYT-quality piece that aligned with the theme of Netflix’s hit show, Orange Is The New Black, and I drew on my background in investigative journalism to create a long-form piece about what it’s really like to be a woman in the American prison system. The multimedia piece took 50+ hours of reporting and included interviews with current and former inmates, prison employees, psychologists, sociologists, and more. It was presented through a written article, three-part mini-documentary, infographics, audio, photos, and more. The piece won a number of industry awards for branded content and branded video and was widely hailed as having raised the bar of what branded content could be.
AMA Triangle: What tools/technologies are you using today that are game-changers?
Melanie: There are a few different tools that have proven to be very helpful for me, especially these last few months in varying levels of quarantine. One of my favorites is Coffitivity, which allows you to stream the sounds of a coffee shop atmosphere since I know this is the environment where I get my best creative work done. I have relied heavily on ToDoist to manage tasks and projects since 2013, and continue to do so. What are some books you think other marketers should read? There are so many good options but these are two of my favorites: Ann Handley’s “Everybody Writes” is fantastic for anyone who writes copy in any capacity, and Jay Baer’s “Hug Your Haters” is a must for anyone who interacts with customers or clients, but especially for folks working in social media marketing.
AMA Triangle: Why are you part of the AMA Triangle community?
Melanie: Having recently relocated to Raleigh, I knew it would be important to connect with fellow marketers and creatives in the area. This was especially true during COVID. AMA has provided an avenue for me to network with and learn from an active community of like-minded professionals.
Melanie Deziel, Founder of StoryFuel
More About Melanie:
Melanie Deziel is a keynote speaker, author, award-winning branded content creator, and lifelong storyteller, on a mission to share the power of compelling and credible content with others. Melanie is the author of the bestselling Marketing and Business Communications book “The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas”. She is the Chief Content Officer of StoryFuel, which teaches marketers, publishers, creators, and companies of all sizes how to tell better brand stories.
Prior to founding StoryFuel, Melanie was the first editor of branded content at The New York Times, a founding member of HuffPost’s brand storytelling team, and served as Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc.