In the midst of a global pandemic, ‘going viral’ has some iffy connotations. But for Red River College grad Tyler Walsh, the digital equivalent has proven a pretty cool experience.
On March 22, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed Canadian children in a customized press briefing, Walsh and his two sons decided to do something fun: refresh the PM’s speech with Lego.
The result? A stop-motion video that resonated with people around the world and garnered hundreds of thousands of views on social media.
“The reaction from parents and educators has been the best part of this,” says Walsh. “Having them tell me that it’s opened up new doors for them to talk with kids about this unprecedented time is heartening.”
A journalism major while enrolled in RRC’s Creative Communications program, Walsh’s work experience at Global News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press gave him the freedom to explore fresh approaches to storytelling, including two previous stop-motion Lego projects.
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve always sought out ways to tell a story differently — to take a look at what’s been done and try to build on that or find a new way to put the information out there,” says Walsh.
“I got to ‘play’ with technology and figure out ways push our stories further.”
In his current role as digital and content marketing manager at Economic Development Winnipeg, Walsh still draws on these storytelling techniques to share good news about our city.
“What I loved about the Creative Communications program is the wide array of skills I learned. The industry has changed so much since I graduated, but the key concept of what makes a good story is still relevant,” he says.
“Through my journalism major, we were taught the basics of what makes a good story. That’s still so important to this day, even though the mediums have changed drastically.”
As a new wave of Creative Communications students prepares to graduate and enter the workforce, Walsh advises them to ‘play the long game’ by spending some of their careers in the journalism field to become stronger storytellers.
“No matter where you plan to go with your career, having a clear understanding of good storytelling is key.”