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What began as "On The Streets" magazine in 2003 has evolved into a Washington D.C. media conglomerate that can visually bring your concept to life, Streetz Media. Chatting with founder, Chris Bryant was a conversation that shared experiences that revealed education and evolution in a thriving, competitive industry!
"The magazine started as a street team, doing flyer pick ups and distributing the flyers in the community," states Bryant. "Some of the team members complained about the quantity of flyers and they dreaded the idea of having to leave multiple flyers on a car windshield. I asked if they would prefer to distribute eight different flyers or just one item? With that confirmation, the company was born!"
"We took all the flyers and transformed them into a booklet that began to grow from 4 to 8 to 16 pages to distribute. I graduated from Hampton and still had connections there, so I recruited students to conduct interviews and serve as photographers." As the team grew, the publication grew and was soon found in locations from Hampton Roads to Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago; all distributed by a street team."
Photo Credit: Streetz Media - Facebook
One year later the company was contacted by a well-known publisher who noticed our growth of the magazine in these markets and the uniqueness of the graphic design. "Each magazine was strictly designed for the market we were distributing in, so Baltimore contained ads for that city," explained Bryant. The publisher offered to distribute our magazine, hence testing us out to see if we would grow. Once we went national, we caught the attention of Def Jam, Harley Davidson and other well known entities."
The whole purpose of the company at that time was to advertise in these markets in order to increase our clientele for the flyer production aspect of our company. The people that passed out our free magazines in those areas were paid to also promote the services that Chris Bryant and his team offered. Soon, the company was in twelve markets, providing the services of an ad agency and growth was steady and eclectic. Businesses were coming to them asking to place an ad in the magazine, but if what they had was wrong for an ad they were offered an additional service!
"You can do an ad but what you really need is a photo shoot."
"We would create photo shoots for fashion designers and well-known rappers to tell their stories. We introduced up-and-coming fashion designers to Trey Songz who wanted to change his image. We gave them the flexibility to give him the premise of the photo shoot and those images were placed in the magazine. To this day, that fashion designer credits us for that introduction".
Chris Bryant shared his companys vision with us. "At a very early age I was able to see that, in order to push businesses forward you have to understand why they are driven. It's not just a full page ad that you need, but if you are not ready for that I would rather work with you to set up the ad properly to reach the clients that you need. We can put it in context to what people need to achieve the goal they want." He continued by adding, "we also use up-and-coming artists in our photo shoots to help bring double exposure. We give the visual project a look that helps others to have a voice."
Then, the perfect storm hit in 2008 when young people began to loose interest in receiving their information in print. With the onset of social media interactions, the company needed to evolve in order to survive. "We started doing on-line video interviews which was frustrating in the beginning. We would pay the videographer to interview a client and if they felt that the footage would be more valuable later, they would keep the footage," Bryant explained. "That's when I began to shoot our own interviews" Bryant bought a camera and considered returning to school to learn how to shoot, but when he discovered YouTube, he dedicated time to review technique videos and taught himself what he needed to know.
"As one element died, another element was born. I still had my connections to work with the photographers and Streetz Magazine was put to the side while Streetz Media was born. The company now offers semi-training for those that need experience, so we put them right into it," Bryant expressed.
Their services includes:
-Marketing Services - Graphic design of flyers, book covers and more
Corporate clients have included Washington D.C. government and youth conference programs featuring S.T.E.M. topics (Science Technology Engineering and Math).
Chris Bryant graduated from Hampton University where he studied architecture. "In architecture, you have to know what everybody does, in order to do your job. If I was designing a doctor's office, I would need to know the type of doctor and procedures they provide. What is your work-flow? How are your samples picked up? How are the nurses interactions and what kind of space do they need? I liked to say that I would know more about your career than you did! In order for you to create a workable architectural design, you have to know everything that is going on," Chris explained. Although architecture was not a career that Chris choose to pursue, he learned that asking the client questions and determining their needs are strong aspects of that education that now enhances the services provided while running Streetz Media.
When questioned on why he decided not to return to school, Bryant explained "The traditional way of doing things is gone and so are the rules and barriers. In the past, you could go to night school and learn what you needed after investing time and lots of money. But now with the growth of YouTube, you can learn what you need and apply that knowledge in a few short months!" Bryant also added that the company uses YouTube as a mode of transportation to send the final project to the client for approval. "The client can receive the link to the file, give their edits and request changes." The next phase of growth for Streetz Media will probably put Chris in front of the camera to produce "Explainer Videos" and offer reviews. "People ask me to move from behind the camera to the front and it's something I'm considering for 2018," he revealed.
"There was a chain of events that occurred in D.C. at a S.T.E.M. Conference that lead to the career day presentations that Streetz Media now brings to the schools. I began showing the students how to use our camera and the crowd of students grew. We were asked to return to participate in career day," a laugh erupted as Chris detailed that memory.
The first day we did Career Day, we taught the students how to produce an episode of the TV show "106 and Park". They named and recreated all the jobs required to produce the show and the students were really engaged. "One student was the DJ, another student became the camera man and the another became the audience applause hype-man. The school actually called in security because the kids were so rambunctious!"
As a college graduate, an entrepreneur and an inspiration in the classroom, Chris Bryant reflected on how his education has helped him build Streetz Media. "Knowing how to ask those discovery questions can be beneficial to achieving the final objective for a client" he explains and those skills were learned by studying architecture in college!
Clients come to Streetz Media with a service in mind that they need. "Do you have a logo?" Is one of those initial discovery questions. If the answer is "No", then the collaboration for visual enhancement begins. "Clients were creating logos in Microsoft Word and really need our graphic design services before we could do a photo shoot or create their video," Chris explained. "At the end of the day, the designs that the client created were unreadable, and since the final project reflects Streetz Media, we need it to be outstanding."
"Sometimes, a client can come to you with one service and the conversation reflects that what they are asking for is not really what they need. They don't know how to say what they want and Streetz Media listens to what the clients are looking for and helps them determine their intent," Bryant explained. "We work to determine what the elements are that they need visually, to help them achieve their goal."
Bryant further explained that his company excels in determining what is the client's intent. "We want to peek the consumer's interest so they will come to your booth. Do you want to drive people to your website or to your brick-and-mortar location?" These exploratory conversations are vital to the final outcome of the project.
What about family events such as weddings? Bryant details that service as well. 'We understand that weddings are emotional. We ask what is the mode that you are going to show this wedding video? Will you show it on a 4-hour long DVD or do you need a quick highlight to put on YouTube, and show it to family that could not attend?" Chris confirmed that, in today's fast-paced society, people don't
want to sit through a lengthy video of an event, but would rather have the highlights instead. "We produce a truncated video of what your wedding was and include the pertinent aspects such as walking down the aisle, the First kiss, the 'I now pronounce you man and wife', cutting the cake and even aspects of the denomination are included (Catholic, Greek Orthodox, etc.)
Now, Streetz Media is creating a curriculum that includes introductory courses to guide a student to the next level. "We offer this during our career day," said Bryant. At the end of each session, Bryant's team encourages a student to use the camera that they have on their phone rather than being discouraged because they don't own an expensive, professional camera. Chris tells the students "You already have all the tools that you need on your phone, you just have to use it for something other than Snapchat and social media videos. Chris inspires the students with a final thought "If you already have the eye for this field, it doesn't matter what equipment you use, your talent will come through!"
Bryant concludes with this thought, "We are the ones that will listen to what you need and guide you through that process because when you win, you come back!"
Streetz Media services clients in Washington D.C. and surrounding areas by providing outstanding videography, photography, commercial production and graphic design work. To discuss your upcoming marketing project or to inquire about a civic, community or family event, contact Streetz Media at 202-660-0494 or email CBryant@StreetzMedia.com LIKE the page online at www.Facebook.com/StreetzMedia or visit www.StreetzMedia.com.
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