Tanya Chedrawy is a natural born storyteller that has turned a childhood passion and dream into a business of creating a buzz about your business, organization or event. Chedrawy’s mission with Tanya Media is two-fold. One is to help organizations maximize their reach with audiences by telling their unique brand story.
Second, is to contribute to a more enlightened and compassionate world through the power of filmmaking. By exploring socially relevant topics and exposing how individuals are creating an impact around them, this will by virtue drive impact and action through inspiration.
Spotlight on Business sat down with Tanya Chedrawy founder for Tanya Media and creator, host and producer of “Small Talk, Big Ideas” on Eastlink TV to learn a little more about her and how she has applied her knowledge and experience to attract a wider audience for her brand and how she is doing that for others with Tanya Media.
Tell us a little about yourself and what was the inspiration behind Tanya Media?
TC: I am a natural born storyteller. When I was a kid it started with the written word. Now I am so proud to say that my storytelling also includes platforms such as TV, online and video.
My show on Eastlink is a platform that has integrated all of my education, skills and experience. I am so grateful for it because it has given me a voice and I’ve learned the world of TV. Community TV is incredibly important, and I will continue to do the show as long as there is an audience for it.
The show has served as the inspiration for my company, though they are completely separate endeavours. It has inspired me to help organizations differentiate themselves, this is where my career in communications really comes into play. I also want to tell our regional stories (and beyond) to a broader audience and that’s where my years in film comes in handy.
You have said that, “Essentially, I am in the business of putting the spotlight on individuals who make an impact.” Can you tell us how you put the spotlight on these individuals?
TC: With my show it’s been by having conversations with them and bringing their stories forward that way. With my company it’s through various platforms. It can be a tailored social media approach, a video production or simply reworking of a bio. For example, a good friend of mine in the business world asked if I could have a look at her bio that she’s been using for the last three years. She never felt it actually captured who she is and what her company stands for. She was right-she is a trailblazer and leader in her industry but that wasn’t being communicated. She was blown away by what I wrote for her. She updated her platforms and saw immediate engagement. Words are very powerful, and you can communicate your story in many different ways. It can be a sentence on Twitter or a post on Facebook and it can be catchy, poignant or provocative. The point is, you have to leverage who you are and communicate that in a way that stands out from the rest, especially from your competitors.
People don’t realize that they are usually their best ambassador. Personally, I am inclined to buy a service or product from someone I connect with or am inspired by before their competitor with a similar product or service. I’m sure others are the same whether they realize it or not.
Your show “Small Talk, Big Ideas” is only on Eastlink TV in Halifax, but are your services confined to your corner of Nova Scotia or does your range extend beyond the province?
TC: Absolutely not! The entire inspiration for my company was to reach a broader audience-nationally and internationally. I can work with anyone, anywhere. That’s the beauty and convenience of technology.
I am also very excited to announce that I am preparing to launch my own podcast. It will focus on Atlantic Canadians making a splash in this world. I can’t wait to officially launch that! So that is another way to reach a broader audience and shine a light on our region.
What motivated you to want to help entrepreneurs and small business owners spotlight their business?
TC: I saw a demand. I am filling a need. Because writing and the ability to see a noteworthy story is my natural talent, I take for granted that others can struggle with writing. Or, organizations simply don’t have time to do their own adequate marketing and branding. Honestly, the marketing function can also fall to the wayside because it’s not seen as valuable. Once a company came to me that didn’t even have bios written for their leadership! They initially did not understand how that is not acceptable in this media age-all of their competitors had a greater percentage of the market share because their branding and storytelling was far superior.
Also, sometimes it’s just not in the budget to hire someone to do any branding or communications.
Is there such a thing as a typical client need?
TC: Every person and organization has a story to tell. However, what sets you apart is HOW you communicate that story. Specific needs of every client will vary but pulling out their story remains important and fundamental. That is the difference between standing out or getting lost in the noise. That is the difference between increased followers and sales or maintaining a status quo. It is what Seth Godin refers to as “The Purple Cow.” He is referring to being ‘remarkable’ in the sense that-is what you do or offer something worth remarking about? I help you become the purple cow!
If there was something that your clients have in common, what would it be?
TC: Everyone wants to be successful and wants their job to be easier. What I’ve noticed from interviewing my guests is that everyone wants to matter. And everyone does matter. I see it all the time with each of my guests on my show. “Did that sound okay?” “Oh I should’ve said this!” “How did I look?” These are common questions I hear after recordings. We all want to be heard in a way that we intend. It’s very important. I do too.
It takes courage, stamina and strength of character to start a business. It’s not for the faint of heart. If you’ve gone to those lengths, chances are you have something very special to communicate to the world. I’m here to help you do that.
Tell us about your show, “Small Talk, Big Ideas”
TC: In the last few years, the more people I met and got to know in this region the more I realized that there are so many incredibly gifted, brilliant, innovative and generous individuals in our own backyard making a difference. They were so inspiring to me. From social enterprises where their entire production chain is creating a ripple effect of good will in the community, to technology innovators, to volunteers. I wanted to talk to them and bring their stories to light. It’s that simple. I pitched my show idea to Eastlink executives, and they gave me a shot. It has been a dream come true! Very important lesson in life-push through any fear you may have and be bold. You never know-the answer could be a yes!
I’ve now completed three seasons with 13 episodes in each. I’m gearing up for Season 4 and I’m still as excited as that first episode in Season 1!
What would you like to say to entrepreneurs and small business owners that are not currently building media strategies to enhance organizational positioning?
TC: In this digital age you really have no choice. There are too many choices and if you don’t stand out you will get lost in the crowd and it’s that simple. Your product or service needs to be remarkable and then you have to use words and images in such a way that communicates that impressiveness.
If you’d like to learn more about Tanya Media and how Tanya can help your business gain exposure for your brand, simply visit tanyamedia.com she would be more than happy to answer your questions.
By Lee Ann Atwater