UPDATED: Taking risks paid off for Shorthand editor Rachel Bartlett


By Lina Arshad

Flexibility and seeking chances to make your own opportunities are key to success, according to an expert in immersive storytelling.

Rachel Bartlett is editorial and planning manager at a company called Shorthand, an immersive storytelling tool website, which provides platforms to major media organisations for developing visual storytelling online.

She emphasised to the Leeds Trinity Journalism Week audience that taking opportunities which may not appeal to you at first is a valuable tool to success.

During her early career, she did work experience for a variety of places, including her local newspaper, prior to her interest in multi-media platforms.

During her talk, she credited her success in the digital media industry to an abundance of work experience, which opened her mind beyond magazine journalism and led her to a multimedia course in Bournemouth.

Rachel told the audience: “The only medium I didn’t learn about whilst on my course was the one I actually went into – online.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if I had continued to focus on just one type of journalism.”

When explaining the purpose of Shorthand and immersive story-telling in general, Rachel said: “You need to think about your story beyond the title – be your own best critic.”

Shorthand is an Australian company which has been around for three years. It includes the main Shorthand app which is aimed at businesses and costs about £250 per month, and a Shorthand Social web-app which is free due to being aimed at students and freelancers.

Rachel demonstrated the effectiveness of immersive storytelling tools by showing the audience a webpage about breast cancer which featured an auto play video of a woman’s striking pair of green eyes in order to draw the audience in and create emotive responses.

She said: “Visual storytelling humanises a story. There is nothing more compelling than that.”

The shorthand social app is available to sign up to for free at http://app-social.shorthand.com.


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