Women in Entertainment: Ushering in a New Era of Brand Storytelling


Gretchen McCourt (BLBK, Inc.), Sarah Klein (Redglass Pictures), Susan Cartsonis (Resonate Entertainment), Renee Rossi (Relativity Ventures),  Angela Matusik (HP), Tessa Blake (Writer/Director), and Alison Hoffman (Starz)

This year, Brand Storytelling 2019 hosted a powerhouse panel presented by Women in Entertainment, the organization bringing together forward-thinkers from all areas of the entertainment industry to explore topics that greatly impact women - from human rights and women’s leadership to storytelling across platforms and empowering the next generation of women to emerge as creatives. Brand Storytelling is proud to bring you video of this panel, now available for viewing on our YouTube Channel.

The discussion explores the new paradigm in which brands and key talent can cohesively work together to tell great stories - telling a brand’s story from an earned, paid and influencer perspective. Leading key female talent in the creative industry discuss what it takes to create authentic content that resonates with audiences; and more importantly how brands need to embrace a new chapter in brand storytelling by leaving the old agency model and entrusting talented women (and men) to help them craft thoughtful, engaging campaigns.

About the Panelists

Renee Rossi is the Founder and CEO of Relativity Ventures, specializing in global strategic media, corporate brand positioning and creative campaign building. She is also the co-founder of Women in Entertainment, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls working in and aspiring to work in the entertainment industry. In 2015, she helmed the inaugural Women in Entertainment Summit, building a full-day program of high-caliber speakers for an audience of 800. Women in Entertainment has grown to launch networking evenings, mentorship programs, a WIE Network, and a series of workshops to provide women the tools to succeed, partnering with esteemed organizations including the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Renee leads the team in creating partnerships for Relativity clients in their target markets, to help translate the vision of the brand into compelling messages and experiences to drive overall engagement. She has extensive experience in the media, entertainment and technology arenas and a proven track record of generating positive press, producing large-scale events, promoting general positive brand reputation, and creating strategic platforms and securing placements (global media, speaking opportunities and awards) for executives across numerous industries. Key clients have include DreamWorks Animation, Skydance Productions, Paxos-itBit, Satisfi Labs, VNTANA, Samsung, Flipboard, ArcLight Cinemas, Lumi Organics, Starburst Accelerator, Fender and Fast Company Magazine. For these organizations, she directs individuals on how to effectively communicate priorities to key internal and external stakeholders in alignment with key business objectives. Prior to founding Relativity Ventures, Renee held roles handling strategy and executive positioning at A+P and Weber Shandwick for clients including Highland Capital Partners (and their portfolio), Cadwalder, Wickersham and Taft, BestBuy, HP, Honeywell and PepsiCo. Gretchen McCourt is the Principal and Founder of BLBK Inc., a consulting firm where she develops acquisition and distribution strategies for content across entertainment verticals. She also specializes in building creative brand partnerships and content activations for key clients such as Slamdance, the Writer's Guild of America, ArcLight Cinemas amongst others. Prior to founding BLBK, Gretchen was the Chief Content Officer and EVP of Cinema Programming of the Pacific Theaters Entertainment Corporation. In her role she oversaw the film, marketing, and communications of ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theaters; including mainstream and art film selection, specialty event programming, site rentals, studio relationships, guest communication, marketing strategy and public relations. During her tenure at ArcLight, Gretchen was part of the executive team who developed the national expansion strategy to grow the company from one location in Hollywood to currently operating eleven locations in five cities. She oversaw annual revenues over $200M and budgets ranging from small marketing projects to multi-million dollar developments. Gretchen developed key initiatives while at ArcLight including a monthly series with Women in Film and a first-of-its-kind partnership with Slamdance to showcase new filmmakers and their content. She founded and curated ArcLight's bi-annual Documentary Film F