I believe the key to communications success is storytelling. Engaging, relevant and useful content (visual and written) is critical to capturing the attention of employees, clients, media, and other key constituents. My lifelong love for words and pictures began when I wrote fiction and poetry in the back of my parents’ station wagon on long road trips and made primitive scrapbooks in magnetic albums with cutouts from magazines. With the idea to become a reporter, I applied to journalism school. It was when I was interning that I discovered how I could use my love of storytelling to help organizations strategically engage people and influence behavior and a communications career began.
I have had the opportunity to tell stories of how out of the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s “hatchetman” Chuck Colson impacted millions through the world’s largest prison ministry. I have explored how architects create sustainable buildings that meet the needs of the future workforce and protect our resources. I have illustrated how designers utilize the latest studies on learning and the environment to create safe schools that foster academic excellence. I have shared the secret world where used cars go after a consumer turns them into the dealership, an industry which has three times the economic impact of the new car industry. I have told the stories of how families who have a child with a disability struggle to provide for their financial needs as the parent’s age and how when given training and resources, people with disabilities have meaningful lives at school, work, and in the community. Storytelling has taken me to the cold halls of death row in Angola prison to the majestic halls of St. Peter’s Basilica and countless more interesting places.
These stories have been told on blogs and websites, in marketing emails, in presentations and speeches and in international, national and local media outlets, including Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN, FoxNewsOnline, Huffington Post, Associated Press Radio, WSB Radio, TIME, Wards Auto, Automotive News, Auto Remarketing, Christian Broadcasting Network, National Catholic Register, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Miami Herald, The Washington Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Christianity Today magazine and BillBoard magazine.
I believe the magic truly happens when you marry good stories to strategic objectives. The power of PR happens when you know whom you want to reach, identify their pain points and interests, determine a call to action, and then engage your audience through multiple channels with relevant and useful content. Done well, PR and marketing can illustrate industry leadership, drive business growth, build financial confidence, demonstrate corporate citizenship, influence engagement, and position change.
Today, when I am not busy helping organizations tell their stories, I spend time with family, advocate for individuals with disabilities, and explore creative expression through dance, photography, DIY renovation and creating art.