My 30-year communications career is entrenched in a fascination with the written and spoken word – and our capacity to reimagine it. Every generation looks to reinvent language for its own time, to find surprising and fresh ways to contribute to an age-old body of ideas. We create new definitions, new vocabulary and spellings, even new standards of punctuation in order to sell and persuade, horrify and delight, articulate the nature of our advancement, or simply make ourselves better understood.
Our ability to reshape the collective conversation has increased exponentially since the advent of the internet. Not since the printing press was invented have methods for communicating with one another changed so much in such a short period of time. And with no sign of stopping.
And so, for me, every day in our business is exciting. Every hour seems to present a new opportunity to not only help clients reach the people they care about, but to deconstruct why and how their own internal language is taking shape, what about it can contribute to a larger narrative, and what must be clarified so as to be heard above the din.
It’s a challenge to help clients take charge of their own conversations – like working a puzzle with the pieces hanging in midair. But I love the challenge. Because when the puzzle begins to take shape – when people are able to articulate in clear and captivating ways what is true and important about what they do – they succeed. And it’s an honor to play a part in their success.
I have been writing my entire career, first as a copy clerk for the Washington Post after graduating from Georgetown University in 1984; then as a reporter, columnist and editor with the Chicago Tribune from 1986 to 1994; next as the Chief Marketing Officer for Seigenthaler Public Relations, the firm my father founded in Nashville in 1972; and now as a managing partner for Nashville-based DVL Seigenthaler, a Finn Partners Company. I specialize in brand discovery, strategic communications planning, message development, marketing content, and speech and editorial writing. I live in Chicago, work out of Finn Partners’ Chicago office, and commute regularly to our office in Nashville. I enjoy it all.