I didn't know that public relations and advertising were in my future. I was simply intent on the art of storytelling and the search for a good story to tell. This led me to spending time in San Francisco with a former member of the Beat movement, hopping trains and paddling a canoe 450 miles from Nashville to Memphis – all in pursuit of a good story.
Then I discovered there were plenty of amazing brand stories to be told with the same creative energy and sense of adventure. What is a brand or a tweet but a story in brief? And so, ultimately, my search for a good story brought me to public relations and advertising.
With a master's degree in English, I left teaching to begin my career as a copywriter at then-Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence public relations. In the 30 years since, I've had the good fortune to create award-winning campaigns, brands and creative for a number of noteworthy clients including Boy Scouts of America, Bridgestone/Firestone, the Grand Ole Opry, Goodwill of Middle Tennessee, Jack Daniel Distillery and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Saturn Car Company, Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander and the State of Tennessee, and the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators.
My work with these brands has afforded me a lifetime of unique opportunities. Case in point, as the Jack Daniel's brand historian, I've had the honor to be a brand storyteller featured in numerous media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic Channel's Ultimate Factories, CNBC's Titans and the History Channel.
Thankfully there are plenty of stories out there still to be told and I'm anxious to tell them – whether through branding, brand narratives, events, videos, public relations and advertising campaigns, tweets, posts or digital experiences. Working with unique brand stories and the creative people assembled at Finn Partners sure beats hopping trains for adventure.