Why I believe stories can change the world
I have always been a big reader. When I was a child, I would devour books of all kinds, which kept me occupied and quiet and therefore kept my parents happy. Looking back, some of those books weren't necessarily appropriate reading for my age group, but that didn't stop me. When I was 10, I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time and remember going through a distinctly dystopian phase in my early teens - lots of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. I still remember the various libraries I have frequented over the years and around the world. One of the first things that I do, when I move somewhere, is to enroll in the local library. That's a lot of library cards by now.
Readers are travelers
Reading is a way of inhabiting another world, someone else's life, and having an experience outside of my own. To me, it's a way of traveling, while stationary - something that made me the nomad I am today. I grew up in a small village in the middle of the English countryside and reading about other countries made me determined to visit and experience them. One of my favorite things is to be in an exciting place, reading about somewhere else, or reading in the car, on a road trip, or on a beach.
So in hindsight, it was probably inevitable that after studying the literature and languages of other countries at university (France and Germany), I would pursue a career that involved storytelling in some way. I think a lot of us in the communications/marketing/public relations (PR) fields fell into this kind of career because we love books. But I for one, am realistic about my ability to write one!
Storytelling with a purpose
Nowadays, I love telling my clients' stories (and sometimes my own). I love taking what a company does and "interpreting" it for their customers. I spent the first six years of my career working in an international PR company in Germany and the UK specifically focusing on companies that worked in business-to-business technology of all kinds. And those companies had a tendency to get very technical. The fun part was drawing out what they do and telling their story in a compelling way that would resonate with whatever audience they were trying to reach. After this, I moved into more general corporate communications, working for a variety of small UK companies at a boutique London PR agency for a couple of years, before spending three years heading up the marketing team at a hospitality technology start-up from Colorado.
Over the past 12 years, I have worked for a wide range of clients. Just to pick a few highlights, I've worked for a(n):
solar installation company
commercial real estate financial broker
elder law attorney
small business bank
global unified communications provider
business process outsourcing technology company
healthcare social enterprise
I love the variety of my job and the fact that one day I can be writing an in-depth thought leadership article for an engineering company, and the next putting together a media strategy for a dance studio.
Stories make a difference
Now that I'm running my own business, I can truly choose whose story I want to tell. And I want to work with small businesses. I believe that small businesses are the heart-blood of the economy. Having worked with the frustrating layers of bureaucracy within massive global corporations, I value the direct relationship I have with the decision-makers at the small businesses I work for now. Often I'm working directly with the founder or CEO of my client's company, or head of marketing and I feel like I can really make a difference to their company and how their story is told.
Because at the end of the day, that's all marketing is - different ways of telling your story to your audience.
I look forward to meeting you and helping you tell your story to the world. Drop me a line sometime - firstname.lastname@example.org.