As a way to keep our creative juices flowing outside of work (a.k.a. #BrafterHours), we introduced a Brafton-wide short story contest into the mix.
You might be thinking: This is a fantastic idea for our professional content writers who spend their days crafting unique stories for our clients. But what about the rest of us – how could we stand a chance against people who write for a living?
Enter Chicago-based content marketing strategist Hunter Moss, who was up to the challenge, despite not having a “real background” in writing.
“I always enjoyed writing essays for school (I love the sound of my own digital voice), but have never taken a creative writing course or anything of the sort,” he said. “Being brand new at Brafton, I thought entering a piece into the contest was a good way to embrace the company culture.”
The prompt? Create a 1,000-word or less story based around four items: A crime story that takes place at a school. The main character must be a student, and the phrase “Now watch this…” must be included.
“Once I got started,everything kind of fell into place,” he said of the writing process. “I think I was subconsciously summoning my inner Tommy Pickles from the old Rugrats TV show on Nickelodeon. Whenever I think ‘crime story,’ my mind immediately goes to film noir. So why not mix Tommy in with a little Hitchcock?”
It’s that confidence alongside some serious writing chops, that scored him first place in the contest. Hunter brings the same confidence and creativity into his work as a content management strategist every day.
Learn more about Hunter’s experiences at Brafton so far in our Employee Spotlight Q&A:
Q: Tell me a little about your background before Brafton.
Born and raised in San Francisco. Attended a French immersion school K-12. Did my undergrad in Montreal in Economics. Work-wise (here’s where it gets really interesting) I’ve interned for a felony court judge (got to watch a murder trial from start to end – no conviction), worked for my temple at a Jewish cemetery, kicked off my post-college career as a bilingual customer support agent for an online dating website (Zoosk), and finally, in a more conventional move, I was an account manager for a digital marketing company. That’s the path that brought me to Brafton!
Q: What content marketing results make you the happiest?
Is retention an appropriate answer? Does upsell work?
Jokes aside – I think user engagement is truly key. If people are reading and viewing the content you produce, you’re doing something right.
Q: If you were a type of web content, what would you be?
An Op-Ed piece. I can rant endlessly about everything from politics to economics to sports. Seriously. Give me a topic and let me know how much time you have. I’ll make it work.
Q: What marketing buzzwords are you most guilty of using?
Engagement. I’ve already used it in a response. But does anyone really know what engagement means?
Q: What’s your favorite part of the workday?
That second cup of coffee. You’ve already had your first cup, read The New York Times headlines, answered the emails at the top of your queue. That second cup is when you really hit the ground running and start taking care of business.
Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a ’90s kid, the most incredible thing I had ever seen was Jurassic Park. I was so certain I wanted to be a paleontologist when I was little. I had every dinosaur in the book’s name memorized at about 5 years old. None of it stuck, sadly enough. I think I also wanted to be a dinosaur, but that’s a whole other issue.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
Either my grandfather’s Chai necklace or my ticket from the series-clinching game when the Warriors beat the Mavericks in ’07. Those two items are me in a nutshell.
Q: What do you value most in a job? What’s your favorite aspect of Brafton?
I think the answer to these questions is one in the same. It’s all about the environment – being surrounded by smart, professional and engaging people really makes a job worthwhile. Plus if you ever get the chance to sit in between Matt Levy and Sonny Sharp, I highly recommend it. Truly made the transition to Brafton easy and hilarious.
Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Finishing a jumbo carne asada burrito at Ocean Taqueria in San Francisco. You think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. Sadly, this place has closed and my feat will go unchallenged.
Q: Have any “hidden talents”?
While I’ve kept it to a minimum since joining the Brafton team, I find myself to be a world champion complainer. I would medal in kvetching if it were part of the Olympics. And somehow, I firmly believe that my ability to complain makes those around me more resilient. If you want more information, I can write up an Op-Ed piece about the correlation.
Q: If Brafton were a TV show, which character – from any sitcom, drama or reality show (of any time period) – would represent you?
I feel like the conversations that happen on the Account Management team sometimes mimic how the gang interacts in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I aspire to be Danny DeVito. A man can only dream…
Have you heard? Brafton’s account management team is hiring! Check out job opportunities.