Meet & Greet :: Laura Braam
Sheridan PR is excited to welcome Laura Braam to our team as a principal. She has served as director of communications at Currey Ingram Academy for the last decade, where she built the independent school’s current comprehensive internal and external public relations and marketing program. Before joining Currey Ingram in 2007, Laura was a vice president at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations in Nashville, where she spent more than nine years managing accounts for clients such as the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Job Corps program, Comcast/Intermedia, Harpeth Hall School, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Laura first met SPR founder Jay Sheridan and SPR principal Chad Schmidt while working together at MP&F.
We asked Laura to tell us a little bit about her that we might not know from her bio.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Telling stories in ways that help people understand a different perspective.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My Dad was prone to one-liner bits of advice. He passed away in 2015, and I still hear him in my head every day. My favorites that relate to work and life were always “Duck your head and do your work,” “Don’t hang out at the water cooler,” and “You’ll catch more flies with honey.” He was also prone to offer "attagirl" when I needed to hear it.
Where do you get your news?
My personal favorites for my own day-to-day education are usually WPLN-FM, The Tennessean, The Week magazine, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. I use social media to gauge reactions to “real” news from these sources and others, of course.
What is your favorite book?
I love to read, and my favorites change. I have always loved historical fiction. A recent favorite in this genre is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I also love to read female satirists/essayists/bloggers such as Jenny Lawson, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Kelly Corrigan, Laurie Notaro, Nora Ephron, and the great Erma Bombeck.
Do you have a favorite game?
Taboo. I am exceptionally good at it. I mean, I don’t like to brag, but I just am.
What's the strangest job you've ever done?
I operated the help hotline for vinyl siding installation questions nationwide when in my first years in PR. The line rang at my desk, and I had to answer "Vinyl siding hotline, how can I help you?" I also had to write a vinyl siding installation guide for the same client. You can clean vinyl with bleach. I know these things. (Needless to say, the Internet had not quite taken off yet in 1994.)
What’s your happy place?
Kiawah Island, South Carolina, where my in-laws have a home; Inks Lake in Burnet, Texas, where I went to camp for 10 years; or a hammock near a body of water anywhere.
Who is your celebrity crush?
CJ Cregg (played by Allison Janney) on the TV series West Wing. I am not in love with her. I simply want to be her.
If you had a super power, what would you choose?
To sing like Aretha Franklin or Adele. I deeply desire to be able to sing, and I just cannot. Not out loud, anyway.
What is your hidden talent?
I can tell the time, almost to the minute, without looking at a clock. This freaks my kids out, so it’s extra fun.
Name three things you can’t live without.
Aside from the obvious: NPR, my basic yoga class at the Y, and hand lotion.
What is your proudest career moment?
Professionally, I think it was when an op-ed I wrote was picked up by the Chicago Tribune in my second year at Goddard Claussen in D.C. (1995). It was a piece signed by an 80-year-old entomologist (insect expert) from California who was making a case for chlorine (a client at the time). Quite a stretch in voice, since I was 23 at the time and very much not an entomologist. I had to walk around the city all night to find as many client copies as I could (again, no real Internet), and I loved getting an extra for my own files. I had it framed. My mom later scolded me for writing something in another person’s name. I had to explain PR. She wasn’t buying it.