What does SE2’s mission mean to you?
Our mission is about doing work that matters—work that is complex and challenging, with real and lasting impact on people’s lives.
What is an issue SE2 has worked on that really got you fired up, and why?
For two decades, we have worked on preventing tobacco addiction through policy and social marketing campaigns. It is a compelling issue because the problem is vast, and its implications are costly – both in terms of lives lost and dollars spent.
Despite the challenges, through grit and determination applied in states and at the local level, we have made steady progress in reducing smoking rates. But the issue continues to evolve, with a new generation of young people getting hooked on new products. It’s not something we can let up on anytime soon.
That keeps all of us fired up.
Which SE2 value resonates most with you?
Intellecutal Agility. We value looking for ways to make our work, both individually and collectively, better through relentless inquiry and investigation. We question ourselves, each other, our clients and partners. Nothing is off-limits. We believe it is through this application of inquiry that we improve both our process and the outcomes of our work. It also keeps things interesting along the way.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
Life and work as a challenger
Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work in government and nonprofits—experiences that instilled in me a deep commitment to the type of work we do.
I knew that I wanted to spend my time and talents working on interesting issues that impact people’s lives.
Eventually, I found my way to like-minded people in a small agency that would become SE2.
Early on, we prided ourselves on being the anti-agency. We resisted structure and shunned process. Our growth was slow, steady and intentional.
We said “no” more than we said “yes”. No to traditional marketing for companies whose most pressing challenge was gaining market share over their competitors.
Yes to organizations facing tough internal and external strategic communications and policy challenges.
After more than 20 years in business, we continue to find that by sticking to what inspires us, we can do our best work and help clients to succeed.
Today, our projects are bigger and more complex than in those early years. They require a rigorous adherence to research, coupled with energetic investigation of new and emerging ways to engage audiences. We have more structure; we use more process.
But we have remained true to our roots and our essential expertise: Distilling complex issues into clear and compelling messages. Looking for inspiration and applying the best lessons learned to local work. Helping clients to tell their unique stories.
And focusing on issues that really matter.