Name: Audra Coffman
Position: Copy Architect
Job Description: I am responsible for creating engaging, compelling messages for a wide variety of target audiences.
Education: B.A. Journalism Texas Tech University 2015
Tell us how you started at Primitive Social.
Around this time last year, I was working at Fox34 as the Digital Content Manager. It was my responsibility to send app alerts for breaking news, manage our social media, and courthouse reporting. I worked a lot of hours and didn’t have a lot of extra time with my family. My sister-in-law, Kelli Tyler, was working at Primitive Social, and I asked her if they needed a copyeditor. So I sent an email to Kade and offered my services on a contract basis. Once I had my foot in the door, I began applying for any position I felt I was qualified for and accepted a position as a Copy Architect on the Inbound team. I have been a full-time employee since April 2018.
What drew you to join Primitive Social?
I needed a change and I wanted to spend more time with my family working normal business hours. I was also looking for the freedom to work from anywhere. I love the office environment, but it’s nice to stay at home to focus. The entire team is really supportive and professional and it was a perfect fit.
It sounds like you have worked on a couple teams at Primitive Social, can you tell us how you wound up where you are today?
When I started with Primitive Social, I was working on the Inbound team, writing long form eBooks, blogs, and social calendars for several different clients. From there, I moved to a cross-team function where I work with both the digital and web teams. For the digital team, I write copy for clients who want to improve their social presence and for the web team, I write copy for websites.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy writing for lots of different clients. Working across teams and with a variety of clients allows me to challenge myself. I also love taking something that isn’t working for a client and making it better.
Writing for social media can be challenging. Where do you find inspiration to write a compelling social media post in a few short sentences?
Honestly, I feel like it comes naturally to me. We recently took the Clifton Strength Assessments as a team and my top quality was strategic. This makes sense to me, since I feel like I take the time to learn the client and write for them well. I know what needs to happen and in what order to get the result the client needs.
Why do you think a strong social media presence is so important for businesses?
Social media continues to be a huge driver for companies. Everyone is constantly on the go and oftentimes, they get their information from Facebook or Twitter. Companies are likely missing out on a ton of opportunity and potential if they aren’t on some social media platform. People will follow you for your personality and results on social media will show that.
Do you feel like you’ve grown in your knowledge since you started this role?
Working and writing for the news, you have to keep your emotions out of it. I feel I’ve grown in my ability to present the facts, but in a way that will appeal to people. I spend a lot of time reading about marketing, taking e-courses, and certifications on HubSpot or Google to learn as much as I can. The digital industry is constantly changing, so there is always something new to learn.
What do you like about the culture at Primitive Social?
They truly care about their employees and value a work/life balance. Annie, our chief of staff, has played an integral role in helping our company to accomplish that. Her sole focus is to care for people and that is something truly unique. I’ve never worked at a company where I felt my health or happiness was even a concern. People come to her for specific advice and I feel comfortable expressing my concerns or anxieties with Annie and my team.
Anything you’re excited about in the future of Primitive Social?
I’m excited to continue to grow with the company. I love the Growth-Driven Design service model. I love to take things that are broken and turn them into something amazing. I hope we continue to get more clients to trust us with taking their old website and making it into something beautiful, functional, and more user-friendly. My journalism background comes in handy because I am a storyteller, and that’s what a website should do, it should tell the reader a story about the company.
Why would you encourage someone to consider an internship at Primitive Social?
When I saw we had a remote intern, I encouraged my little sister to apply. She’s a communication major at SMU and I felt it would be perfect for her to gain experience in her field while she’s in school and she could do it from Dallas. As an intern, you won’t be observing, you will be doing. If you prove yourself to be a right fit, then you will probably have a future with Primitive Social if you want one. Our remote culture is top-notch. We make every effort that we can to make our remote team members feel included and part of the company. With increased globalization and people working from everywhere, Primitive Social really brings people together.
Okay, now let’s talk more about you. What’s your daily routine?
I get up about 6 a.m. and enjoy my coffee in peace, then I start waking the kids up for school. After I get them to school, I come home and watch the news (I’m still a news junkie!). Then I check my Google calendar and line out my workday. I even schedule time for sunshine and laundry to keep myself on track with work and running the household. The kids are involved in a million different activities, so I’m always driving someone somewhere. Then I make dinner and get everyone ready for bed and prepare to do it all over again the next day.
Do you have any playlists you listen to while working?
I have a few. One that’s chill and then a hip hop playlist. If I need some motivation, I turn on some 90s/early-2000s hip hop to get me going. (Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Eminem, and Kanye.) My more relaxed, chill playlist has The Eagles and Elton John, more 70’s rock. Amazon Prime Music is the best!
Do you have any favorite TV or Netflix shows?
Friends is the best show ever. Duh. Also, anything True Crime - murders, missing kids, and Dateline - I watch every Friday.
What about favorite foods?
Pizza. Tacos. Chips and hot sauce, queso, guac. Basically anything I can dip chips in.
Are you a dog or a cat person, and do you have any pets?
I’m allergic to cats, but I do enjoy a cute cat video. I’m totally a dog person. We have 2 dogs, a yellow lab named Hope and a rescue mix, named Sadie.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
I watch a lot of Netflix on the weekends if we aren’t busy. I also do yoga, go to the gym, and go on walks. And of course, anything my kids want to do.
Tell us more about your family.
My husband, Nick, and I have been married for 12 years. We actually got engaged after 6 weeks of dating. We weren’t even in the same city during our courting period because he traveled for work, so a lot of getting to know each other was over the phone. We probably only spent 2 weeks total in-person. We were engaged in June and married by October. We have four awesome kids together: My stepson, Brady, is 13; Izzy (I was a big Greys Anatomy fan in 2007) is 11; Cooper is 10; and Stella Ruth is 8. They keep us very busy, indeed.
How do you balance work and personal life?
I haven’t always been great at this. I tend to get a little obsessive about my work, but I’m learning it’s important to listen to your body and take a break when you need it. I’m also learning it isn’t possible to do it all and perfectionism can be a bad thing. Burnout is real and it’s dangerous.
What is something not everyone knows about you?
I struggle with anxiety and depression and I’ve been hospitalized recently because I was trying to “do it all”. It’s something I feel is important to talk about because there is a stigma surrounding mental health. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, reach out to someone (even me!) Asking for help isn’t something I’m good at, but I’m learning. It’s a process. That might not be something that people would guess about me, because I’m normally a goofball at work.
Who do you admire?
I admire anyone who can be themselves and fight for causes that they believe in.
How do you stay motivated?
Again, I’m learning to be self-aware so I can stay motivated. It’s so important to listen to your body and make time for yourself. My quiet time at home gives me energy and time to decompress.
What is your secret to success?
I don’t really know if there is one secret. I think it’s different for everyone. In my case, I’m dependable and I don’t quit. Just power through. My husband also plays a huge role. His support has a lot to do with my success at work and as a mother.
Heather joined Primitive Social in December 2016 as Inbound Marketing Manager, bringing with her over 10 years of experience. Heather holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Arts and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. Heather resides in Colorado and uses her spare time to hike with her dog, spend time with family, or travel to new places.