• Tanner Latham

    Head of Content

  • What do you do for a good time when you’re not working?

    I hike, cook, read and jockey for tables at trendy restaurants. I also study stand-up comedy the way that coffeehouse-squatting undergrads study philosophy.

     

    What is your area of professional expertise?

    I’m a storyteller. Specifically, I’m an expert at distilling the story and messages of tech companies into language that is equally compelling and easy to understand.

     

    What’s your notable work experience prior to coming to Highwire?

    Telling stories threads my career path. I started in journalism, spending several years as a travel writer. I went everywhere—from high-end boutique hotels to seedy seafood dives. It was experiential storytelling. I immersed myself in the place in order to take a reader there. I moved to radio and multimedia, working as an on-air NPR reporter, where I focused on explanatory storytelling. I stripped away the complicated jargon of healthcare or the haze of politics to guide a listener to the truth as I understood it. In tech PR, I have shifted to exponential storytelling—using all of my skills to grow established companies such as Verizon or Equifax and startups such as Carvana and Paymetric by crafting messages and channeling them to the right audiences at the right time.

     

    What work are you most proud of professionally?

    I wrote a bestselling cookbook. I launched a podcast from my closet “recording studio,” and several episodes were licensed by and aired on dozens of public radio stations nationwide. And after working with a startup in the hydrocarbon remediation industry—an industry I had barely heard of—the founder came back and said that in his decades of experience, he had never met anyone who articulated what he did as well.

     

    What led you to PR as a career?

    If I’m being honest, as I watched my journalistic options shrink, I knew that I needed to move fast and hone new skills if I wanted a sustainable career. Frankly, I had to pivot. PR was a great fit because I understood both sides, and I could still tell stories and challenge my creativity each day.

     

    If you weren’t working in PR, what would you be doing instead?

    I would be hosting an interview show. One of my gifts is to quickly ease whoever I’m talking to, whether it’s some stranger on an airplane or a CEO. I listen, ask good questions and before I know it, they’re revealing themselves by sharing kernels of wisdom or lessons learned. I love shows like that, and I would have a blast producing one.

     

    Where are you from?

    The South. I grew up in Piedmont, Alabama, a tiny town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

     

    What’s the one thing you miss about where you’re from?

    I miss the day-to-day experiences with my family and old friends. When we make the long trek back to visit now, our abbreviated time together just seems too precious. The stakes are so high, and everybody wants to capture meaningful moments. I miss sharing the nonsensical conversations and mundane experiences with them. And BBQ. I miss really great BBQ.

     

    Tell us about your pet.

    My wife and I found our terrier mix puppy in an organic cotton field in North Alabama. She was a stray, running around begging for any scraps and love she could find. We named her Cotton, piled her into our back seat and took her home. She was hobbling on three legs and had a nasty case of heart worms, but we nursed her back to health, mended her bum hip and slipped her into the stream of our lives. When we set out on our cross-country move to California, she pointed her nose west, always guiding us in the right direction. Now she’s a full-fledged Bay Area dog who’s frisky in the brisk morning fog and snoozy in the warm afternoon light. It’s silly, but we can’t remember what we did with ourselves before we had her.

     

    What’s a fun fact about you that’s not in your LinkedIn profile?

    The only vampire I ever interviewed posed as a 6-foot-tall antiques magnate in Natchez, Mississippi, who drove a Rolls Royce, wore his long silver hair in a ponytail and answered to the nickname “Buzz.”

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