These past few days I’ve been working on a script for a national convention. While rewarding, it’s not been overly compelling stuff.
Just now, I wrote a section of the script where a well-respected member of the industry was slated to receive an award. But before he could accept it, he unexpectedly died.
That’s sad enough, yes.
But the speaker I’m writing the speech for had been friends with the award winner for 17 years. They’d worked together. Their desks were side-by-side.
This is delicate stuff.
How do I write something respectful? Appropriate? Enough?
So, I interviewed the speaker. I asked him how he felt about his friend. And I told his story. I used the desks side-by-side imagery.
At the end, I drew from a quote that the award winner himself had written to the association upon finding out he’d won the award. He thanked the association for recognizing “his life’s work.”
His life’s work.
Writing it, I cried.
I hope the speaker can get through the speech.
I hope the crowd can hear it.
I hope it helps the family at least for one moment.
And today I’m so grateful for the small pieces of honor and love I get to put back into the universe through the written, and now spoken, word.
Stacie Zinn Roberts is a nationally recognized, award-winning writer and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience. She has won more than 40 national awards for her work including the United Nations Environmental Program for retail environmental marketing, as well as from organizations such at the Public Relations Society of America and the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. She’s written for industry publications such as Golf Course Management, Sports Turf, Golfdom and PR Daily. She spent eight years as the president and director of marketing for Environmental Turf, where she developed the branding for SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, the grass that eventually became the greens grass for the Rio Olympic Golf Course. Stacie served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Florida Turfgrass Association as Chair of the Research & Scholarship Committee where she worked closely with the scientists from the University of Florida’s turfgrass breeding program. Stacie founded What’s Your Avocado? Marketing & Public Relations in 2012.