Scott Southard is a prolific storyteller, whether it is sharing PPA’s story through social media, or creating the narratives for the novels he writes. As PPA’s Communications Associate, Scott manages the company’s social media and marketing outreach. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from Aquinas College and a master of fine arts in professional writing from the University of Southern California. We talked to him about his work, and more.

You are PPA’s Communications Associate and in many ways, the voice of PPA. Tell us about your role and why you like working at PPA.

I assist on research, I help with editing, but my main role is Communications Associate, which is about getting PPA noticed and recognized for the great organization it is. I love the fact that every day is different. And with each project, I feel like I am making a positive difference in the world. With a job like that, you can’t help but feel good about what you are doing.

How does that work align with PPA’s strategic plan goal of expanding PPA’s presence?

It is an interesting time to be in communications. Everything is more influx now than ever. I could go on and on about each website and their positives and negatives. But with each post, each thing I share, it makes PPA part of the conversation. You really don’t know what will catch the eye of a potential client or partner. Everything I do has the potential of expanding our presence. The only thing that doesn’t is being silent, and that is not happening on my watch!

What sorts of research do you do?

My favorite part of working in research is in qualitative research. Everything from interviews to focus groups. I enjoy the discussions with an interviewee or attendee. Many times, through those talks, you really discover the possibility of making a difference in someone’s life.

What has the adjustment been like now that PPA is a virtual company?

Working virtually has been wonderful. While I enjoy talking with and seeing my fellow team members, there is something to be said for being in your own home, with no distractions. It is a sense of more focus working on your own terms. There is also something to be said for now and then working on a morning at Grand Traverse Pie Company.

You are also a prolific writer of fiction. What sorts of books do you write?

It is a tricky question to answer. I always enjoy challenging myself as a writer, so every book is different. I have written books in multiple genres and different voices, everything from classic mystery to even Jane Austen. My most recent book, In Jerry’s Corner, could be called magic realism, kind of like Neil Gaiman. I am very proud of that one since my hope was to say something about humanity in it.

What’s life like when you are not working or writing?

Music is very important to me. I am a fan of jazz and perform saxophone in a local band. I also love going to concerts. My wife always jokes that she married me for my music collection. I really hope it was more than that, but I get it. It is a pretty great collection.