16 Nov #TimelyTexting: Meet Adam Houston
We’re excited to bring back this monthly feature, offering a look at TimelyText’s greatest assset: the incredible people we have the chance to work with every day!
By Brant Wilkerson-New
Nov. 16, 2022
When Gilbarco Veeder-Root approached us in May 2021 with a need for an internal communications writer, we knew we had the perfect guy for the job in Adam Houston.
Admittedly, this one didn’t take much recruiting on our end.
Adam and I first crossed paths in the summer of 2015 when he joined the Winston-Salem Journal as an assistant sports editor, and we quickly hit it off as colleagues with a passion for storytelling, a meticulous focus on detail and the same determination to create work we could be proud of.
The newspaper business isn’t kind, however, and like so many dedicated journalists, Adam fell victim to a corporate downsizing and arrived at a career crossroads.
Was there a more stable industry that would allow him to use those skills he’d honed as a section editor at one of our state’s major newspapers? Turns out, there are plenty of possibilities for someone able to write compelling copy, ask insightful questions and develop long-range editorial plans.
We’ll allow him to explain in this Q&A…
TT: Adam, thanks for taking the time to chat today! Tell us a bit about your job and exactly what that entails.
AH: Hello and happy to join you! Anything for the TimelyText family.
For the past year, I’ve been working as an Internal Communications Writer. That means working with various departments and leaders at GVR and Vontier on communications and content strategy, helping craft messages, and making sure those messages reach the right people. I also write stories for our internal channels, handle distribution for messages from leadership and newsletters, and design slides for screens in GVR’s manufacturing facility.
TT: What’s a typical day like for you?
AH: Each day is an adventure. It could be dedicated to writing, internal newsletter preparation, long-term projects, or the tried and true “breaking news.” Occasionally, it’s all of that rolled into one.
TT: How do you feel like your skills from journalism prepared you for this job?
AH: Journalism taught me so much that I wasn’t aware of. Two invaluable skills are: breaking down complex information into easy-to-understand points for readers and knowing which questions to ask. That outsiders’ perspective helps in so many ways. If something isn’t clear as I write it or have it explained, then it definitely won’t be clear for folks reading it.
Oh, and one more: doing all of that in a quick turnaround while producing clean copy. That’s actually probably the biggest one.
TT: What project have you most enjoyed at GVR, and why?
AH: There are two. First up: growing an internal comms channel from scratch and seeing how that has evolved over the past year.
Second, a video about Workplace Culture. Watching message points I crafted and fine-tuned through a team editing process come to life was amazing. Then, realizing those points are part of meaningful work being done in that area led to this gratifying and surreal moment that brought a slight smile to my face.
TT: What have you learned about yourself through this opportunity?
AH: To stop underestimating myself.
TT: Moving from journalism to corporate communications is quite the change. What’s that been like for you?
AH: Absolutely wonderful. To those considering making a leap to something different, regardless of the field, just go for it.
TT: How do you spend your time away from work?
AH: To quote Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) from “Caddyshack”: Oh, I play a lotta golf.
TT: Because most of the TimelyText team is located here in North Carolina, this is probably the most important thing we’ll touch on – give us a restaurant or two worth checking out in your area.
AH: Two come to mind, and they’re right around the corner from each other here in Winston-Salem. For an absolutely exquisite meal, head to Ryan’s Restaurant. And if you’re looking for a casual setting and some great hot wings, nothing beats Putters Patio and Grill.