“Two Minutes With” is Weber Shandwick Seattle’s employee spotlight series that provides professional and personal insight into our rock star team. Today we’re highlighting Copywriter Kevin Hatman. Enjoy!
What were you doing before coming to Weber Shandwick?
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was a lifelong Michigander. I worked in the Detroit area as the public relations coordinator at the Michigan Humane Society. And that was meant to be a vague job title – as a nonprofit, the more that I could do, the more money we had going to animals. So I ended up wearing a lot of different hats. Writer, spokesman, community relations… that sort of thing.
I imagine that working at a humane society could be tough.
Honestly, it really could be. The first day that I worked in our Detroit shelter, I went home and cried. You saw some absolutely horrific things, things done by people who didn’t value these animals as living creatures. It made you upset, it made you mad, and then you’d see our people working in the shelter, dealing with this type of thing day-in and day-out, and you’re just amazed at what they’re doing. It’s so easy to get compassion fatigue in a job like that. I have such an incredible respect for those people and for the Michigan Humane Society. It’s one of those places where you can have your faith in humanity restored, destroyed and restored again, all in one day.
Didn’t I see that place on Animal Cops: Detroit?
Yeah, and whenever they’d rerun that show, I’d get calls asking if they could adopt the dog they saw on TV, not knowing that the episode was from, like, 2004. Those were fun. I’m thinking about prank calling the person they have replacing me with the same call.
Why did you want to move to Seattle?
Quite a few reasons. I hate winter, for one. I much prefer your two seasons of summer and… not summer. I wanted to be somewhere that had an MLS team, so ending up in the best soccer city in America was kind of nice. And of course, the prospect to do this kind of work for a leading global PR firm is just incredible. I’ve been writing for my entire career – I started off as a speechwriter – and I’m just thrilled that Weber gave me an opportunity to join this team. It’s not every day you get a chance to work with such incredibly smart and talented people. (And yes new coworkers, that was a bit of sucking up. Just go with it.)
How did you land the job with Weber Shandwick?
I applied like everyone else. Except that my cover letter referenced Rocky IV. Evidently it helps to bond with your new employer over a shared dislike of Ivan Drago. Plus, that movie ended the Cold War.
I’m pretty sure it didn’t.
Well, there was a Cold War, and then that movie came out, and now there isn’t. You do the math.
Let’s move on. What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?
Last year, I hiked to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite. Ended up hiking more than 30 miles in about two and a half days. People would be surprised because it looks like the only tan I’ve had in five years is from a computer screen.
What do you like most about writing?
That it has the power to move people to have an emotional reaction and rethink their view of the world.
What do you like least about writing?
Feeling like I’m fighting a desperate rearguard action against people who use “ur” unironically.
Do you have a favorite author? Movie? TV show?
Dave Eggers. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Community.
Do you believe in a thing called love?
Just listen to the rhythm of my heart.
What do you miss about Michigan?
The ability to tell people where I live by pointing at my right hand. And my people. They should all move here.
What is the best bad movie ever made?
It’s a two-way tie between Demolition Man and the original Total Recall. Honorable mentions include Starship Troopers, the original Red Dawn, Masters of the Universe and Manos, the Hands of Fate. No Holds Barred and Over the Top are ineligible due to doping. I am probably missing something awesomely terrible here.
How about Rocky IV?
Hey. Watch yourself now.
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Get rid of your ego. Your writing isn’t so good that it couldn’t stand to be torn apart and made better.