PR Mama Guest Star: Scott Henderson
Time for another PR Mama guest post, and what the hey, let’s hear it for the boy…again. I had such a good time hosting PR Cog last time, I decided to invite another one of my favorite social media dads over to discuss balancing family and work life in this crazy business of ours. And by the way, as I’m about to dive into a roiling sea of estrogen at the Type A Mom Conference over the next three days, this may be the last you hear about men and dads for a while.
Scott Henderson is currently the cause marketing director for MediaSauce, an Indiana-based agency that helps corporations and non-profits create and implement online strategies to achieve transformational growth. I first encountered Scott when he left an epic comment here at PR Mama that really should’ve been a full post – it was full of such great stuff, I printed it out and carried it around with me to meetings for weeks. I liked quoting Scott in discussions about cause marketing; it always made me sound smart. The post I had written that inspired Scott’s three-screen comment was in praise of his terrific work with Tyson Foods and the Pledge to End Hunger campaign (if you remember the Social Media Smackdown at South by Southwest last year, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.)
Filling My Dad’s Shoes
What makes us so special? Moms and dads have had to balance parenting responsibilities with social and work duties ever since we created this thing called “civilization.” Like most men, I judge myself as a father using my own dad as the gold standard. I’ve been blessed with two loving, encouraging parents. My mom and dad have given me a lot of love and attention in my life. They’re not perfect, but they have done a great job.
My dad, “Dr. Bill” as everyone in the neighborhood called him, has always been in my life and there for some of my highest and lowest moments. He was the all-time quarterback for the neighborhood football games we played in our front yard. No matter what the sport, he made a point of showing up for my games and even coached when he could.
He and I tackled a number of projects for cub scouts and school. While we didn’t win any blue ribbons, we did rack up a shoebox full of participation ribbons (this was before kids received a trophy for everything). The single proudest moment of my teenage years came when my dad was there to see my only first place finish at a swim meet in high school one early Saturday morning. It meant so much to me that he was there to cheer me on and treat me to a post-meet celebratory breakfast.
Unlike Dr. Bill, I travel a lot for my work and that’s something I have had to figure out on my own. Don’t let me fool you – I’m still trying to find the right balance. Every job’ve had since college has involved a good deal of roadwork. It’s not that I loathe it. On the contrary, I enjoy traveling and couldn’t imagine having a job that kept me in one place all the time.
In fact, I am writing this post while on a work trip to Champaign, Illinois. Giving my calendar a quick glance, I see this is my fifth work trip in six weeks. That’s a lot of disruption for our three-person family.
For the past eight years, I have said goodbye and given that “one last hug and kiss” a lot to my son, Ethan. He’s never known me not to travel in his eight years of life, but it’s not something he wants.
Before I left last night, I decided to interview him as part of this guest post. Here’s what I learned:
- He likes when I bring him home souvenirs like the small White House I picked up from a gift kiosk in Washington DC.
- He also likes it when I bring home sweet treats like the delicious goodness from www.thecrispery.com.
- If it were up to him, he would make it a law that dads would never have to travel without their families.
When I take the time to think about it, I realize that my son is forming his gold standard for fatherhood by how I’m doing as his dad. That’s an amazingly heavy responsibility, especially with all the traveling I do. I hope he will feel one day about me as I do about my dad.