Q&A with BLUEPRINT Editorial Manager, Brett Tubbs

October 21, 2019

Today is an exciting day here at BLUEPRINT, as we have the opportunity to chat one-on-one with Brett Tubbs, our new Editorial Manager at the studio.

Based in Virginia, Brett worked extensively in the journalism + PR world before copywriting her way into the heart of BLUEPRINT. Let’s just say that our admiration for her extends beyond her professional accolades and contribution to our team, and for good reason—she is as charming and gracious as she is brilliant and driven.

Read on for a glimpse into Brett’s story and what led her to our team, and for a dose of her unique brand of wit + wisdom into all things copywriting and content for the real estate branding space.

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Please introduce yourself!

Hi there! I’m Brett Tubbs, Editorial Manager for BLUEPRINT. I live in Norfolk, Virginia with my husband, Gordon, and son, Johnny. Coffee is mandatory. Cocktails are a plus – especially mojitos. I love running, going to the beach, singing, and taking road trips with my family.

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What made you want to join the BLUEPRINT team? What kind of work will you be doing?

The short answer? I’m a big Caroline Dominguez fan. Super fan, really. 

She and I were friendly acquaintances with a few mutual friends through our connection with our alma mater. But our friendship began when I started asking her about her business. I could tell, particularly on Instagram, how pristine her work was and how her business was growing. 

I asked her out for cocktails to talk shop and a deep friendship was born. Soon after, we started talking about her business and how there was a need for her clients to have support with online communication and social media strategy.

I’m looking forward to supporting Realtors with online communications – whether it’s writing press releases, blogs, emails, web copy, producing lead generating pieces or writing captions for social media channels. 

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What was your formal education/past career experience in?

In 2010, I graduated from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia) with a B.A. in Media Arts & Design and English. In 2012, I completed my Master’s in Communication from Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia). 

Fresh out of undergrad, I worked in the hospitality industry to pay my way through grad school. Soon after I got my master’s, I took on a new position in the public relations department of Regent University. The position grew and changed as digital branding and social media marketing industry gained traction. It was an incredible learning experience where I learned how to pitch and prepare faculty for national media appearances, coordinate interviews with high profile pop culture and political influencers and run social media accounts as the forward-facing office of the university.

In our free time I’ll tell you about my run-in with the Secret Service – yes, that Secret Service.

After six years with the school, I recently began working in healthcare marketing for Anthem, Inc. It’s an exciting change and a wonderful industry. I’m proud to serve a Fortune 50 company and I’m extremely grateful for the experience and opportunities I’ve had as a result.

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How do you translate that past experience into your new role at BLUEPRINT?

It’s funny how for so many of us, every past experience, every job, from the ones that get you by to those that launch you onto your professional trajectory, every inch of your career is a learning journey if you allow it to be:

Studying journalism helped me learn how to share facts quickly and in an engaging way. 

Waiting tables helped me learn how to manage my time, solve problems, and develop innovation in my life and workspace. 

Public relations taught me how to communicate quickly, effectively and anticipate problems that might arise; and how to serve as a confident leader of an organization.

Healthcare marketing has taught me how to engage with people and provide assistance when they may be facing a difficult illness or financial struggle in their lives. I believe there is some cross over into the world of real estate, too. Home buying or selling does not often come without a major life change – and I’ve written through many of them, myself. 

Maybe you weren’t looking for encouragement or career advice here, but for what it’s worth, here it is: learn everything you can from every position you hold in your life. You never know how it could be setting you up for something incredible in the future.

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There are so many copywriters out there. In what way are you different in your approach, particularly at BLUEPRINT as a writer + communication strategist for the real estate space?

What sets me apart is my journalism and public relations background. I have more than a decade of experience of writing “in the moment” pieces. 

Anyone can write copy. But do they know how to truly communicate? Do they know how to tune into the world around them and write from a place of relevance to their readers? Do they know how to be entertaining and informative? 

Further, can they get to know you well enough to write how you would? 

Many can’t. 

When you select BLUEPRINT for company’s editorial services, you’ll be equipped with cultural and community relevance, a professionalism and polish that will set your business apart. Your team members will be touted as subject matter experts, and you’ll be equipped to become pillars within the communities you serve.

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When is someone ready to take on the expense of hiring a company to handle their content creation?

There are two answers – the simple and the cultural.

First, the simple: when your company has lots of fun, exciting events, philanthropic initiatives, new hires, new business ventures and no one knows about them it’s time. It’s beyond time, actually.

Communication takes planning and great detail and, let’s be honest, leaving something to the last minute isn’t a great way to make sure the world knows who you are and what you’re doing.

If you’re lost and falling behind on getting the word out on what you’re doing: it’s time to bite the bullet and hire a team. No excuses. 

Beyond that, when your company is ready to invest in the community around you. When you’re ready to make your mark. When you’re ready to go beyond the day-to-day of your business and actually break into the next level. 

This is all possible with the power of good, strong copy and a trusted team of professionals who are here to help you not only create content but develop your influence in the field where you work – and really, live. That’s when you’re truly ready. And, pro-tip, that’s the sort of content that does really well online.

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How do you work to ensure that the unique personalities of BLUEPRINT clients stay “on brand” consistently, in writing across print + digital channels?

Everyone has a story and it’s my job to know yours. 

In the beginning stages of your work with BLUEPRINT, I’ll interview you much like I’d interview someone for a news story. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about someone in a winding conversation that covers all the bases. 

There’s a creative aspect to developing language in another person’s voice or brand that’s exciting. My end goal for all of my pieces is for a client to read something I’ve written and say, “Yes, that sounds like me!”

I know I’ve succeeded when a post or blog goes live and the audience interacts with the piece in a way that’s organic and true to your company’s brand.

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What’s your biggest tip for helping Realtors find their voice in a saturated market?

Don’t be afraid to be who you truly are. Operating out of someone else’s expectations or out of fear is never attractive. And it’s no fun! Let’s figure out who you are and ride into the personality wave! It’s going to be a fun ride.

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Favorite song lyric?

“Human kindness is overflowing, and I think it’s going to rain today.” 

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Reading right now?

I’m guilty of reading several books at once – it was a habit I picked up as an English major and never dropped. 

“Mr. And Mrs. American Pie,” by Juliet McDaniel. (It’s hysterical – and weird)

“Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered,” by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (Also, hysterical and weird in its own special way)

“You are a Badass at Making Money,” by Jen Sincero. (Hysterical and empowering)

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Currently binging on Netflix?

I toggle between the Office, Parks & Recreation, and Friends (yes, I’m one of those – and no, I don’t know what I’m going to do when they all leave Netflix in 2020).

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Writing work session must-haves?

Coffee or tea, the Hamilton soundtrack (the Mixtape version for serious projects with tight deadlines),  sweatpants, my coffee table and a candle. With those powers combined, lots of stuff gets done. 

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Editorial/writer’s pet peeve?

So many. Besides the obvious misuse of their/they’re/there and your/you’re here are a few: 

-You put money toward a down payment (not towards)

-Redundant words that make your copy read like a third grader trying to make their book report page count.

-Pompous/unfriendly tone

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