"Winning a Davey Award validates that Before It Happened meets a very high standard of creativity. This was a new venture and we took a leap of faith to create the show that is noteworthy to much larger produced shows."
We’re excited to share our first spotlight this season about Gold Winner (Websites – Branding) Before It Happened. We spoke with Donna Loughlin Michaels, the President & Founder of Lmgpr, an agency with high-impact results, tenacity and creativity in leading strategic public relations programs for innovative emerging markets.
What inspired the creative direction for Before It Happened?
As a PR agency founder I place a lot of clients on podcasts. However, I saw a gap during the pandemic to feature not just my clients but authorities in an array of industries beyond my technology sector. I listened to a lot of entrepreneur podcasts and saw an opening for a new concept. So many podcasts feature unicorn and Fortune 500 companies but few feature the entrepreneur in markets such as food science, agriculture, robotics, artificial intelligence, smart homes and transportation. The Before It happened concept goes behind the scenes when the visionary or entrepreneur decided to go for their moon shot..and the future they imagine.
How does the website and podcast represent your creative ethos?
My roots in storytelling go back to when I was eight years old working in the family publishing business. This advanced to a professional career in journalism.
As a former business reporter for BBC and Reuters, I know a lot about telling stories. However, for the last 20 years I have owned a PR agency. I was the one pitching the story to the media so going back to my reporting roots has been very exciting.
How big is the team?
Myself as the producer, story curator and host; production team of 2 and social media manager.
(Pictured above: Studio Pod producer Katie Sunku Wood, our writer and website manager)
What is the culture like at Before It Happened?
Before It Happened is a highly collaborative and creative team. I search wide for the guests on our show and review them with the team based on how visionary the story is. Once we decide I conduct a one hour interview then we narrate the story and the rest is magic.
What are some of the creative risks you have taken so far?
One of the most dynamic shows we did was happening in the outbreak of the Ukraine War. We featured Russian born Ukrainian raised entrepreneur Daniel Tonkopi in episode 39 “Envisioning A Sustainable Future and a Free Ukraine”, which addressed the company’s vision for a greener planet in the midst of a war that causes many sustainability challenges. The story was very emotional and moving. We also sought out folk music from Ukrainian women that helped tell the spirit and sentiment of the story. The extra creativity made this one of our most popular episodes and a Davey Winner too. Listen Now
What has been your biggest learning or takeaway from this process?
Podcasting is a very dedicated and steadfast practice. We have a funnel of 12 stories at a time so to produce 4 a month you need a good cadence.The next phase of the show is “Making It Happened” which is a showcase of experts that support entrepreneurs to bring their innovations to market. This series includes designers, manufacturing, growth science, engineering, investors and business coaches and of course my expertise in public relations.
What does winning a Davey Award mean to you and your team?
Winning a Davey Award validates that Before It Happened meets a very high standard of creativity. This was a new venture and we took a leap of faith to create the show that is noteworthy to much larger produced shows.