Hometown: Great Falls, Montana
Position: Creative Services Manager, SCL Health
Scott Audet knows how to capture people's attention. Whether it's helping to create a marketing campaign or share a story for SCL Health System in Montana, or making products made in Montana for Montanans (and those who love the Treasure State), his creativity and passion for a good story in the Last Best Place have made him one of The Billings Gazette's "40 Under 40" for 2018.
You’re responsible for helping to market an entire health system to a region. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
When I talk to someone who has been moved by one of the patient stories I’ve helped to share—and learn they’ve taken an action that improved their own health as a result. The work I do is less about making an image or campaign look beautiful; it’s about encouraging people to improve their overall health or, if they are struggling with a medical issue, to call a healthcare provider who can help them.
You have a passion for Montana and sharing it with others. What is your favorite part of Montana?
It’s hard to articulate any one thing that defines my passion for this state. Its diversity, in fact, is what draws me to it—not only in terms of its landscape, but also the individual identities that are synonymous with each city and town. While the overwhelming pride that Montanans have for this state is no secret, my favorite thing is finding the local gems. Whether it be a secret fishing hole or favorite watering hole, there’s no shortage of discoveries to be made in the Treasure State.
How did your work with Montana Mint start?
We started as a Facebook page, and our goal was to bring the best Montana photos, news, music and jokes to Montanans—whether they were living next door to us or halfway around the globe. From there we expanded to the store that sells products designed by Montanans and made (as often as possible) in Montana. Next came our website, which has grown from a place for Montana writers and photographers to host their content to a forum where we can run statewide campaigns. Most recently, we’ve expanded into Montana sports content with Mint Sports as well as a Montana political newsletter.
What has been the most creative item you’ve created for Montana Mint?
I have to say one of my favorite campaigns I’ve done with the Mint was the Montana Pizza Bracket. Around the same time as the NCAA March Madness tournament rolled around, we set out to find the best pizza in Montana. We used a bracket format, pitting pizza places head-to-head in rounds of voting. Thanks to our audience and some state-wide media attention, the bracket received more than 10,000 votes. Much to our surprise, Eugene’s Pizza in Glasgow beat out the big city favorites! We even sent them a custom trophy so they could properly enjoy their bragging rights. We had a blast watching it play out.
How do you balance the demands of a high-pressure job with the creative needs of an active side business in Montana Mint?
A big part of avoiding burnout for me is simply enjoying what I do. I’m extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to shape my career around the things I love, art and Montana. I also have the support of extremely talented and driven teams in both endeavors. It’s been equally important for me to find a healthy work-life balance. I make sure to dedicate time to the things outside of my work that are important to me. I’m intentional about keeping exercise, hobbies and relationships a priority. I don’t know where I would be without the support of my beautiful wife Lindsay, and our time together only helps fuel my professional drive.
Why are you involved in the Billings Advertising and Marketing Club?
BAM (the local branch of the American Advertising Federation) has been a great opportunity to connect with members of the Billings community who share a passion for our field of work. As a member, I found value in the educational speakers, networking opportunities, and insight into local industries. I quickly recognized an opportunity to further my involvement by joining the BAM Board. Through my involvement I’ve been able to apply my unique skills and voice to expand the club’s reach. I’ve developed valuable relationships and broadened my professional horizons by learning about the different aspects of not only creative design but marketing, communication, public relations, and so much more.
What was the best piece of professional advice you received?
Don’t let yourself be content in where your talents are. Constantly seek ways to progress your skills professionally.
Tell us about the failure in which you learned the most?
In 2011 I was laid off from my first job as a professional graphic designer. I’d been working there for several years, but business had declined, and being the newest of the designers, I was the most expendable. Despite the fact I had done nothing directly to lose my job, I found myself really looking within to find if I had the passion for design to continue my dream. After a couple of months of soul (and job) searching, I knew that design was absolutely the right career field for me. I also learned that my friends and family were there to give me the support and encouragement I needed to dust myself off, focus on my goals, and persevere until I had found exactly the right fit for me personally and professionally.
If you couldn’t do what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
My first passion was fine art, and my favorite college memories are of times spent in the studio. If I hadn’t chosen graphic design, I would have loved to pursue a profession in drawing, painting or ceramics. That, or carnival barker.