Jan Michell loves to tell stories…other people’s stories. Nothing fascinates her more than taking complex, multi-tiered or even murky information, diving deep and turning it into a cohesive, clear message. With so many Owl’s Heads projects in healthcare or health-related fields, she has lots of opportunities to wrangle with scientific, medical or layered themes where that talent is a real asset.
A graduate of Skidmore College, Jan’s writing journey began in the world of the arts as a grant application writer and fundraiser for both major and not-so-major dance companies. That’s where she honed her ability to present projects in compelling yet concise ways as she sought support for organizations she believed in. From there she transitioned into advertising and ecommerce, working on everything from magazine ads to print catalogs to websites for startups and rebrands to internal marketing documents. While early work focused mainly on consumer goods, much of her recent work has involved branding, voice discovery and major messaging, including projects for Owl’s Heads pharma, B2B and PR firm clients.
Jan’s goal is always to craft words that cut through the clutter of information that constantly bombards us. She strives to find that emotional connection that makes it hard for the reader to move on. Working closely with our design team, she celebrates the collaborative approach that is at the heart of the Owl’s Head ethos and feels fortunate to be able to support organizations whose work really matters.
In talking about her process, Jan oversimplifies: “I listen hard, I ask targeted questions, I clarify the goals and then immerse myself until I can “hear” the voice in my head before I put it on the screen.” Those of us who work with Jan know it is definitely not that easy. Again and again, we admire her ability to find exactly the right word to illuminate a client’s message with pithy elegance.
FUN FACT: When Jan was a kid she loved watching old, black & white movies from the 1940s...and she still does!