Macey Benton is a millennial making waves in the public relations industry. Currently a senior account executive at Sheridan Public Relations in downtown Franklin, Macey’s Southern charm and confidence in following her instincts have launched her into a successful career. Today, we welcome her as our FACE of Williamson County.
Tell us about your journey to Williamson County.
I grew up in Mississippi. Most of my extended family lives there (Tennessee is my home, but Mississippi claims my roots!). While at Ole Miss, I met my husband, Matt, who is a Nashville native. After graduation, I moved here with five of my best friends, and soon after interviewed with Jay Sheridan, another Ole Miss alum who was looking for his first employee. I came on board about four years ago, and now there are seven of us! Our offices are in the heart of downtown Franklin, and many of Sheridan Public Relations’ clients have local home bases. It’s given me an incredible opportunity to get to know the Williamson County community and some of its influencers.
What does a typical day look like for you?
This question is always hard for me to answer, but it’s part of what makes the job fun. No day is ever the same. Sometimes I’m always on the go, and other days it’s just head-down desk work.
We have a good work culture here, and it reminds me how cool it is to be able to work with people I enjoy. I have a crazy goldendoodle puppy named Lemmi, and for the first year brought her to work every single day (which, by the way, is said to lower stress levels and improve relationships within the office). Now that we’ve moved to a different space in downtown Franklin, I’m not able to bring her as much anymore, but we still like to say we’re a dog-friendly office.
Do you have a mentor?
Does OscarPRgirl count?
I started working at Sheridan PR very soon after college, and Jay Sheridan (SPR president) has been an awesome leader to learn from. It’s never been a “first job” experience, and I know I’ve been extremely fortunate in that.
I like connecting with recent graduates looking for jobs, and would love to form a mentor-like relationship with a businesswoman who’s had several more years under her belt than me. I need to make it happen!
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
My mom’s mantra growing up was “wherever you are, be all there” (a Jim Elliot quote). Being present in all situations is easier said than done, but it’s an idea that still sticks with me, especially in the relational aspects of life.
Do you have an interesting/funny story you can share from a client?
Kimberly [Schaplman] of Little Big Town has this cute cooking show on GAC called “Simply Southern.” Two of our clients—Puckett’s Boat House and Puckett’s Trolley—were being featured on an early episode of the series. I’m usually behind the scenes but unexpectedly got pulled in to say a few words on camera. I ended up singing (unprompted, ugh!) a couple lines of their latest single “Pontoon,” and declaring it my summer anthem (it was practically snowing outside). My first, and I hope only, national TV appearance … I’ve stayed far away from the camera lens since!
What would you tell a new graduate who is looking for a job in the public relations field?
The first thing I thought of was my dad’s advice before I went to college, and after graduation: “never burn a bridge.” The second was to find one particular aspect that sets you apart from other candidates—personal presentation, experiences, skill set—and find confidence in that.
I’d also recommend looking at the work environment and who your superiors would be during the interview process. It’s invaluable to have people who appreciate your work and value your opinion. I know people say this all the time, but just trust your instincts. They’re a powerful thing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
When I answered this question in a philosophy course my freshman year, I said I wanted to be living in Nashville working for a successful public relations firm. Kind of crazy, right? Today, my answer isn’t as clear cut, but I can say in 10 years I see myself making family and relationships a priority and continuing to use my gifts and interests to pursue purpose.
What inspires your daily personal style?
A fun question that I wasn’t expecting to get! Since junior high, I’ve been preoccupied with having signatures (unfortunately for everyone else, at one point that was Bath & Body Works’ overpowering vanilla spray). Because of that, I think I gravitate toward a uniform: go-to looks or pieces, usually monochrome, that sort of blend in, but that someone may pinpoint as “you.” I admire anyone with a casual vibe who still looks elegant and put together. If I could steal anyone’s style it would be Lindsey Louie or Maja Wyh, or maybe Emmanuelle Alt. Or Leandra Medine‘s closet … that would be interesting.
If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would you go?
For a long time it’s been Greece. One day!
What books are currently found on your nightstand or e-reader?
My favorites that I’ve just finished are The English Spy (Matt & I are hooked on Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series), All The Light We Cannot See and The Nazi Officer’s Wife. Currently I’m reading Jesus Outside the Lines, a book written by Nashville local Scott Sauls (while I’m thinking about local authors: Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons was a really impactful book for me).
Are there any local events you are looking forward to attending in the next few months?
I’ve already marked down October 16 and 17 for the City Farmhouse Pop-up Fair, an antiques and vintage shopping show in Leiper’s Fork. You can find the most amazing scores. At the June event, I picked up a really random haul: a cowhide ottoman, dried lavender, wooden candlesticks and a portrait painting (by Lillian Webb, who I was told is a Nashville outsider artist).
What gives you peace of mind?
Sunday mornings; a good novel; Barre3; meaningful conversations; phone calls with my grandparents; Uber when traveling; my Poketo agenda/calendar.
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding faith, family and friends).
Denim, my wedding band … and chips & salsa? Just kidding, probably my iPhone.
PHOTOS BY: Heather Sisemore Photography