Staff Spotlight: Todd Stone
As Senior Director at Rapp Strategies, Inc., Todd Stone provides strategic counsel in the areas of media strategy, public affairs, risk management and strategic communications. He oversees the day-to-day tactical work of the Rapp Strategies team, emphasizing collaboration and creative thinking.
Todd joined the Rapp Strategies team in May 2018 after working almost three years in Texas as a senior leader at the Houston Chronicle, where he helped lead new content and product initiatives for its digital and print operations. From 2010 to 2015, Todd was the Star Tribune's Business Editor, directing news coverage of the Twin Cities' most celebrated companies, major developments, business innovations and trends.
“My wife and I loved our time in Minnesota, and we decided that this was the place to raise our kids,” Todd said.
After working 20 years in management positions with various news organizations, Todd offers strong knowledge of traditional media, social media and digital news reporting. He is an accomplished editor and writing coach. He earned his BA in journalism and MBA at Texas A&M University.
How have you grown as a professional since you started working at Rapp Strategies?
I have come to appreciate the deep process and the hard work that goes into strategic planning and problem solving. There’s no single playbook to follow. You have to embrace that process and be willing to start from scratch every day to find the best approach for each of your clients. It’s challenging, but it’s also incredibly satisfying.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
It’s probably no surprise given my previous answer, but I enjoy working on the strategic elements of our work – assessing the challenges and opportunities that our clients face, then working with them to accomplish their goals. Over time, there’s a satisfying camaraderie that can build between your team and the client. That has been a nice surprise.
What is one habit that makes you more successful?
I’m naturally curious, which, of course, is what steered me toward journalism. I’m not always satisfied with the first good idea or first interesting thing that I find in my research. I want to know what else is out there.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was five years old, I wanted to be the “Six Million Dollar Man.” Lee Majors was a big star, and his character had the most awesome name, “Steve Austin” (unlike “Health Barkley” from “The Big Valley” days). But soon it occurred to me that you had to crash in a jet and be dismembered to get the cool skills and powers that come with being the Six Million Dollar Man … I finally wised up and moved on.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Well, that’s a no-brainer: My wonderful marriage with my wife, Kim, and our two goofy sons. Beyond my family, I would say it was simply the opportunity to work as a journalist for more than 20 years. Journalism is an important form of community service. We need a free and vibrant press to help sustain American democracy.
What is one thing about you few people know?
That’s between me and those “few people” who better keep quiet.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
If you decide a rule is worth bending, you might as well break it.
What is one piece of wisdom you would give your younger self?
Slow down … The journey is just as interesting as the destination.