Chief Storyteller | Thorn Media
communications strategy, content creation and management, writing and producing, storytelling programs, culture and identity programs, transformation communications, employee engagement and recognition, diversity initiatives
Rod Thorn, a former communications executive at PepsiCo, Kodak, and IBM, is chief storyteller at Thorn Media, a communications consultancy. Aiming for the head, heart, and hands — using storytelling to persuade people and organizations to see things in new ways, engage their emotions, and take action — is at the core of everything he does: strategic content creation and management; writing and producing; storytelling programs and workshops, communications strategy, culture and identity programs, transformation communications, employee engagement and recognition, and diversity initiatives.
In his 25-year career as a trusted communications advisor to more than 35 Fortune 500 CEOs and hundreds of future CEOs at organizations as varied as PepsiCo, Kodak, IBM, Xerox, Royal Caribbean, United Technologies, Bank of America, Boston Scientific, The National Geographic Society, Pfizer, Time, Thomson Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Cadbury Schweppes, MCI, Columbia University, Edison International, Archer Daniels Midland, Schreiber Foods, and Braun, Rod has been involved in some of the most important developments in business history -- the dawning of the Internet, a chess-playing supercomputer, life-changing medical devices, globalization and international economics, mega-mergers, back-breaking bankruptcies, and cut-throat cola wars among them.
As a content creator and strategist Rod has written and produced books, speeches, articles, op-eds, documentaries, videos, podcasts, conferences, exhibits, publications, and websites; led award-winning internal communications programs; generated major media stories; handled hair-raising PR and investor crises; and placed speakers at exclusive venues all over the world. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of strategic storytelling at conferences, companies, and universities including Columbia, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and George Washington; and he has been a member of the WSJ CEO Council, the Paley Media Council, the Professional Speechwriters Association, OFC TV's Rockstars of Culture and Communications, PepsiCo's Diversity Advisory Board, and the Dramatists Guild.
Rod began his career — after getting a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Albany, where he played intercollegiate football and baseball, and was also in a band — writing and producing for ABC and CBS television stations, a newspaper, and a politician. During this time, and continuing today, Rod also became a professional playwright and voice actor. His plays have been produced more than 25 times.
Rod is represented by Alan Morell, chairman and CEO of The Creative Management Agency, on several literary, talent, business management, branding, media strategy, intellectual property, and commercial products licensing projects.