A Smokin’ Creative Challenge

by Pat Baldwin:

CountyLine“It is always great to see our future entrepreneurs bringing new ideas to the table,” said Skeeter Miller, owner and president of The County Line Inc.

That table also was laden with barbecue March 3 when graduate students from MC 5326, Seminar in Strategic Communication, met with Miller and the Austin-based barbecue company’s director of special events Vanessa Tobias. Miller said he loves working with students — “truly a breath of fresh air.”

Miller also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation and is Chapter President of the Greater Austin Restaurant Association. Tobias once attended Texas State and has special loyalties to the Bobcats.

The Texas State grad students have been challenged to think out of the proverbial “box” for the upcoming 40th anniversary of County Line’s founding. The strategic communication dilemma? In a barbecue-saturated Central Texas, homegrown County Line is perceived as “corporate” and not particularly fodder for attention by Austin media. Of course, no pressure, but Miller added, “Going viral is an awesome thing.”

Pictured standing, from left: Stanton Cagle, Cody Herring, Bobby Garcia and Charlotte Singleton. Seated, from left: A.J. Arreguin, Miller and Tobias. Photographer: Dr. Pat Baldwin, MC 5326 instructor.

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