Honed to sharpness at DePaul University's graduate program for public relations & advertising and forged in the fires of creative writing from Columbia College Chicago, Behnam Riahi is a complimentary dichotomy of art and business, shaping words to build better brands. The fine blade of his wit reflects both honest sentiment and business acumen. He's a poet, or at least he thinks he is, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
Behnam loved stories--fiction, nonfiction, film, television, even video games. The one thing he couldn't wrap his mind around was why all of his favorite commercials brought a tear to his eye. He earned his chops doing publicity for publishing companies--after all, he meant to write the next great American novel. Instead, he gravitated toward communications; specifically public relations and advertising. It meant more to him to share his voice with the world, not the few choice readers who would revel in his niche essays and short stories. He's still writing everyday though--it's just a part of who he is.
Behn, as he likes to be called, lives for the brands he loves. Whether it was watching the Toyota World Cup with his father, buying his Sony PlayStation, drinking his first Budweiser with his older brother, or kissing his first girlfriend in the (formally known as) Sears Tower, brands accented every milestone. His heroes are Ogilvy and Golin, and his aims to leave just as deep of a mark on the world.
You remember that one song by Kanye West, "Homecoming?" What about that John Hughes film, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off?" Or the books of Mike Royko, Richard Wright, and Nelson Algren? These illustrate the beauty, the necessity that is Chicago. For Behnam, this city is pure and ecstatic inspiration. With hard work, he moved from his rural community and into the city--and he's been here ever since. Would he leave? Perhaps one day, but not without heartbreak at losing the city he loves.