Success starts with story

We went through eight advertising agencies before finding Dan Dougherty. He just gets it.
J.J. Marie, CEO (retired)
Zodiac North America, Inc.

Creative Copywriting

Creates the connection with audiences.

Successful marketing in today’s competitive world requires a mastery of the story form in order to translate your brand’s purpose into entertaining copywriting that will capture the interest and imagination of your customers. The process involves making your customer the protagonist who overcomes all obstacles and wins the day with the help of a brand’s promise.

Graphic Design

Makes information accessible.

The key to comprehensive communications is the ability to have hundreds of messages, including daily social and interactive media posts, work on their own AND as part of the larger graphic identity of your brand. In the rush of our busy world, graphic design helps a company stand apart and quickly gain the consideration it needs from customers.

Search and Social

For the "digital-first" world of customers.

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing remain among the least understood and most complicated parts of a comprehensive marketing plan. Yet, in a ”digital-first” world, they are paramount to a brand’s success. A brand’s digital footprint includes its website and all social accounts. They all tie to SEO –  how customers search for information.

Why Us

Rare abilities

From the customer's point-of-view come

Innovative strategies

We strive to understand your customer well enough to develop cost-effective and innovative strategies that engage them in your brand story. Including them in the brand’s story creates unprecedented loyalty and satisfaction.

Results-oriented solutions stem from

Strategic insights

With over 30 years of experience with large and small companies, businesses and non-profits, political action committees and government agencies, we have the breadth of experience to deliver solutions that work.

Combining creativity with the discipline of business yields

The story behind the data

The world has been fascinated with ”big data” for some time now, but what it misses out on more often than not is the story behind the data. The data itself is lifeless. What’s important is why the data is what it is. We help brands achieve success by understanding the stories behind their data and creating new ones to change the data over time.


Case studies

About Us

Who we are

Dougherty + Associates is a writing and design studio located in California Wine Country.

We help clients succeed through the purpose-told brand story.

If you read the advertising and public relations trades, you know the buzz is about converting content messaging into storytelling. PRSA and similar organizations are offering workshops and guidance to help communicators adapt. A quick workshop or white paper, however, doesn’t provide the necessary depth to make the transition. In 2018, Dan Dougherty, CEO of Dougherty + Associates, LLC, got ahead of the curve and pursued his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Screenwriting for Film and Television, considered the pinnacle of story form. To truly master storytelling, one has to be trained in story form and then write several feature-length stories – not a small feat. Dan’s screenwriting efforts have been recognized as among the top 3 to 10% in prestigious International competitions. In addition, he attended the workshop that gave rise to the brand storytelling phenomenon – Storynomics, by Robert McKee. 

But, this education alone didn’t suddenly make Dan a brand storyteller. He had been writing and thinking in story form for 30 years in the advertising and public relations industry. He spent a decade creating advertising commercials as a Creative Director for a Key Agency of General Motors. Then, started his own agency, growing it the old-fashioned way with one client referring the next. Eventually, he would create work for leading brands in boating, recreational products, lawn and garden, and aerospace engineering. After 12 years, he drew his agency to a close to focus on a family interest – public education. Dan’s wife is a school principal and they both realized that education needed better communication to counter the endless criticisms from politicians, the media, and parents. He spent the next decade changing the public perception of schools in Colorado with brand storytelling. Beleaguered school districts won over the hearts and financial support of their communities, passing unprecedented tax initiatives to ensure schools were better supported.

Recently, Dan and his wife became empty-nesters – their youngest of three daughters went off to college. They took the opportunity to dream a little and be intentional about their next steps. His wife remained in education and is the principal of an elementary school in Healdsburg, and Dan decided to do what he loves most – helping businesses succeed through brand storytelling.

Some of the

Brands we’ve created for