My first set of master’s degrees in History and Journalism kicked off a 25-year career in journalism, communications, and public relations. Here’s what I did from 1994 to 2019. This doesn’t include a couple of short-term jobs at newspapers in Boca Raton, Fla., and Charlottesville, Va. I am now using all of these skills in my current career path in environmental advocacy and progressive organizing.
Public Relations Coordinator, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (2006-2019)
- Created strategic marketing and communications plan. Identified target audiences, established public relations goals and objectives, and promoted key messages through multiple media outlets. Implemented public relations for an average of 50 speakers and 10 conferences per year.
- Recast Mershon Center annual report to showcase faculty research. Wrote all content and took or obtained all pictures. Converted publication to full color. Built mailing list to reach key audiences at Ohio State, peer institutions, and government. Letters of commendation from Presidents Karen Holbrook and E. Gordon Gee and VP of Research Caroline Whitacre.
- Launched six websites to showcase events, grants, and research. Wrote content and built sites in Drupal, Joomla, Dreamweaver and WordPress. 6,900 visits per month from 169 countries.
- Started Mershon Memo newsletter, including quarterly print version and weekly electronic updates. Wrote and designed all content using InDesign, Photoshop, and Constant Contact.
- Conducted center’s media relations. Wrote feature stories and connected journalists with faculty experts. Instituted tracking of media hits in news stories, blogs and social media – 495 in 2016-17.
- Directed Mershon Center social media communications through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Twitter account earned almost 1 million impressions in 2017-18.
Communications Specialist, CareSource Management Group, Dayton, Ohio (2003-06)
- Led media relations for CareSource Management Group and three Medicaid health care plans. Created public relations plan, established goals and objectives, developed key metrics. Identified key outlets, pitched stories, promoted key messages. Media placement tripled from 2004-05.
- Led communications for Community Choice Michigan. Worked with directors to create strategic communications plan, including goals and objectives, key messages, and key metrics.
- Wrote and edited newsletters, fliers, brochures, handbooks, and manuals for members, providers, and other stakeholders. Worked with designers and printers to produce materials.
- Worked with cross-functional team to select contractor to design four company websites. Established design requirements. Created navigation and content for Michigan and Indiana sites.
- Led internal communications through weekly employee newsletter and Intranet site.
- Wrote 12 winning nominations for company health care and business awards.
Copy Editor, Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio (2002-03)
- Edited local, state, national, international and business stories.
- Wrote headlines and cutlines for the 150,000-circulation daily newspaper.
- Designed A section, local and jump pages using DTI.
Associate Editor, Council of State Governments, Lexington, Ky. (2000-02)
- Planned and edited content for State Government News, a monthly newsmagazine covering all branches of government in the 50 states and territories.
- Wrote several cover stories including “How fair is the death penalty?” “Sound Science 101,” “Women find a home in state government,” and “Mixing Politics and Prescriptions.”
- Won the Gold Circle Trophy for Best General Interest Article from the American Society of Association Executives for “How fair is the death penalty?”
- Led production of “The States United,” a special issue on state responses to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Issue went from conception to print in 10 days; normal lead time was eight weeks.
Nation and World News Editor, Copy Editor, Dow-Jones Copy Editing Intern, Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky. (1995-99)
- Used news judgment to select national and international stories to run on the front page
and A section of the 125,000-circulation daily newspaper.
- Selected and combined versions of A section stories from among wire services.
- Created the newspaper’s weekly science page, “Frontiers.”
Police and Courts Reporter, Schurz Communications (1994-95)
- Covered the police and courts beat for The Times-Mail of Bedford, Ind., and The Herald-Times
of Bloomington, Ind. Wrote about crime, accidents, fires, and major court cases.
- Wrote a 13-part series on rising rate of juvenile crime in southern Indiana.
Photo Credit: Chad Stephens