First long as I can remember I've had a passion for communicating with people and sharing stories.
At age 10, I started my first newspaper to help neighbors connect. I was the editor and my best friend and sister were the editorial assistants. From designing the masthead, creating story ideas, and writing articles, I loved being creative, communicating ideas, and connecting others.
At age 10 (center) taking a break from producing our neighborhood newspaper. This was the beginning of my writing and creative endeavors.
Predictably, our newspaper folded after five issues. We didn’t have a strong editorial plan and my assistants grew tired of writing. I sure wish I had kept copies of my work.
During high school I was fascinated by business communication and decided on a career in public relations. My friends thought I was crazy for enrolling in early admissions and skipping my senior year, but I was glad to make the leap. Knocking out two years of college credits and completing entry-level classes was a smart decision.
High School and College: Fast Track to Advertising
Early enrollment allowed me to focus on what I wanted to learn, which by this time was an advertising degree at Florida State University. My goals were still the same: communicating with people and sharing stories, although through advertising it was a bit more persuasive.
My best memories were late nights spent with my fellow student team members developing advertising campaigns for American Airlines and Kellogg’s cereal. Writing campaign proposals and producing presentation graphics on my early 1990s Apple Macintosh filled most of my senior year. I sure wish I had kept copies of my advertising presentations and even that early Mac SE!
Three years later it was time for my next leap, and I had my sights on the West Coast and graduate school. It was a big move at age 21, but the lure of new adventures and Southern California were too good to pass up.
Graduation day at FSU. We got engaged the very next day!
Graduate School: All Things Public Relations
Settling in Orange County, California two weeks after graduation, I enrolled in a master’s degree program in public relations with a strong emphasis in journalism writing. There I learned to tighten my writing skills, develop solid research skills, and craft strategic public relations plans. The Elements of Style and the Associated Press Handbook were my lifelines.
Technology has come far since my grad school days. Notice the clunky laptop?
Before social media, the idea of connecting with like-minded professionals was by face-to-face networking. In grad school, the Public Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) helped me connect with influential public relations executives. For two years, I held leadership positions, wrote for the regional student newsletter, and travelled regularly to their annual conferences to connect with other up-and-coming student leaders.
Internships: Learning the Ropes
Education and networking were important, but I knew work experience would be my best teacher. The internships I held in college and graduate school helped me narrow down my interests.
My first internship was as a promotion assistant for at a local FOX television station in Florida. The job was fun, but I realized early on the television promotions field, while exciting, was not for me.
As a marketing intern at a children's hospital, I got to dress up a CHOCO the Bear and delight children at special events.
In Southern California, there was no shortage of companies offering hands-on (but unpaid) experience. My mentors at each internship taught me important life lessons and journalistic writing skills that I use to this day.
I enjoyed my time as a marketing intern at a children’s hospital (I got to dress up as the bear mascot at events and write about it too) and generating publicity for the World Cup as a sports marketing intern at the international public relations agency, Hill and Knowlton (now H & K Strategies).
My second year of grad school I landed a year-long paid internship as an editorial assistant at a bank’s corporate communications department where I wrote for company publications, assisted with editorial strategy, and interviewed executives.
Here I am so happy in my cubicle where I worked for a year as an editorial assistant. I was offered a full-time job, but Florida was calling me home.
The two years I spent interning, along with a part-time PR job at my school, honed my writing skills and provided invaluable insight to business communications.
Goodbye California, Hello Again, Florida
Upon graduation, I moved back to Florida and embarked on my professional career in marketing communication. With 20 years experience in mostly small businesses, I’ve been fortunate to build a solid foundation of business writing and marketing communication strategy.
I have since worked as a communication manager for a museum, a marketing director for a law firm and as an executive director/marketing director for a B2B industry member association where I’ve worked closely with many professional services companies.
Welcoming 1,500 attendees to our member association's annual conference in Orlando, Florida. Event planning is another facet of my work experience.
Today, I am still passionate about connecting with people and sharing stories. With the shift from traditional advertising and public relations practices to today's ever-changing digital marketing, it’s now more important than ever to make these connections.
Because, isn’t that what marketing is all about? Communicating effectively, sharing information, and building trust?
I think so, and my 10 year-old-self would agree too!
How Can I Help You Share Your Story?
As I've detailed above, since age 10, I’ve been passionate about connecting with people and telling stories. That’s why my mission is to help small businesses and online entrepreneurs with digital marketing messging strategies and copywriting that connect, captivate, and convert.
I’d love to know more about your marekting and messaing needs? What are your struggles? Let's discuss you marekting messaging so you can better attract, convert, close and delight customers.
Let's connect and learn how my services fit your needs. Contact me for a complimentary 15-minute marketing messaging consultation.
Let's Make Your Marekting Message Ignite
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