What is a Communications Strategist?
A communications strategist solves problems. That’s what I do for individuals and businesses. Whether it is creating a communications plan, message training executives, staff or volunteers, working on crisis communications, or creating a content marketing or social media plan, I am here to help.
Which services do you provide?
I create communications strategies and actionable plans, engage in media/message trainings, develop messages and generate content, SEO, curate media lists, host webinars, train PR professionals in the art of the pitch, edit materials, brainstorm ideas, perfect social media campaigns, execute crisis communication plans and more.
How did you get your experience?
While I have worked for an array of individuals, and both nonprofits and for-profit businesses, it is my seven and a half years at Girl Scouts of the USA that really taught me the bulk of my trade. When you work in the communications department of a beloved iconic organization, you deal with every possible issue. Whether or not a person is involved with Girl Scouting, everyone has an opinion of what their opinions and policies should be and I managed every type of issue real and perceived that can happen including but not limited to HR issues, financial questions, general business matters, safety concerns, legal matters, property questions and historical data.
As far as media relations go, I pitched and landed stories in just about every major traditional and new media outlet. In addition to writing the collateral materials and training executives, staff, volunteers, children, members and third party supporters, I also served as spokesperson on hundreds of stories on every conceivable topic from controversial social issues, to the $790 million Girl Scout Cookie Program and leadership opportunities.
Which awards for PR have you received?
- Earned “Best Event PR” by PR Daily for National Girl Scout Cookie Day for 2013 Nonprofit PR Award
- Honored and received an Award of Excellence, Equitrend Youth Brand of the Year in 2012
- Award for outstanding brand repositioning (Year of the Girl, ToGetHerThere.org social cause for balanced leadership in one generation)
- Obtained the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored Brand of the Year in 2012
- Award for high-impact brand leverage for social good (Year of the Girl, ToGetHerThere.org social cause for balanced leadership in one generation –Girl Scouts of the USA Centennial celebrations)
- Distinguished as Overall Grand Champion and Category Champion, Large Business Division, 2012 Social Media Leadership Awards organized by Knowledge@Wharton and Social Strategy1, sponsored by Ernst & Young
- Award for success in overcoming a challenge through use of social media
What makes you different from other PR people?
Other than being a good writer with quick turnaround time, and an innate curiosity, my greatest skills are my abilities to synthesize information and connect seemingly unrelated people, things and issues into cohesive stories and strategies as well as being a problem solver. I make problems go away, and not by sweeping them under a rug.
I am easy to work with and have the ability to bring out the best in people by utilizing kindness, competence, and an appreciation for diversity and humor.
Is there a conflict of interest between your writing and PR work?
No. I always disclose my writing work, and I will not write about anyone or anything I represent without adding a disclaimer. I don’t represent any products. So far, there has been no problem.
What do you look for in a client?
I am open to all sorts of people and organizations. I am happy to provide one-off help, be a contractor, be on retainer and I remain open to more in-depth opportunities for the right fit.
Do you submit RFPs?
I rarely submit RFPs on my own behalf, but I sometimes help others with their work.
Do you still serve as a spokesperson?
I am still interviewed on occasion, but as myself and not as a representative of any organization. Clients may ask for me to speak to the press, which I will do, but now my role is typically to serve as a conduit between them and the media where I happily remain in the background.
Are you willing to travel for work?
Yes. I am happy to travel to any location, provided travel and general expenses are covered by the client.
Do you pitch stories to media?
That depends on the arrangement we make. Typically, I train others to do the pitching after we decide upon the appropriate strategy.
What are your rates?
I work on a sliding scale. I try to accommodate most budgets, but my rate depends on the scope of work.