I wish I’d had the forethought

If I had a nickel for every time I thought “I wish I would have known [specific important tidbit of information] back in the day”…I would have roughly a bazillion nickels. Like, enough nickels that I wouldn’t even need to work. But, I would work anyway because I enjoy what I do. (Too cliché?) And, besides, a bazillion nickels probably doesn’t even add up to that many dollars.

But something I think of often, especially as I’m trying to chronicle my work experience in detail, is this: I sure wish I would have had the forethought to keep samples of all of the work I’ve done over the years. That was not really top of mind when I was starting out because, well, I was 21 and had more pressing things to think about (e.g. Do these slacks really need to be ironed or can I get by with wrinkles in my strictly-professional-attire office?) And, for the few years after that, it may have crossed my mind to bring home work samples and put them in a safe place but I’m sure I lost track of things as I was moving apartments and upgrading personal computers and changing jobs.

So, here I am, 16 years into my career, with not much of an organized portfolio to show for it. Well, wait, I take that back…kind of. I did actually keep a fair bit of work samples–authored articles, earned media placements, executive speeches, speeches for my own speaking engagements–but since my career has evolved in tandem with the internet (thanks, Al Gore!), many of my writing projects are not online. In fact, this is the current state of my portfolio:

Portfolio Binder

So, um, I feel very 2004 having a papers-in-sheet-protectors-in-a-binder portfolio, but there you have it.

Thankfully, though, through little forethought of my own, at least a few of my most recent articles, feature stories and other writing projects are actually online. So, for the sake of gathering some work samples in one spot, here are some things I’ve written over the past few years:

A few news blog posts from my days at Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City:

A laughably small sample of my earned media placements:

Feature articles I wrote for Prescott Parent Magazine

So, there you have a handful of samples. Of course, it merits mentioning that not all of my work lends itself to being posted online. Some of the products of my work, like speech writing and grant writing, aren’t really intended for public consumption and, therefore, wouldn’t have reason to be posted online. And, of course, there is the consulting work that I do, like event coordination and media relations, that doesn’t really involve much writing per se. But, here is a general overview of my experience in those realms:

  • Executive writing: as a supporting writer for several executives, I have written speeches, correspondence, talking points and official corporate documents
  • Additional web and marketing writing: as the lead copywriter for a news blog and a corporate web site and a contributing writer for several other web sites, I have penned hundreds of pages of web copy
  • Grant writing: as the lead grant writer for one organization and contributing grant writer for two other organizations, I have helped bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable and governmental funding
  • Blog coordination: as the primary content coordinator for a news blog, I have experience in working in the WordPress platform and with other similar content management systems (note: I am not, however, an expert on the technical components of blog or website creation and maintenance.)
  • Event coordination: as the lead event coordinator for two organizations,  contributing event coordinator for two other organizations and event committee member for several other organizations, I have helped engage thousands of constituents, land dozens of clients and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Media relations: as the lead media relations manager for two organizations and media relations volunteer for two other organizations, I have pitched proactive story ideas and managed media inquiries that have led to dozens of positive media hits

So, that’s the gist of my professional experience, to the extent such a thing can be tied up neatly in a blog post. Perhaps someday I will streamline my portfolio into a slick, fancy online format (wait, are you saying that my current papers-in-sheet-protectors-in-a-binder arrangement isn’t slick and fancy?). But for now, I would be glad to chat with you if you are interested in further information regarding my experience in writing, public relations or any of the other above-referenced skill sets.

Call me!