-- For SDG&E, during 1991 when merger activity overextended the in-house corporate communications staff, I was involved with completing extensive writing assignments, including news releases, memos to editors, stories for employee newsletter and ghost-written articles for the President, CEO, CFO and other executives. In addition, I wrote various financial brochures on the company's future plans. The target audience included financial analysts and institutional investors across the country.
-- For SAIC, I was responsible for publicity with the introduction and continued promotion of a laptop ruggedized computer. I also directed publicity efforts for a line of high-tech plasma gas computer display screens. For both products, I wrote product news releases, contract award news releases, Marketing Bulletins, fact sheets, specification sheets, specific sales brochures and technical feature articles for engineers to read in trade journals. In addition, in Washington, D.C., I arranged visits and escorted company executives to meetings with Congressional staffers for one-on-one product demonstrations of the laptop computer and company capabilities presentations.
-- For General Instrument Corp.'s VideoCipher Division (home satellite TV dish industry), I worked as in-house Public Relations Manager. I was responsible for media relations and communications strategy and positioning. Sixteen different audiences, ranging from U.S. Congress to regional sales reps and small-town retail dealers, were identified with relevant communication corresponding to each. I was responsible for an average of more than 20,000 inches of national news media editorial coverage each month. Articles appeared in major national publications, including The New York Times, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, along with many regional and local newspapers and TV stations. In addition, I wrote and placed news releases, fact sheets, feature articles, company backgrounders, industry white papers and status reports, forecasting summaries, sales brochures, mat service articles and advertorials for various trade publications. Topics included the future of high-definition TV and emerging trends in pay-per-view and cable TV, along with the growth in the home dish satellite TV market and the technical advantages and intricacies of descramblers and other complex TV broadcast equipment. I also assisted in the writing, production and photography direction for three monthly newsletters and a quarterly, four-color, 16-page magazine for customers and employees. And I assisted with community relations efforts, including evaluating requests for funds for philanthropic causes and determining the disbursement of corporate contributions to local non-profit organizations.
-- For Excel Interfinancial Corp., a local publicly traded company offering financial investment services, I coordinated publicity activities, including news media coverage of annual shareholders meeting, placement of stories in the financial trade publications read by the securities broker/dealer network and placement of personality profile stories about corporate executives, along with earnings reports. Each publicity story resulted in the successful recruitment of additional investors and enhanced NASDAQ stock solidification.
-- For Chicago Title Insurance Co., I directed San Diego-area publicity activities for five-and-a-half years. Publicity efforts were a key factor in maintaining marketshare in a very competitive market. Excellent media relations were invaluable in preserving credibility for the company, which underwent two mergers in four years.
-- For Presley of San Diego, I helped organize a special public event designed to establish name recognition for a new residential community. The event was Southern California's largest-ever Hot Air Balloon Festival, attended by 40,000 people over a two-day period in 1988. Awareness surveys after the event revealed dramatic before-and-after differences, and new home sales increased substantially in the following months. My included responsibilities coordinating pre-event publicity (writing and media relations for local coverage) and event media relations, including acting as local tour guide for travel writers. Also, I assisted with ongoing publicity activities for Presley of San Diego, joint developers of Carmel Mountain Ranch with Home Capital Development Group.
-- For Turntec (a new running shoe), I directed product publicity and company positioning for the nationwide introduction of a new running shoe, which sold 70,000 pair the first year. Publicity activities included: press kid preparation; publicity at national trade shows; product publicity in running magazines. I coordinated editorial coverage in USA TODAY, People Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, along with broadcast coverage on ESPN, CNN. I also accompanied the company president on a media tour to New York City, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
-- For Roger's Gardens nursery, botanical garden & tourist attraction, I coordinated special event publicity for a Christmas display of lights and tree decorations, which was attended by an estimated 250,000 person over two months. Publicity success included newspaper feature articles, remote broadcasts by TV weathermen, segments on "PM Magazine," articles in Woman's Day, Sunset and calendar mentions in travel and airline publications. Publicity continued after Christmas for springtime planting and hanging basket demonstrations and home gardening classes.
-- For the Copley Publishing Co., I was responsible for PR activities for the 1992 San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper merger. Activities included media relations (press conferences, interviews with U-T executives, writing prepared press statements for U-T executives), PR counsel and special event preparation (Helen Copley-hosted luncheon for 550 community leaders). Reluctant newspaper executives were later ecstatic with the execution of PR strategies, which consisted of shifting news media attention away from layoffs and the loss of a big-city newspaper to the just-around-the-corner arrival of the new newspaper.
-- For Thermoscan, the first ear thermometer for consumers, I was involved with the product's nationwide introduction. Activities included media relations, researching news media in target cities and revising press kit materials and VNR. In addition, I wrote a plan for investor relations, crisis communications and general publicity. News media placements included Reader's Digest, The Today Show (NBC) and Self magazine.
-- For Invitrogen, Inc., a biomedical company, I wrote an extensive backgrounder-and-press kit that has been sent to bankers and potential investors, as well as reporters. The document covered the company's history, its struggling first steps, the industry and company's growth and future plans. Biographies of the management team revealed personal philosophies and visions for the future, rather than dull and basic facts that might appear in a prospectus.
-- For the Hotel St. James, a remodeled downtown hotel, I helped develop the publicity campaign, which focused on the property's turn-of-the-century, historical aspects. The result was the landmark and its restaurant became known as popular luncheon attraction with an "old-world-romanticism" theme. The campaign produced enhanced visibility, greater revenue for the restaurant and higher occupancy rates.
-- For ExecuTrain, a PC computer training company, I directed publicity efforts which included ghost-written guest columns which appeared in local business newspapers. The columns, with the by-line of the client, offered consumer tips for choosing the right PC training company. The tips reflected the key selling points of ExecuTrain, and helped position the company as an authority in the industry.
-- For several professional golf tournaments, including PGA and LPGA events, I coordinated press room activities, along with pre-tournament and post-tournament publicity. Credibility with the news media was essential as story themes, which were favorable to the tournament sponsor, were recommended to reporters. Crisis communication strategies were utilized frequently. The result was a smooth-running tournament and solving dilemmas before they became publicly known.
-- For The Fieldstone Company (home builders), I assisted on publicity activities for several new residential communities. I was successful at revamping, dull, boilerplate-style real estate news releases by digging deeper to find unusual or unknown angles.
-- For Western Mutual Mortgage (independent, local mortgage brokerage firm), I coordinated publicity activities that focused the company, its successes and several new housing developments. The campaign included company "image positioning" consisting of positive newspaper stories about the company president making predictions about mortgage interest rates, offering local analysis of national news announcements about new home loan ceiling amounts from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and commenting about emerging trends and new issues in the mortgage brokerage industry. For example, one feature story had the company president comparing today's modern mortgage brokers to "travel agents for the financing industry." Publicity also included announcements about the completion of major, new financing deals and investments, along with routine updates about the construction and grand opening of two small, single-family subdivision of 24 units and 28 units, and a 25-unit condominium community.
-- For LandGrant Development (commercial builders), I coordinated publicity activities that focused on the company's success in the development of commercial properties, with a specialization in shopping centers. I directed publicity on projects valued at more than $100 that were located throughout the southwestern United States. We also focused publicity that spotlighted the company's expertise as a private consultant to shopping center owners and syndications by providing counsel on property values and management techniques. One major news media placement was a front-page story in the Sunday real estate section about the company's compassionate sensitivity in relocating low-income elderly residents of a dilapidated inner-city mobile home park to make room for a new shopping center. Another positive placement was coverage about how a 13-acre shopping center, located in an "Enterprise Zone," helped to revitalize an economically depressed urban neighborhood.
-- For McKellar Development of La Jolla (commercial & home builders), I assisted on publicity activities for the introductory phases in 1988 of Renaissance-La Jolla, a 114-acre, $500 million, master-planned community that is expected to be built over the next ten to 15 years (involved in changing the name from The Village of Five Creeks). Feature stories and news releases were written on a variety of topics, including the developer's contribution of $10 million in Facility Benefit Assessment funds toward a new 29-acre community park and traffic improvements in San Diego's Golden Triangle area. I oversaw the research of material on the old world architectural elements of the Italian Baroque and Renaissance periods for an award-winning feature story on the community's architectural style, including its pergolas. Activities also included recommending street names, adapted from towns and villages located in the Tuscany region of Northern Italy.
-- For The Douglas Allred Company (commercial & home builders, I directed publicity activities for several residential and commercial projects. News releases were written for several specialized audiences; for a single-family patio home community, active retirees or semi-retired couples were targeted; for a condominium community, professional singles and first-time buyers were targeted; for a for-rent condominium complex, unrelated singles were targeted. The publicity campaign included organizing and directing media coverage of special events, grand openings, promotions and charity benefits (these included a South Pacific Food and Travel Fair, tennis tournaments and exhibitions, celebrity appearances.
-- For U.S. Filter (ultra pure water treatment company), I assisted on publicity for this public company which grew from about $25 million to $100 million in annual revenues as a result of acquiring complimentary businesses and larger competitors. Publicity tools included Fact Sheets, Backgrounders and News Releases about the acquisitions and the new strengths of the larger parent company with its latest subsidiaries. The company was positioned as a leading clean water environmental authority and the nation's premier manufacturer of water treatment, filtration and wastewater treatment equipment. Publicity opportunities in trade publications were tracked with a year-long editorial calendar.
-- For The Backworks Total Gym (medical rehab exercise equipment), marketing activities included magazine print ads with endorsements from famous back surgeons and a free video offer, along with news releases and feature stories on the benefits of the back exercise equipment in trade, health-related magazines. Efforts also included the scripting, directing the location shooting in Northern California and the studio editing of a sales video that was distributed to respondents to print ads and rehabilitation back clinics in the Western states. The video included interviews with satisfied patients and voice-over product demonstrations with "name" back surgeon. Target audience included physical therapists, osteopaths, rheumatologists, chiropractors and back surgeons and specialists, along with insurance companies, attorneys and other professionals involved in workmen's compensation. Equipment was sold through mail order advertising, field sales reps and appearances at medical conventions sponsored by the American Back Society. Print ad headlines included: "Let Your Patients Work Out Their Problems Themselves;" "Back Full Strength Thanks To The Backworks;" "What's a nice guy like you doing to a joint like this?" and "The Final Stretch On the Road to Complete Recovery."