My career is officially 30+ years as a newspaper reporter, but my talent and niche is digital content and social media. In fall 2017, I was named Digital Team Leader for The Monroe News, a daily newspaper in Monroe, Michigan.
I have nearly 20 years experience on a personal level and 11 years experience on a professional level in website content and social media. This is in addition to nearly 3 years of taking professional training courses in SEO concepts and social media best practices. As a result, the social media accounts I host, co-host or consult with consistently have a history of performing better in terms of fan numbers and community engagement than those that I have no involvement with.
An example: the 2016 Best of GateHouse awards honored The Monroe News in third place in its division for Social Media Excellence. This was our newsroom’s first social media award and an impressive one as we competed in a division that had staffs two or three times our size. My involvement was critical because during 2016, I hosted the newsroom’s Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts; and co-hosted our Facebook accounts. I also assembled the portfolio for that award based on screenshots, reports and metrics that I had been keeping and tracking on our accounts.
Another example: Monroe on a Budget, a blog project that I conceived, launched and ran from 2007-2015. It was the most successful blog hosted by our newsroom. At its peak, the site had over 30,000 page views a month. While it is true that the interest in personal finance was fed by the recession; my site also consistently ranked among the top 200 across the country on that specific topic. A recap of that project can be found here.
Then in 2017, I was assigned to the Christmas Magic in Monroe – Parade and Winter Wonderland task force. When The Monroe News became a presenting sponsor of Monroe’s Christmas parade, the sponsorship included much of the planning and logistics. My duties included writing most of the in-house preview content, working with our marketing team on social media and assisting on media relations for visiting media.
In addition, my accomplishments include:
- Grew The Monroe News’ Twitter account to over 16,000 fans. I have been the lead reporter running this account since its launch in 2009. The vast majority of the followers are from our geographic area as shown by Twitter analytics and the content they respond to.
- Built up over 9,000 followers on my main Twitter, despite a rebranding of the account’s purpose after my personal finance site ended in 2015.
- Grew the Twitter account for Bedford Now, a weekly publication of The Monroe News, from 285 fans from when I took it over in 2015 to over 1,900 less than three years later.
- Content and community management duties for newsroom and personal brand Facebook pages since 2010.
- Earned over 111,000 organic reach on a post I made in May 2017 on a page that had 31,000 fans at the time. It was a breaking news bulletin. But it also was a branded graphic that carried our logo and website to everyone who saw it. Impact: it was the fifth highest post ever tracked on The Monroe News’ Facebook page.
- Earned over 1,000 new fans in two weeks using only organic reach and community engagement on a special project page I ran in spring 2014.
- Presented timing recommendations and applied behind-the-scenes strategies that contributed to noticeable growth on The Monroe News’ Facebook page during 2016.
- My personal finance blog Facebook page had over 1,500 fans when the blog project was done.
Other social accounts
- Doubled the fan base in two years working The Monroe News Instagram account so that the fan base is now over 3,800.
- Launched and ran The Monroe News Pinterest since launch in 2011, to include adding branded cover images and a showcase gallery in 2016.
- Created video content for my own and newsroom accounts via Facebook Live, Lumen5, Vine, Tout and YouTube.
- Experienced with third party tools such as Tweetdeck, Storify, Post Planner and Hootsuite for curating content, analyzing results, scheduling posts and monitoring social conversations.
- Created hundreds of images with file art and stock art via Canva and Snappa for use on both the newsroom’s and my personal websites and social media.
- Have made content and timing recommendations using Google Analytics, WordPress analytics and social media dashboards.
- Experienced in content management systems and calendar databases such as WordPress, Ellington, Saxotech, Helios and EvieSays.
Marketing and communications
- Edited a company newsletter at my former workplace.
- Wrote copy and designed images for social media marketing efforts.
- Handled committee recording secretary duties.
- Gave radio interviews and made presentations at public appearances as part of the Monroe on a Budget project.
- Wrote the press release and assembled the press kit for the 2017 Christmas Magic in Monroe – Parade and Winter Wonderland.
- Assisted visiting media with their logistics and questions for the 2017 Christmas Magic in Monroe – Parade and Winter Wonderland event.
- Submitted 2017 Christmas Magic in Monroe – Parade and Winter Wonderland event information to calendar websites such as the Pure Michigan calendar on Michigan.gov.
- Writing awards include third place breaking news and first place lifestyles from Associated Press Society of Ohio for work when I was at the News Herald in Port Clinton, Ohio.
- Photography awards include several county fair photography ribbons from Monroe County Fair in Monroe, Michigan, and Sandusky County Fair in Fremont, Ohio.
- Blogging awards include the 2014 Green Apple Award from Monroe Bank & Trust on recognition of the Monroe on a Budget project.
See what I can do
- Look up my resume / CV page or my LinkedIn.
- Look over my skill set and see samples of my social media work.
- See the list of social media management and marketing classes I’ve worked on.
- Read an award-winning breaking news article.
- Read one of my favorite feature articles.
- Read one of my favorite multi-media journalist pieces.
- Reach out at my email contact form.
I also have a portfolio in hard copy format featuring website and social media work from 2017 that can be made available upon request.