Resume / curriculum vitae for Paula Wethington of Monroe, Michigan.
Downloadable / PDF format: Paula Wethington resume
Social media experience:
- Twitter. Posting trending topics, promotional messages, and breaking news alerts on multiple Twitter accounts on behalf of The Monroe News, a daily newspaper in Monroe, Mich. My work included conducting reader polls, selecting content, answering questions, curating lists, creating widgets and reporting analytics. Success stories include building up @monroenews to over 16k followers; additionally, over 85 percent of them are from our target geographic area. My main Twitter has over 9k followers; my local news Twitter has over 900 followers. Brand experience 2009-present.
- Facebook. One of the admins on The Monroe News main Facebook page, which has over 30,000 fans. Also hosted or co-hosted multiple spinoff Facebook pages for our newsroom. Duties included using Facebook Insights to make content and scheduling recommendations, researching best practices, reporting analytics. Brand experience 2010-present.
- Other social media. Hosted or co-hosted The Monroe News’ Instagram, Pinterest, Storify, Vine and Tout accounts in addition to liaison and moderator on a newsroom bulletin board. Success stories include more than doubling the followers on The Monroe News’ Instagram accont during 2016. 2006-present.
- Special tools. Experienced in using Canva, Snappa, Hootsuite, IFFT, PostPlanner, Tweepi, Lumen5, ManageFlitter and Tweetdeck to create, curate and schedule content; along with community management tasks. 2014-present.
Web content experience:
- MonroeNews.com. Work with other reporters and editors in writing, selecting and scheduling website content for the The Monroe News, a daily newspaper in Monroe, Mich. My expertise includes quickly assembling and posting breaking news content, adding embeds and reference links to articles, applying Search Engine Optimization concepts to headlines and content, and creating a graphics library from file art and stock art. 2006-present.
- MonroeOnaABudget.com. Launched and authored Monroe on a Budget, a WordPress-based site that was nationally ranked by both WiseBread and Money Crashers as a top 200 personal finance blog. The project resulted in numerous speaking requests in the community; in addition, the radio and television interviews included two guest spots on public radio’s Marketplace. A companion print column ran for three years in The Monroe News. 2007-2015.
- The Monroe News, Monroe, Mich. Reporter and backup photographer for a daily newspaper in Monroe, Mich., and its spinoff publications with spot news, general features, public service announcements, community news and government meetings. The Monroe News was employee owned until 2015, it is now part of GateHouse Media. 2000-present.
- The News-Messenger, Fremont, Ohio, and the News Herald, Port Clinton, Ohio. Reporter on police, city hall and education beats; backup photographer, some copyediting. Both of these newspapers are Gannett publications. 1988-2000.
- The State in Columbia S.C. Part-time copy desk assistant at a morning newspaper. 1986.
Public relations / internal communications experience:
- Secretary for The Monroe News employee council. January 2014-September 2015.
- Speaking engagements and promotional booth duties on behalf of The Monroe News. 2000-present.
- Company newsletter editor for The News-Messenger and The News Herald. 1991-1999.
- Student job shadow host at The News-Messenger and The Monroe News. Occasional assignments, 1993-present.
College and continuing education:
- University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., bachelor of arts in journalism, 1988.
- Poynter Institute’s News University. Multiple online classes and certificates completed. 2014-2017.
- Facebook Blueprint. Multiple training modules completed. 2015-2017.
- Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certificate. Completed in 2016.
- Hootsuite Certified Professional. Completed in 2015.
- Kate Buck Jr.’s Social Media Manager Pro and Website Pro courses. Completed in 2015.
- Best of GateHouse Social Media Excellence, Third place, Division B, 2016. This was a team award to The Monroe News; however, I host/co-host most of the newsroom’s social media accounts and prepared the portfolio for the contest.
- Monroe Bank & Trust Green Apple Award, 2014. This recognizes the impact noticed in the Monroe community with the Monroe on a Budget personal finance blog site.
- Associated Press Society of Ohio, Third place, Breaking news, 1999. This award honored my efforts to cover a fatal highway crash that happened on a foggy morning near Port Clinton, Ohio.
ADDITIONAL DATES AND DETAILS (C.V.)
Here is a more detailed look at my nearly 30 years in the newspaper business:
- Bedford Now, a division of The Monroe News in Monroe, Mich. General assignments reporter and occasional photographer for a weekly newspaper covering the suburban Toledo communities of Lambertville and Temperance. February 2015-present.
- The Monroe News, Monroe, Mich. Reporter and occasional photographer for a daily newspaper in Monroe, Mich., with assignments such as breaking news, features, government meetings, calendar listings. My favorite pieces included a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the Miss Monroe County pageant, a feature about a day at a NASCAR race in which I was both photographer and reporter, and an in-depth look at how the student loan crisis affected Monroe-area college graduates and dropouts. The Monroe News became a GateHouse Media company in fall 2015; previously it was employee-owned and I was among the employee owners. 2000-present.
- The News Herald, a Gannett newspaper, Port Clinton, Ohio. I was the newsroom’s lead reporter and occasional photographer with numerous breaking news stories during the late 1990s. This included being the only reporter on the scene of a 20-car pileup that happened during heavy fog (state troopers let our newsroom know when it was safe to go there); and also the first reporter at the city dock after we got word there was an accident involving a ferry boat. Also at various times handled the police / court, city hall beat and tourism beats. Awards included Associated Press Society of Ohio Third Place Division I Breaking News in 1999; and Associated Press Society of Ohio First Place Lifestyle Division I Lifestyle in 1999. Reporter 1997-2000; Reporter 1988-1988; Intern in summer 1988.
- The News-Messenger, a Gannett newspaper, Fremont, Ohio. Reporter assigned at various times to village councils, police / court and education beats; occasional photographer, some copyediting, also the newsroom librarian duties. I hosted or co-hosted several reader focus group meetings during 1993-1997 and mentored junior high and high school student visitors through their job shadow experiences in 1994 and 1996. My favorite assignments included a day as a circus clown in which I was both reporter and photographer, a precursor to today’s “multimedia reporter” duties. Reporter from 1989-1997.
- The State in Columbia S.C. Part-time copy runner whose duties included assisting copy editors and writing obituaries. Summer and fall 1986.
I also had a long track record in student media. That included:
- The Carolina Reporter at University of South Carolina. I was appointed city editor during my cohort’s editing rotation at our journalism school’s weekly newspaper. During our reporting rotation, I covered city hall and statehouse news. Spring 1988.
- The Gamecock at University of South Carolina. I served one semester as news editor, two as assistant news editor, two as features editor, and other terms as reporter for what was then a three-day a week newspaper run by the students. Assignments included covering visits to campus by Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan. Fall 1985-fall 1987.
- The BG News at Bowling Green State University. Reporter on general assignments. Summer 1985.
- The Chatter at Fremont Ross High School, Fremont, Ohio. This monthly student newspaper nearly shut down during my junior year when the editor stepped down unexpectedly. During fall of my senior year, I took over as editor in chief, recruited a new advisor and staff, re-signed the printing contracts, and handed it over upon graduation to the next group of student leaders. During my junior and sophomore years, I served as clubs and organizations editor.
Web editor and blog experience:
Much of what I have done in web editing and production has been related to my duties at The Monroe News. This includes:
- MonroeNews.com. Work with other reporters and editors in writing, curating and posting content to The Monroe News’ daily newspaper’s website. I have handled web editor duties during numerous breaking news situations such as severe weather warnings, Amber alerts, a fatal plane crash and two high profile murder investigations. My niche includes monitoring and jumping into trending topics, adding inbound and outbound links to content, creating Canva graphics and providing timely social media support. The content management systems I have used for the website are Ellington and Saxotech Online; we also used WordPress for specific projects. 2006-present.
- BedfordNow.com. Bedford Now is a weekly hyperlocal publication of The Monroe News aimed at the communities of Temperance and Lambertville, Mich. In addition to writing most of the local news copy, I look for and curate county and state news copy for the website. February 2015-present.
- MonroeOnaABudget.com. Launched, authored and ran a personal finance website via WordPress format as a digital media project for The Monroe News. We did not previously have a personal finance beat as part of the local assignments. The focus was headlines, public service announcements and money-saving tips for southeast Michigan residents. Recurring topics included couponing, paying for college and everyday family expenses. The project was hugely popular with our readers. Monroe on a Budget was honored as a top 200 personal finance blog by both MoneyCrashers and WiseBread; was promoted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube; and a spinoff weekly column ran for three years in The Monroe News. I also had numerous public speaking appearances that included keynote speaker at the Ladies Day program at the 2010 Monroe County Fair; webchats on special topics; guest spots on WMIM 98.3 FM in Monroe, Mich.; TV appearances on Fox 36 Toledo and Rebecca Regnier’s Full Plate syndicated lifestyle show; and two radio interviews for Marketplace Money. January 2007-March 2015.
- Other blogs that I hosted or co-hosted for The Monroe News on our self-hosted WordPress community included Road to the Crown (a pageant news blog) 2012-2014, Behind the Headlines (a newsroom blog) 2007-2012, and Social Butterflies (a social media blog.) 2012-2013.
Social media experience:
The Monroe News’ digital media push since 2006 is considered a team effort; we do not have a digital editor. That being said, I have the experience and responsibilities that many newsrooms call social media editor or community engagement editor.
For example, I earned the nickname of “newsroom social media liaison” in 2009 while tactfully handling a public relations crisis that erupted on our reader forum. Then in 2012, my job title officially was expanded to include the “social media team member” at a time when we were formalizing which person would handle which digital duties.
Most recently, I prepared the portfolio and am directly responsible for some of the accounts that were part of The Monroe News social media entry in Best of GateHouse 2016 contest. This was the first year that Social Media Excellence was among the evaluations, and we won third place in our division for that category.
Here are a few specifics:
- Twitter. Duties include posting breaking news, trending topics and promotional content; I have also set up automated content feeds for the newsroom Twitter accounts. I have conducted reader polls, scheduled content via HootSuite and TweetDeck, forwarded customer service questions to co-workers, used searches to find and follow our target audiences, monitored and reported analytics, and taught co-workers and friends how to set up or use their accounts. Success stories: I pushed the Monroe News’ Twitter account from 5,000 followers in January 2014 to over 16,000 in August 2017. I also pushed the Bedford Now Twitter count from 285 fans when I took it over in February 2015 to over 1,800 in August 2017. On both accounts, Twitter shows that the vast majority of our fans are from our geographic target area of Michigan and Ohio, and our most engaged fans are 25 and younger based on the content they respond to. Brand experience 2009-present.
- Facebook. Co-hosted the Monroe News Facebook page since its launch in fall 2010; started hosting the Bedford Now Facebook page in February 2015. I have also hosted Facebook pages for special projects such as our former parenting magazine. Duties included posting and scheduling content; answering and referring customer questions; monitoring and reporting analytics. Success stories included pushing the Bedford Now Facebook from 1,670 followers in January 2015, which was just before I was assigned to run that page; to over 3,600 in August 2017. Brand experience on Facebook 2010-present.
- Instagram. This is a huge success story. We hd tried different things over the years with Instagram; but it really wasn’t building an audience. I revived what was then a pretty quiet account in August 2015 with a consistent level of activity of two to three images a week focusing on scenes from across our community. That’s what finally clicked. The numbers jumped from what was a fan count of 480 in August 2015 to over 3,900 fans by August 2017.
- Google +. I co-hosted the Monroe News’ account upon its launch and currently manage it. This has been an off-and-on effort as we are not sure how many followers are from our geographic area; however, I still post several links a week in hopes of boosting search engine results for our site and that content.
- Reader forum. I was a beta tester and co-moderator of the Monroe News reader forum site upon its launch in 2006. Moderation duties eventually dwindled, the community pretty much answers itself now.
- Pinterest. I launched the Monroe News’ Pinterest account in 2011, and soon afterward it was included in the “Newspapers on Pinterest” blog. In addition to a place to post links, Pinterest became a place to showcase the personality of the Monroe County community and create special topic boards for use as multimedia embeds.
- Video apps. I co-hosted both the Vine and Tout accounts for The Monroe News when they were launched. In May 2016, The Monroe News moved to a corporate account for Tout; and while that channel was a shared responsibility, I was one of the consistent contributors.
In addition to the backup photographer for breaking news and feature assignments, this is what I have done in photography.
- Original file art for Monroe on a Budget, Monroe News and Bedford Now. To fill in the gaps noticed in our newsroom’s file art library and stock art subscription, I took dozens of photos that were intended for use as file images in blog posts, website articles and print features. Examples include a public beach “red flag” station warning of dangerous current conditions, theater seats in a high school auditorium, an Easter table setting as shown at right, and piles of notebooks for back to school features.
- Amateur photography bookings included taking a professional portrait for my brother when he needed a publicity image, along with taking my daughter’s engagement photos for newspaper publication and “save the date” cards.
- Several ribbons in the Advanced Amateur division at the photography open class contest at the Sandusky County Fair in Fremont, Ohio. 1990-1999.
- Participated off and on in the photography amateur open class contest at the Monroe County Fair in Monroe, Mich. 2000-present.
My husband works in radio, as do several of our friends, so I’m familiar with what they do and how they do it in today’s digital world; although I haven’t operated an audio mix board since I was a college radio DJ. Here’s what I have done in broadcasting:
- WUSC 90.5 FM in Columbia, S.C. Took the training and license exam to be a disk jockey at the student-run alternative station at University of South Carolina; after which hosted a weekly dance, techno-pop and novelty show; occasionally handled news anchor duties. Summer and fall 1986.
- Guest interview spots on WMIM 98.3 FM in Monroe, Mich., and other radio and TV guest appearances as noted under the digital media category / Monroe on a Budget entry. They included a February 2014 interview on Marketplace Money. 2012-2014.
Publicity and communications experience:
Quite a bit of my job duties and volunteer work fits in with traditional public relations and internal communications work. This includes:
- Designated representative at community events on behalf of The Monroe News. This includes booth shifts at the Monroe County Fair and the Bedford Business Association Trade Fair. 2000-present.
- Company newsletter editor for The News-Messenger and The News Herald. Wrote and edited copy for monthly employee publication. 1991-1999.
- Promotional social media content for The Monroe News. This is content meant to drive traffic to online content / spinoff social media; or readers to our print editions. 2006-present.
- Internal communications for The Monroe News to include committee reports and event photos. This was part of my duties during the nearly two years I was secretary for our employee council; and I’m still the one most likely to take pictures at company events. 2014-2015.
- Founding member for a Star Trek fan club in Toledo, Ohio. I served over 10 years as its vice president; and in the meantime and afterward handled recording secretary duties. In addition, I staffed information booths for the club at movie premiere parties, participated in parades, wrote articles about museum field trips for our club newsletter, served on a convention discussion panel, and was interviewed for a newspaper article about the club. 1991-2016.
Leadership and volunteer experience:
The most unique experience on this list was serving on The Monroe News employee council, as I was voted in by my co-workers rather than volunteering for or getting an appointment to that committee:
- Secretary for Monroe News Employee Stock Ownership Plan council. This committee was a key part of The Monroe News’ corporate structure during its employee ownership years. I was one of six employees from across the company who served on rotating terms, and was elected among the panel as secretary as soon as my term began. My duties included participating in continuing education workshops relating to the logistics of employee ownership, hosting employee social events, hosting receptions on company board of directors meeting dates, reviewing employee concerns to send to the management team, taking photos for internal and external communications, and keeping council minutes. January 2014-September 2015.
- Member of Customer Service Committee at The News-Messenger in Fremont, Ohio. The goal of this interdepartment committee was to discuss ways to improve customer service for external and internal customers. We also hosted employee social events and reviewed employee concerns to send to management team. 1991-1995.
- Board member of Fremont Ross Music Alumni Foundation. This volunteer organization in my hometown of Fremont, Ohio, coordinates the high school alumni band performances, runs a Hall of Fame program and awards scholarships. I was a founding member in the late 1990s, stepped down for a few years and returned as a board member in 2014.
- Member of Monroe International Friendship Association. This volunteer organization in Monroe, Mich., coordinates the sister city program and high school student exchange program for the City of Monroe and its sister city of Hofu, Japan. I have served as a host mom four times for visiting Japanese students and served as reception hostess several times for the delegation’s welcome party at Monroe City Hall.
- University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., bachelor of arts in journalism, newspaper sequence, 1988.
- Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, freshman year classes, 1984-85.
- Terra Community College, Fremont, Ohio, photography and criminal law classes, 1990-91.
- Click here to see the list of digital media and marketing short courses and seminars I have worked on since 2014.
See what I can do:
- Look over my skill set and see samples of my social media work.
- Read an award-winning breaking news article.
- Read one of my favorite feature articles.
- Read one of my favorite multi-media journalist pieces.