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Portfolio: Writing Samples by Company

Click the links below to view samples of my work by company, listed in chronological order: 

I co-founded PR Syndication in January 2011 with my partner, Nelson J. Spoto Jr. We offer affordable national press release distribution and professional writing services to entrepreneurs and small to midsize businesses.

  • Web Publishing 
    I developed all of the copy that appears on the PR Syndication website, including product/service overviews, order pages, and PR resource articles.

 

As a copywriter at Bisk Education, my primary responsibilities involved preparing print and electronic communications for degree and certificate programs from Bisk's partner universities, which are members of Bisk's University Alliance division. I was also occasionally called on to write copy for Bisk's CPA Review exam prep and CPEasy continuing education programs for accountants.

 

As a product information writer at HSN, I was responsible for producing broadcast and web descriptions for various jewelry categories. I prepared detailed "features and benefits" statements for hosts to use as talking points on air, and wrote web copy for HSN.com. My assigned product categories included gold, Technibond, jewelry boxes, and fashion jewelry, and I occasionally pitched in to help with other categories such as silver and gemstones.

 

I worked for Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants (ADQSR) as a full-time employee from 1999-2000. As the associate manager of enterprise news, my primary role was to manage the production of a magazine that was distributed to franchisees and corporate employees. While I left ADQSR to pursue other job opportunities, I returned as a freelance writer/editor from late 2003 through mid-2005. 

  • Corporate Publications: Baskin-Robbins 
    In 2004, I started doing some freelance projects for ADQSR's Baskin-Robbins brand. I served as a writer and editor for the brand's Monthly Blast newsletter, and developed an informational brochure for franchisees and store crew.

    • February 2005 issue of the Monthly Blast  (PDF – 4.94MB) – I wrote the Franchisee Central overview, Valentine's Day cakes article, and Xpert! Training Program story, and edited all of the other articles in the newsletter. I also worked with the designer to prepare the final layouts. 

    • January 2005 issue of the Monthly Blast  (PDF – 5.2MB) – I wrote the Cake Business feature story and Top Tips sidebar, and edited all of the other articles in the newsletter. I also worked with the designer to prepare the final layouts. 

    • July 2004 issue of the Monthly Blast  (PDF – 3.95MB) – I wrote the Retail Excellence Award Winner profile; co-authored the Dipping Cabinet, Chilly Burrrger, and Sales Rally pieces; and edited all of the other articles in the newsletter. I also worked with the designer to prepare the final layouts. 

    • June 2004 issue of the Monthly Blast  (PDF – 4.28MB) – I wrote the Creative Cakes feature story, co-authored the Dipping Cabinet and Huddle Time pieces, and edited all of the other articles in the newsletter. I also worked with the designer to prepare the final layouts. 

    • Cappuccino Blast Re-Launch mailer  March 2004 (PDF – 1.15MB)

  • Corporate Publications: Dunkin' Donuts 
    I began doing freelance work for ADQSR's Dunkin' Donuts brand at the end of 2003. I drafted a number of articles for the brand's Common Grounds newsletter, and produced the entire March/April issue while the regular editor was on vacation. I also wrote several informational brochures (known as "readiness kits") for franchisees and store crew.

  • Corporate Publications: ADQSR
    ADQSR's BrandNews magazine delivered corporate and multi-brand news to Dunkin' Donuts, Togo's, and Baskin-Robbins franchisees as well as ADQSR corporate employees. As the associate editor of this publication, my responsibilities included writing, editing, and assigning articles; proofreading all stories and layouts; and coordinating the efforts of our contributors, designer, printer, and mailing house.

    • March/April 2000 issue of BrandNews  (PDF – 16.6MB) – I scanned an entire issue of BrandNews to give you an idea of the type of content covered in the magazine. In this issue, I wrote the letter from the franchisee advisory team (page 2) as well as the loss prevention article (pages 6-7), and I crafted the responses for the quality assurance Q&A article (pages 8-10) with input from the interviewee.

    • May 1999 issue of BrandNews  (PDF – 9.52MB) – For this issue, I included only the pages I had actually written, including the letter from the franchisee advisory team, the article on the company's "trombo" strategy, and the Y2K article.

 

As Escher Group's copywriter, my role encompassed all writing and editing responsibilities for the marketing team.

  • Corporate Publications
    I served as editor of the Escher Insight newsletter, which was distributed to employees, customers, and business partners.

    • December 2003 issue of Escher Insight  (PDF – 3.69MB) – Following company-wide layoffs, Escher later contracted me to assist with a year-end newsletter. I edited the entire publication (significantly rewriting/polishing several articles) and wrote the "From the President" section on the front page.

    • May 2003 issue of Escher Insight  (PDF – 1.71MB) – I drafted nearly all of the articles in this issue, including the responses for the Q&A piece (based on input from the interviewee). Note: This issue went into production after my departure from Escher, and a few of the articles may contain minor edits and/or additions that were applied by others.

    • October 2002 issue of Escher Insight  (PDF – 1.88MB) – I wrote all of the articles in this issue, including the responses for the Q&A piece (based on input from the interviewee).

  • Marketing Collateral
    At the beginning of 2003, we updated all of Escher Group's marketing materials. I wrote all of the text in the Enterprise Applications and Product Line Solutions pieces, as well as the Enterprise Applications section of the Product Catalog. For the Essential brochure, my primary responsibility was to edit and polish the existing content.

 

As the senior marketing communications specialist for Intelligence Data (ID), my role encompassed all writing and editing responsibilities for the marketing team as well as for ID's executive management.

 

As a copywriter for Hills Stores Company, my role involved writing copy for store circulars, seasonal catalogs, in-store signage, and store-brand product packaging. I was also the copywriter assigned to write scripts for radio ads and in-store Muzak announcements.

  • Retail Advertising 
    Most of my work at Hills involved writing copy for store circulars and seasonal catalogs. Since there is not much room for creativity in the limited space allotted for product copy, the samples below were selected primarily for the headlines. I've also included samples of radio ad scripts and in-store Muzak announcements I wrote for Hills. Although these scripts had to focus primarily on price and value, they allowed me a bit more creative leeway — I often used rhymes, alliteration, and descriptive language to grab listeners' attention.

 

  • Cognex Corporation
    Senior Public Relations Specialist, 1997–1998
    Public Relations Specialist,
    1995–1997
    Corporate Communications Consultant,
    1995

In addition to my role as company spokesperson, my responsibilities at Cognex included most of the writing and editing responsibilities for the corporate communications department. The most visible of my projects were the company's annual reports and corporate website; however, I also wrote Cognex's press releases, brochures, executive speeches, investor relations materials, recruiting ads, and other communications.

  • Annual Reports 
    Cognex's president and founder, "Dr. Bob" Shillman, takes great pride in the company's annual reports and insists that each annual report feature a unique and compelling theme. He came up with the gaming and cheapskate themes for the 1995 and 1996 reports, while I suggested the activity book theme for the 1997 report.

    • 1997 annual report (activity book theme)  (PDF – 8.48MB) – In addition to conceiving the theme for this report, I created all of the games and activities within it. (However, we hired a professional artist to render the illustrations.) I was responsible for writing all non-financial text, which includes everything except pages 12-42 of the report (or pages 14-44 of the PDF file). I also came up with the idea for the cover artwork, and sponsored a coloring contest for children in local elementary schools.

    • 1996 annual report (cheapskate theme)  (PDF – 11.4MB) – Following a downturn in Cognex's core markets, we decided to create a low-cost annual report with a penny-pinching "cheapskate" theme. I was responsible for drafting all non-financial text, which includes everything except pages 8-32 of the report (or pages 10-34 of the PDF file). To keep production costs down, I also created the entire layout in-house.

    • 1995 annual report (gaming/winning theme)  (PDF – 22MB) – To celebrate Cognex's record-breaking performance in 1995, this annual report featured a gaming/winning theme. This was my first annual report for the company, and I was tasked with writing the president's letter as well as some background information on Cognex's products, customer service, machine vision applications, and corporate news (see pages 2-11 of the report, or pages 8-17 of the PDF file).

  • Press Releases
    In addition to serving as the company spokesperson, I was responsible for scheduling and writing all Cognex news releases. I've included several of the press releases I wrote while at Cognex, spanning a range of topics including corporate news, significant purchase orders, and product announcements:

  • Recruiting Ads
    Cognex's human resources department often called on me to apply my creativity and writing skills to their recruiting efforts. I've included a couple of examples of "help wanted" ads that I helped to create. 

    • "Cognoid Quiz" recruiting ad  September 10, 1995 (PDF – 241KB) – I was asked to come up with a recruiting ad that would grab readers' attention and stimulate their interest in working for the company. My solution was the "Cognoid quiz" ad, which played off of the popular self-quizzes found in many magazines. This format was intended to attract readers' attention and get them to "interact" with the ad, while the references to Cognex's unique corporate culture were designed to increase the company's appeal to appropriate job candidates. This ad ran in The Boston Sunday Globe on September 10, 1995—one of The Globe's biggest help wanted sections of the year. Cognex received more applications in response to this ad than any other previous recruiting ad.

    • "Get Serious" recruiting ad  October 29, 1995 (PDF – 229KB) – Cognex's president and founder, "Dr. Bob" Shillman, came up with the idea for this ad. Because the ad was running just before Halloween, Cognex's "official favorite holiday," Dr. Bob wanted to include a photo of himself in costume and asked me to write an ad that tied into his costume's theme—"the cheesier, the better!" The ad was designed to grab readers' attention using the incongruity of the "Get Serious!" headline with the silly fonts, photo, and copy.

  • Corporate Publications
    Cognex promotes its unique corporate culture to gain the attention of both job candidates and the media. In fact, this aspect of the company has been featured in many local newspapers, business publications, and television news programs as well as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, Entrepreneur, CFO magazine, and BBC Radio. I was asked to develop a corporate culture brochure that the company could provide to job candidates and include in media kits.

    • Corporate culture brochure  this version lasted updated in April 1998 (PDF – 2.98MB) – In addition to writing the copy for this brochure, I came up with the idea for the cover design. We wanted to be able to update the text as needed without the expense of printing new brochures, so we had color copies of the cover printed on cardstock while the interior pages were simply run off a laser printer and photocopied, allowing us to easily assemble the brochures in-house.

  • Web Publishing
    I served as the content webmaster for Cognex's corporate website. Most of the content that appears on the website has been updated or added since I left Cognex; I've provided the following link simply to give you an idea of the type of web copy I produced.

 

As a public relations intern at M. Silver Associates, my role was to support the account executives with their public relations campaigns for American Express Establishment Services.

  • Press Releases
    In addition to preparing client reports and building a database of media contacts, I drafted a number of press releases for American Express Establishment Services. I've included samples of two such releases, which were reprinted as articles in several publications geared toward the foodservice and catering industry.

 

As a public relations intern at Hall Harrison Cowley, my role was to support the account executives with their public relations campaigns for Birds Eye frozen foods, Wall's ice cream, County Fair Foodservice (the catering division of Birds Eye Walls Limited), and Country Club Hotels.

  • Print Advertising 
    The project that I'm most proud of from my internship with Hall Harrison Cowley is a four-page advertorial I developed for Independent Caterer magazine. While the safety tips on the back page were pulled from existing materials, I wrote all of the copy appearing in the center spread. The account execs allowed me to draft the advertorial on my own and submit directly to the client (County Fair Foodservice) for approval; the client approved the very first draft as written. (Note: British spelling and punctuation were used in this advertorial.)

  • Press Releases
    I wrote many press releases for Hall Harrison Cowley's clients—including Birds Eye, Wall's, and County Fair Foodservice—during my internship. I've included a few of those press releases below. (Note: British spelling, punctuation, and formatting were used in these press releases.)

  • Corporate Publications
    To increase my exposure to a range of Hall Harrison Cowley's key clients, I was asked to write several short articles for In Touch, a corporate newsletter for employees of Country Club Hotels.

    • In Touch newsletter  January 1992 (PDF – 9.67MB) – My contributions to this newsletter include the golf tournament article on page 1, the customer care award and conservation corner articles on page 3, and all of the articles on page 4. (Note: British spelling and punctuation were used in these articles, and the grammatically incorrect "Beans Means Pounds" headline was a play on a widely-known British product slogan: Beans Means Heinz.)

 

Note: Most of the samples on this site are PDF files; you will need Adobe Reader to view them. If Adobe Reader is not already installed on your system, you can download the basic version for free from the the Adobe website, using the link below:
 

* The Intelligence Data e-commercial and electronic holiday cards require an Adobe Flash plug-in. If you do not have the Adobe Flash Player installed on your system, you can download it for free from the Adobe website, using the link below:
 

 

View samples by type: 
Marketing Collateral  |  Product Copy  |  Press Releases  |  Web Publishing  |  Electronic Media  |  Print Advertising 
Corporate Publications  |  Annual Reports  |  Retail Advertising  |  Client Communications  |  Sales & Trade Show Materials

View samples by company: 
Bisk Education  |  HSN (Home Shopping Network)Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants  |  Escher Group Limited  | 
Intelligence Data/Thomson Financial  |  Hills Stores Company  |  Cognex Corporation  | 
M. Silver Associates, Inc.  |  Hall Harrison Cowley Public Relations 

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Write When You Need It
Riverview, FL | Austin, TX

email: shay@writewhenyouneedit.com
home phone: 813-671-5484
mobile phone: 813-205-2302
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