Click one of the links below or scroll down this page to view samples of my work 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
Home

 

bulletBisk Education
Copywriter, 2007-present

As a copywriter at Bisk Education, my primary responsibilities involve preparing print and electronic communications for degree and certificate programs from Bisk's partner universities, which are collectively referred to as the University Alliance. I am also occasionally called on to write copy for Bisk's CPA Review test prep and CPEasy continuing education programs for accountants.

bulletMarketing Collateral 
I've written numerous brochures on behalf of the University Alliance and its partner schools. Hard-copy versions are distributed at trade shows and mailed to prospective students and corporate clients, while PDF versions are available for download via the school and University Alliance web sites.  
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - school and program overview brochure  December 2008 (PDF - 1.12MB)
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - internet marketing B2B brochure  February 2009 (PDF - 1.27MB)
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - supply chain management program brochure  March 2008 (PDF - 1.09MB)
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - sales and sales management program brochure  March 2008 (PDF - 1.10MB)
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - corporate training programs brochure  March 2008 (PDF - 727KB)
bulletTulane University - business/finance program brochure  August 2008 (PDF - 872KB)
bulletVillanova University - military programs brochure  May 2008 (PDF - 1.94MB)
bulletUniversity Alliance - healthcare programs brochure  July 2008 (PDF - 26.6MB)
bulletUniversity Alliance - healthcare programs insert  July 2008 (PDF - 898KB)
bulletUniversity Alliance - customizable corporate training programs insert  May 2008 (PDF - 2.21MB)
bulletPrint Advertising 
I frequently work with Bisk designers to develop and produce print ads on behalf of the University Alliance and its partner schools; see the following for a few examples:
bullet Dominican University - MAEd reading ad  January 2009 (PDF - 1.95MB) - This ad appeared in several publications aimed at elementary and secondary school educators.
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - supply chain management ad  June 2008 (PDF - 3.79MB) - This ad was published in several supply chain industry publications.
bulletTulane University - HR management ad  April 2008 (PDF - 341KB) - This ad ran in the University Alliance certificate program catalog.
bulletVillanova University - Six Sigma ad  December 2007 (PDF - 2.84MB) - This ad was published in iSixSigma Magazine.
bulletUniversity Alliance advertorial  December 2007 (PDF - 4.29MB) - This advertorial ran in ClassesUSA magazine.
bulletEmail Campaigns
Bisk maintains an extensive database of email lists, using them as a cost-effective way to communicate with past and prospective students. These are just a few of the emails I've written:
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - supply chain management email  April 2008
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - sales and sales management email  April 2008  
bulletUniversity of San Francisco - alumni email  April 2008  
bullet University of San Francisco - top five sales mistakes email  June 2008 - This short "postcard" email was intended to serve as a teaser; the goal was to drive readers to the more detailed landing page, which I also wrote, for the full story.
bulletTulane University - business/finance email  August 2008  
bulletVillanova University - IS security threats email  August 2008  
bulletCPEasy - tax season savings email  December 2007
bulletCPEasy - June deadline email  June 2008  
bulletPress Releases
I am occasionally asked to write press releases as part of a new program launch. Here are several examples:
bullet Villanova University First in Market to Incorporate New PMBOK Guide - Fourth Edition Into Project Management Programs  January 5, 2009 (PDF - 154KB)
bulletThe University of San Francisco Prepares New Generation of Interactive Experts With First and Only Internet Marketing Certificate Program Offered 100% Online  December 15, 2008 (PDF - 113KB)
bulletThe University of Notre Dame's New Executive Certificate in Business Administration Brings MBA-Level Skills and Strategies to Professionals Worldwide - 100% Online  October 6, 2008 (PDF - 125KB)
bulletTulane University's New Master Certificate in Business/Finance Empowers Professionals With Advanced Finance Strategies - 100% Online  August 6, 2008 (PDF - 144KB)
bulletUniversity of San Francisco Offers First Program Aligned with New Certification From Institute for Supply Management (ISM)  May 28, 2008 (PDF - 123KB)
bulletWeb Publishing
As the sole writer assigned to specific school and program launches, I am responsible for developing all relevant web pages.
bullet University of Notre Dame - business administration program - This project involved the launch of a new executive certificate program from an existing university partner. While most of the site consists of existing copy, I wrote new copy for the following pages: business administration overview, executive certificate, and course pages (Principles of Business, Disciplines of Business, and Applied Business Strategies).
bullet University of San Francisco - internet marketing, supply chain management, and sales programs - This project involved the launch of a new partner university and two certificate programs in March 2008, with the internet marketing program added in December 2008. While some of the site's pages consist of existing copy shared by all University Alliance certificate schools, I wrote new copy for the following pages: home; university; faculty bios; program overview; internet marketing overview, master certificate, and course pages (Integrated Online Strategies, Search Engine Marketing and Usability, and Advanced Interactive Marketing and Measurement); supply chain management overview, master certificate, and course pages (Functional Perspective, Tactical Implementation, and Strategic Best Practices); and sales overview, master certificate, and course pages (Expert Selling, Transitioning to Sales Management, and Expert Sales Management).
bullet Tulane University - business/finance and business strategies programs - This project involved the launch of new master certificate and advanced master certificate programs from an existing university partner. While most of the site consists of existing copy, I wrote new copy for the following pages: business/finance overview, master certificate, and Advanced Finance Strategy course, plus the business strategies advanced master certificate page.

 

bulletHSN (Home Shopping Network)
Product Information Writer, Jewelry, 2005-2007

As a product information writer at HSN, I was responsible for producing broadcast and web descriptions for several 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.

bulletProduct Copy
The following links provide a representative sample of my web descriptions for a variety of jewelry categories (all samples are HTML files):  
bulletGold  2005-2007
bullet 14K and Enamel "Venetian Lace" Ring
bullet 14K "Fiore" Link Adjustable Drop Necklace
bullet 14K Bold Concave Square Ring
bullet 14K Diamond-Cut Heart Pendant
bullet 14K Diamond-Cut Chandelier Earrings
bullet Everyday Gold 14K "Nativity Stone" Cross Pendant
bullet Everyday Gold 14K "Dual Glitter" Rope Necklace
bullet Black Hills Gold Handcarved Amethyst Grape Cluster Ring
bulletTechnibond  2005-2007
bullet Technibond Oval East/West Gemstone Ring
bullet Technibond Oval Created Blue Sapphire Ring
bullet Technibond East/West Oval Blue Topaz Ring
bullet Technibond Simulated Butterscotch Citrine Ring
bullet Technibond Etruscan-Style Rectangular Filigree Ring
bullet Technibond Italian Byzantine Link Bracelet
bullet Technibond "Luminosa" Necklace and Bracelet Set
bullet Technibond Diamond-Cut Reversible Heart Pendant
bulletCoin Jewelry  2005-2007
bullet Ancient Widow's Mite in 14K Cross Pendant
bulletAmerican 22K $5 Gold Eagle Coin in 14K Gent's Octagonal Ring
bulletTristan da Cunha 24K Dolphin Coin in 14K Ship Wheel Pendant
bulletAustralian 24K Horse Coin in 14K Horseshoe Pendant
bullet Ancient Roman Coin in 14K Pendant
bulletWatches  2006-2007
bulletBulova Diamond-Accented Round Mother-of-Pearl Dial Watch
bulletBulova Ladies' White Dial Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch
bulletBulova Ladies' Black Dial Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch
bullet Bulova Diamond Bezel Multifunction Stainless Steel Watch
bulletGem Essence Red Tiger's Eye Inlay Bracelet Watch
bullet Relic Men's Dual Subdial Stainless Steel Watch
bulletGemstones  2006-2007
bullet Brazilian Neon Apatite 14K Ring
bullet Tanzanite, Alexandrite and Diamond Floral 14K Dome Ring
bullet Aquamarine, Sapphire and Diamond 14K Ring
bulletSilver  2005-2007
bullet "Jelly Bean" Cabochon and Marcasite Enameled Sterling Silver Ring
bullet Coral Inlay Doublet Sterling Silver Ring
bulletAbsolute Invisible-Set Princess 2-pc Ring Set
bullet Raj Collection by Nicky Butler "Raj Kumari Splendor" Gem Drop Necklace
bullet Raj Collection by Nicky Butler "Raj Bloom" Gem Cluster Bracelet
bullet Raj Collection by Nicky Butler "Damask Rose" Rhodonite Gem Cluster Ring
bulletFashion Jewelry  2005-2007
bulletReal Collectibles by Adrienne "Contemporary Art Jeweled Cross" Necklace
bullet Heidi Daus "Channel of Color" Crystal Dome Ring
bullet Suzanne Somers "Parisian Elegance" Necklace
bullet Susan Lucci "A Touch of Morocco" Necklace
bullet Susan Lucci "A Touch of Morocco" Earrings
bulletJewelry Boxes  2005-2007
bulletColleen's Prestige Stackable Faux Leather Anti-Tarnish Ring Box
bullet Heritage by Wolf Designs Quilted Jewelry Box
bullet Heritage by Wolf Designs "Shoellery Box"

 

bulletAllied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants
Freelance Writer/Editor, 2003-2005
Associate Manager of Enterprise News,
1999-2000

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. 

bulletCorporate 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.
bulletFebruary 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. 
bulletJanuary 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. 
bulletJuly 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. 
bulletJune 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. 
bulletCappuccino Blast Re-Launch mailer  March 2004 (PDF - 1.15MB)
bulletCorporate 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.
bulletShift Coaching article  July/August 2004 issue of Common Grounds (PDF - 1.36MB) - I interviewed the general manager and wrote the shift coaching feature story.
bulletMystery Shopping articles  May/June 2004 issue of Common Grounds (PDF - 1.29MB) - I interviewed the franchisee and general manager for the mystery shopping feature story, and wrote both the main article and the program overview piece. 
bulletMarch/April 2004 issue of Common Grounds  (PDF - 4.14MB) - I wrote the Iced Latte, Rockin' Garage, and sampling stories, and edited all of the other articles in the newsletter. I also worked with the designer to prepare the final layouts. 
bulletNew England Maple Cheddar Sandwich readiness kit  February 2004 (PDF - 768KB)
bulletApple Pie readiness kit  January 2004 (PDF - 1.32MB)
bulletCoffee Standards mailer  January 2004 (PDF - 2.73MB)
bulletCorporate 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.
bulletMarch/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.
bulletMay 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.

 

bulletEscher Group Limited
Freelance Editor/Writer, 2003
Copywriter,
2002-2003

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

bulletCorporate Publications
I served as editor of the Escher Insight newsletter, which was distributed to employees, customers, and business partners.
bulletDecember 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.
bulletMay 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.
bulletOctober 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).
bulletMarketing 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.
bulletEnterprise Applications brochure  March 2003 (PDF - 1.26MB)
bulletWebRiposte Product Catalog  March 2003 (PDF - 1MB)
bulletEssential brochure  March 2003 (PDF - 2.34MB)
bulletProduct Line Solutions data sheet  February 2003 (PDF - 199KB)
bulletPress Releases and Pitch Letters
I worked closely with vice president of corporate communications in planning Escher Group's public relations strategy, and I was responsible for writing all news releases and pitch letters issued by the company. I've included a sample of the PR materials I've written for Escher Group:
bulletEscher Group and An Post Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary of First Riposte Installation  March 12, 2003 (PDF - 17.6KB)
bulletEscher Group Appoints Claude Kinsella as Senior Vice President  March 5, 2003 (PDF - 16.6KB)
bulletUK Post Office Reinforces Commitment to Escher Group Counter Automation Solution  January 28, 2003 (PDF - 16.4KB)
bulletPost Denmark Upgrades to Escher Group's Web-Based Distributed Messaging Solution for Internet Bulk Mails Application  October 14, 2002 (PDF - 18.2KB)
bulletEscher Group's Legacy-Free Initiative Gains Momentum with Addition of Weigh-Tronix Peripherals  October 8, 2002 (PDF - 17KB)
bulletInvitation to Media to Cover Escher/An Post Celebration Event  March 2003 (PDF - 13.1KB)
bulletPitch Letter Following News of President's Commission on the United States Postal Service  January 2003 (PDF - 21.3KB)
bulletWeb Publishing
I served as the content webmaster for Escher Group's corporate web site. I drafted and/or edited most of the content that appeared on the site, and was responsible for updating the site to reflect new brochures, press releases, newsletters, articles, and events.  (Note: Most of the current content has been added and/or updated since I left Escher.) You can view the web site via the following link:
bulletEscher Group corporate web site  

 

bulletIntelligence Data/Thomson Financial
Freelance Writer/Project Manager, 2001
Senior Marketing Communications Specialist,
2000-2001

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.

bulletMarketing Collateral
In spring 2001, I revised ID's existing product fact sheets and created a new fact sheet for additional Thomson Financial services available through ID. In summer 2001, we developed a new collateral system with an enhanced and streamlined design. I drafted a new company fact sheet, rewrote the Intelliscope fact sheet to reflect the integration of additional research databases, and condensed the Thomson Financial services copy to fit into the new layout.
bulletIntelligence Data fact sheet  August 2001 (PDF - 4.15MB)
bulletIntelliscope fact sheet  August 2001 (PDF - 1.64MB)
bulletThomson Financial Business Intelligence Solutions fact sheet  August 2001 (PDF - 2.15MB)
bulletIntelliscope fact sheet  April 2001 (PDF - 169KB)
bulletInSite 2 fact sheet  April 2001 (PDF - 158KB)
bulletThomson Financial Services fact sheet  April 2001 (PDF - 152KB)
bulletElectronic Media
Because ID's products are web-based, the company wanted to begin transitioning more projects from traditional print communications to electronic communications. I was challenged to develop the concept and script for ID's first-ever electronic holiday cards and e-commercial.
bulletIntelligence Data 2001 electronic holiday card  December 2001 (1MB executable file; requires Macromedia Flash plug-in*) - ID contracted me to develop the concept and script for their second electronic holiday card and asked me to serve as the project manager in working with the design firm. Following the events of September 11 and given the fact that the ID line of products will eventually be phased out, the 2001 e-card was intended to focus on the comforts of family and friends, promote a cross-cultural sense of unity, and express ID's appreciation of its customers. (Unlike the 2000 e-card, there is little emphasis on the company or its products.)
bulletIntelligence Data 2000 electronic holiday card  December 2000 (1.45MB executable file; requires Macromedia Flash plug-in*) - In addition to extending season's greetings, this holiday card was intended to reinforce the customers' decision to subscribe to ID's products by highlighting the value of the company's research collections.
bulletIntelligence Data/Intelliscope e-commerical  May 2001 (1.25MB executable file; requires Macromedia Flash plug-in*) - The e-commercial was designed to tie in closely with the look (blue background and simple images) and theme ("make history" by using ID's products to "decide and conquer") of ID's existing print ads.
bulletPress Releases
I worked closely with ID's marketing communications manager to plan the company's public relations efforts, and I was responsible for writing all news releases issued by the company. I've included a sample of the press releases I've written for ID:
bulletThomson Financial/Intelligence Data Introduces Interactive Web-Based Tutorial for Intelliscope Users  August 13, 2001 (PDF - 22.3KB)
bulletThomson Financial/Intelligence Data Introduces New User Interface and Added Functionality in Intelliscope Product  June 11, 2001 (PDF - 25.9KB)
bulletThomson Financial/Intelligence Data Holds Inaugural Client Advisory Board Meeting  May 30, 2001 (PDF - 21.4KB)
bulletThomson Financial/Intelligence Data Partners with Qpass to Launch E-Commerce Initiative  April 17, 2001 (PDF - 25.3KB)
bulletClient Communications
I drafted all client communications that were issued by ID's executive management, such as new customer welcome letters, price increase notifications, and the like. I also worked closely with ID's product managers to notify customers of new features as well as product and service enhancements; I wrote all product announcements issued by the company and posted these announcements to ID's products and corporate web site. I've included a sample of the client communications I've written for ID:
bulletWelcome letter sent to new customers  updated June 2001 (PDF - 25KB)
bulletIntelligence Data Introduces Interactive Web-Based Tutorial for Intelliscope Users  August 13, 2001 (PDF - 22.2KB)
bulletIntelligence Data to Integrate InSite and Intelliscope  July 27, 2001 (PDF - 18.6KB)
bulletThomson Financial Announces Exclusive Agreement with Salomon Smith Barney for International Equity Research  April 10, 2001 (PDF - 19.4KB)
bulletSales and Trade Show Support Materials
I was responsible for supporting ID's sales team by producing materials that would assist them in pitching new business. These materials included a PowerPoint sales presentation as well as invitation letters, hand-outs, and follow-up letters targeted to prospects attending trade shows that ID was exhibiting at. I've included the most recent version of the PowerPoint sales presentation, along with support materials developed for the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) Conference and Exhibit:
bulletIntelligence Data/Intelliscope sales presentation  updated July 2001 (Microsoft PowerPoint - 512KB)
bulletInvitation letter to SCIP conference attendees  February 2001 (PDF - 19.4KB)
bulletFollow-up letter to SCIP attendees who visited ID's exhibit booth  March 2001 (PDF - 19.4KB)
bulletHand-out created for ID's luncheon sponsorship at Frost & Sullivan conference   April 2001 (PDF - 2.53MB)
bulletWeb Publishing
I served as the content webmaster for Intelligence Data's corporate web site. In 2001, we spent several months building a brand new web site, with new content, a new site structure, and a new look and feel that complemented our product's redesigned user interface. However, following the company's acquisition by Dialog, the web content was integrated into the Dialog web site. Dialog was later integrated back into Thomson Financial; so while some of the core products are still featured on the web site, very little of my original content remains.
bulletIntelligence Data corporate web site  

 

bulletHills Stores Company
Copywriter, 1998-1999

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.

bulletRetail 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.
bulletStore circulars and seasonal catalogs  1998-1999
Please click the links below to view samples of store circular pages in each category:
bulletAudio and video  (PDF - 16.5MB)
bulletFashion and footwear  (PDF - 16.3MB)
bulletGift sets, jewelry, and watches  (PDF - 15.8MB)
bulletHome fashions and household helpers  (PDF - 21.5MB)
bulletToys and other gifts for children  (PDF - 20.2MB)
bulletRadio advertisement scripts  1998 (PDF - 39.8KB)
bulletIn-store Muzak announcements  1998 (PDF - 103KB)

 

bulletCognex 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 web site; however, I also wrote Cognex's press releases, brochures, executive speeches, investor relations materials, recruiting ads, and other communications.

bulletAnnual 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.
bullet1997 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.
bullet1996 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.
bullet1995 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).
bulletPress 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:
bulletCognex Corporation Sponsors Drawing Contest in Natick, MA Elementary Schools  March 20, 1998 (PDF - 103KB)
bulletCognex Corporation Receives Purchase Order Totaling Over $1 Million for Surface Inspection Application  October 29, 1997 (PDF - 74.3KB)
bulletCognex Corporation Pledges $75,000 to Morse Institute Library  October 27, 1997 (PDF - 73.8KB)
bulletCognex Corporation Receives Record Purchase Order Totaling Nearly $3.9 Million from Fuji Machine Manufacturing  August 21, 1997 (PDF - 80.9KB)
bulletCognex Announces Breakthrough in Object Location Software; Introduces Next-Generation Vision Hardware  July 14, 1997 (PDF - 112KB)
bulletRecruiting 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. 
bullet"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.
bullet"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.
bulletCorporate 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.
bulletCorporate 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.
bulletWeb Publishing
I served as the content webmaster for Cognex's corporate web site. While the web site has undergone many updates and changes since I left the company, some of the web pages feature copy that I wrote while still employed there. These include the company profile, machine vision market description, and company history in the "Corporate" section, as well as the "Working at Cognex" corporate culture information in the "Careers" section. (Note: Many of the pages I wrote have been modified by others to reflect the most recent information relating to earnings, new products, etc.)
bulletCognex corporate web site  

 

bulletM. Silver Associates, Inc.
Public Relations Intern, 1994

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.

bulletPress 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.
bulletThe Essentials of Successful Service  June 18, 1994 (PDF - 205KB)
bulletSmart Marketing: Developing a Dialogue with Customers  June 17, 1994 (PDF - 238KB)

 

bulletHall Harrison Cowley Public Relations
Public Relations Intern, 1991-1992

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.

bulletPrint 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.)
bulletCounty Fair Foodservice/Wall's ice cream advertorial  February 1992 (PDF - 11.9MB)
bulletPress 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.)
bulletBirds Eye: Join in the Captain's Silver Jubilee Celebration  February 1992 (PDF - 1.96MB)
bulletCounty Fair Foodservice: Catch of the Day  February 1992 (PDF - 2.25MB)
bulletBirds Eye Country Club Cuisine: More Rice, Same Price  December 1991 (PDF - 2.18MB)
bulletWall's: Thief Caught in Ice Crime  December 1991 (PDF - 1.93MB)
bulletCorporate 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.
bulletIn 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.)

 

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Shay Tressa DeSimone
Riverview, FL

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