Personal and Professional Writing

 

Everyone benefits from another pair of eyes on their work. I can help you craft your message no matter what the context—whether it’s a newspaper article or a cover letter to a future employer or even the dreaded college essay. I’ve worked with a wide range of individuals over the years—from CEOs and chaplains—helping them shape what they want to say into clear, precise prose. Whether it’s proofreading for grammar or revising for stylistic consistency, I offer judicious suggestions that improve the clarity, organization and expression of your ideas on the page.

 

SAMPLE OP-ED BEFORE EDITING

There’s a running commentary in the African American Church that identifies many church members as CME’s. The proper acronym refers to the Christian Methodist Church, but the alt-acronym stands for “Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter” as in the only days that those people attend church. Annoyed churchgoers won’t go to church on Easter because the CMEs take all of the seats.

Well, you don’t have to be a CME not to go to church on a regular basis. You could be a SBNR, or Spiritual But Not Religious. People in this camp see the world through a lens of “there must be something bigger than me out there.” They feel and experience connectedness, transcendence and the intersectionality of the secular and spiritual world without “organized religion.”

What do the SBNR do for Easter? Are they left out of the most sacred day on the Christian calendar? Absolutely not.

SAMPLE OP-ED AFTER EDITING

These days acronyms are everywhere you look. There are those that show up on social media, like LOL, ICYMI, IMHO, and my favorite, ELI5 (Explain Like I’m Five). There are ones that started in the military but moved into common parlance, like AWOL, SWAT, and even FUBAR. Medical diagnoses have been reduced to letters: ADHD, HIV, SIDS. Some of you reading might work in HR or have an MBA; others suffer from PSTD or attend AA. Who hasn’t LOL or tuned into ESPN or been told do to something ASAP?

In the religious world we have our acronyms as well: KJB, VBS, and the ubiquitous WWJD. There are useful shorthand acronyms for certain religious groups: Mormons are members of the LDS, and AME rolls off the tongue far easier than the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Around the holidays CMEs make their appearance as well—as in those who go to church only on Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter. I know some regular churchgoers who even won’t attend on Easter because the CMEs take all of the seats!

But there’s another group I’ve been thinking about as Easter approaches: SBNRs, or Spiritual But Not Religious. People in this camp share a similar outlook with their religious brethren, seeing the world through a lens of “there must be something bigger than me out there” but don’t find it sitting in a pew. They feel the connectedness of the secular and transcendent worlds without needing “organized religion” to facilitate the experience.

Is Easter to an SBNR nothing other than eggs and chocolate bunnies? Is there nothing that the most sacred day on the Christian calendar has to offer them? Is there a deeper meaning to Easter that speaks to us all, religious or not?…

I was astonished to see how you took the germ of my two-dimensional idea and transformed it into a tangible three-dimensional draft.
— Joyce E.

Pitch letter materials

I help organizations inspire engagement with their brand by finding the right story to tell for their audience. By tapping into passion points and using in person experience events as activation strategies, I am able to connect consumers to the values behind the brand and put them on the path to purchase. [Business name] has a compelling story that if told the right way would result in increased client acquisition, retention and loyalty. I’m certain that my experience in employing predictive analytics to create scalable personalization could help successfully communicate that narrative…

I focus on relationships as well as results, believing teams can be both smarter and more creative than any of us working alone—especially when collaborating to address the kinds of complex, multi-faceted problems that companies face today. I believe in collaborative leadership because tapping the collective intelligence of a team delivers results. Yet as a team leader I know I’m at my most effective when I use the power of persuasion rather than my positional authority. In the industries I’ve worked in success has depended on creating an environment of trust and mutual respect, in which everyone can contribute to achieving our collectively shared aspirations. 

I’ve managed multiple agency partners and hosted quarterly brand board meetings to review forward-looking strategies, in/outside market trends, competition, and innovation opportunities. Equally as important has been my work researching and implementing project management software that maximized productivity and streamlined communication between internal and external stakeholders and agencies.  The most important step I took was to entirely overhaul the CRM database through advanced market segmentation, leading to stronger merchandised brand.com products and offerings and resulting in a 180% (234M) YOY increase in 2018.

His extraordinary ability to take my ideas in draft form and refine them into a coherent text that flowed effortlessly allowed me to showcase my expertise and land the job.
— Rebecca J.

Thank you letter before editing

Dear X,

It was a pleasure speaking with you today and thank you for your time discussing in depth the Executive Director/Vice President, Creative Services role. It is inspiring to know that your institution is built upon the foundation of Competency Based Education challenging the traditional course sequenced, inefficient, expensive, credit based degree programs negatively affecting future generations.

Our discussion on your approach and focus on encouraging and enabling collaboration in optimizing the students journey, really spoke to me with its similarity to the hospitality and aviation industries I’ve spent many years in.  As discussed siloed departments are counterproductive, so it’s exciting to know that [business name] has made changes in its functional areas by creating a center of excellence by combining multiple marketing disciplines strategically focused on increasing its marketable universe of Prospects, Student retention, and Alumni win-back.

My diverse background as a leader, mentor and creative visionary adept at ensuring consumer insights are turned into creative impactful/strategies = resulting in actionable, revenue generating solutions by harnessing the power of data consumption, personalization, and even predictive analytics has enabled the creative teams I have led to market smarter, assign metrics, and analyze performance - creating more targeted impactful marketing campaigns. It makes personalization easier than ever before, and we all know how important personalization is if we want to build genuine connections with our customers / students.

I look forward to continuing our conversation about competency based education, degrees vs. skills and how my global marketing experiences- creating brands, establishing standards and guidelines, formulating innovative and disruptive consumer facing campaigns and concepts would give the guidance and stewardship to the [business name’s] overall ONE TEAM approach.

thank you letter After Editing

Dear X,

It was a pleasure speaking with you today; thank you for your time discussing in depth the Executive Director/Vice President, Creative Services role.

Our conversation about [business name’s] collaborative approach towards individualizing the journey of each student really spoke to me in its similarity to initiatives I spearheaded in the hospitality and aviation industries. I was equally struck by how the success of those initiatives mirrored the changes [business name] has made moving beyond siloed departments to integrate them through a strategic focus on enlarging its marketable universe across prospects, current students, and alumni.

I believe my diverse background as a leader, mentor and creative visionary in the realm of brand management is a good fit with [business name’s] needs at this critical juncture.  My experiences have centered on ensuring consumer insights are turned into actionable, revenue generating solutions.  Harnessing the power of data consumption and predictive analytics has enabled the creative teams I have led to formulate innovative and personalized consumer facing campaigns—and we all know how important personalization is if we want to build genuine connections with our customers / students. 

It is inspiring to imagine working for an institution that is upending the inefficient, expensive, credit-based degree approach by replacing the traditional course sequence with a competency-based foundation.  I look forward to continuing our conversation about how my global marketing experiences could support and further energize [business name’s] ONE TEAM approach.