Portfolio and References
My specialty is communication: helping businesses, organizations, and individuals communicate effectively. I've been doing that in a variety of capacities for more than 30 years. Here are some of my samples and references.
Writing and Design
- Trifold marketing brochure
- Computer hardware and software brief
- Client reference brief
- Direct mail flyer
- Movie review
I had just re-designed the website for Salon Sabéha, a hair and nail salon in Portsmouth, NH and they wanted a matching brochure for advertising and publishing their services and prices.
I used the same basic design elements from the website: black background, special font for the logo, etc. The front cover uses a modified version of the picture used for the home page of the website. The inside cover is a slightly edited version of the home page text. For both, the purpose of the text is to convey succinctly what the salon offers and capture the “feel” of the salon, a major decision factor for many.
The back cover has just the salon hours and their QR code (Quick Response code). As of this writing, QR codes have a mixed popularity. For those under 20, they are quite popular; many older people don't know what they are. The application that reads QR codes for the iPhone and other “smart phones” are becoming more popular, and the under 20 crowd are a major target audience for Salon Sabéha.
The inside has the services and prices taken from several different pages of the website, and reformatted for the brochure format.
Computer hardware and software brief
I co-wrote this with a software marketing writer at IBM in 2005. Like everything produced at IBM, it was touched by a slew of people before it was finally published. The outline, content, and most of the writing final wording is mine and the other writer's; I doubt either of us can now figure out whose is whose.
Writing in a large corporation is a challenge, one that I've successfully handled for many years. In addition to understanding the objectives, technical content, and audience, it requires the ability to manage a team of contributors, reviewers, and approvers. I know how to manage this environment and make sure that the final piece is effective.
IBM tends to update such documents regularly to reflect product change and marketig focus. The brief was still being used in 2008, a rather long run for an IBM brief, but has now been totally re-written.
Client reference brief
I used to offer consulting and implementation services to small businesses, in additon to the writing and website services I now offer. After doing several systems, including for Salon Sabéha, for whom I still do writing and website work, I concluded that helping businesses identify the right hardware and software to meet their business needs, and getting them up and running was OK, but on-going support is best left to local companies.
While Salon Sabéha's system is still serving them well, I've linked them up with some excellent local support people for their future system needs. As you can see from my list of website projects, I continue my relationship with them as their website designer.
The Client Reference Brief brief was designed as a marketing piece for my services. It describes Salon Sabéha's business needs, the solution, and the results. The contact information for the Salon Sabéha staff has been removed from the version attached here.
Such a document could be useful in your own sales process. Working with information you provide about your successes, and with information I gather from talking with your clients, I can produce a Client Reference Brief for you that clearly shows the benefit of using your products or services.
Direct mail flyer
IBM was the second largest publisher in the world, right behind the US Federal Goverment. To reduce their costs and the amount their customers had to pay for huge libraries of technical manuals, IBM was converting all of their books to a format that could be read on PCs, on the web, or from terminals connected to mainframe computers. At the same time, IBM wanted their customers and other publishers to adopt their "softcopy book" format.
As part of a world-wide campaign to introduce the availability of IBM technical manuals distributed on CD and tape, I produced the "Send less money" flyer. This 12-panel mailer featured a catchy front page, "Dear IBM Customer: Please send less money", a spin on the common college student plea, "Dear Mom and Dad, please send more money!" Inside panels show the problem many customers face with mountains of technical manuals and huge help desk staffs who answer questions from users who can't find the answers in the manuals. This leads to three calls to action:
- First to get customers to request a report on how much they are actually spending on IBM books. Most IBM customers don't know how much they are actually spending.
- Then to get customers to change their subscriptions from printed manuals to softcopy books,
- And then to offer customers the ability to convert their own books and other documents to this format, with a special discount on the software required.
The campaign was successful in getting a respectable percentage of IBM customers to start using the softcopy books. The popularity continued to grow over the next few years, significantly reducing IBM's cost of producing books, and their customers' cost to buy multiple copies of each book.
I designed the flyer and wrote the copy. The illustrations were done by the IBM graphic designers.
I can produce marketing materials for you that will drive sales for your products or services. Successful marketing requires materials that grab the readers and make them want more information, and ultimately to want the products and services you offer.
Movie Summary and Review
I'm a movie fanatic. Whether it is an old classic or a new hit, I love movies. I love to watch them, read about them, and write about them. I wrote the document below for a movie rental service.
The attached PDF file is a summary with some background information for one of my favorites, "I Married a Witch", starring Veronica Lake and Frederic March, from 1942.