As the national media encamped in Santa Rosa during the 2017 wildfires that ravaged that town, nearby Napa and its $6 billion wine industry was poised on the verge of something apocalyptic -- again.
A defense contractor that longed to pivot its mission toward the benevolent. A state park-supporting foundation that aimed to personalize a land-purchase campaign. A food bank with full coffers tasked with keeping record donations flowing. A ski resort and casino seeking clever tag lines. Take a look at how I delivered for each of these clients.
Forbes. Editor & Publisher. TechCrunch. All have decried the death of the press release in recent years. One prominent study found that more than 1,700 press releases are issued each day in the U.S., with 98% being roundly ignored. Check out this example of a press release that garnered coverage in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and on CBS Evening News. The secret sauce: Approaching the right reporters at the right time at the right media outlets ... but above all, the storytelling.
Speechwriting, done correctly, is the most intimate of all business communications. Assimilating the passions and voice of another is a sobering task, one that I will undertake only with clients that allow me to do a deep dive -- culling the skills of an investigative journalist -- into the issue(s) that form the underpinnings of the speech.
When a retiring North Face executive approached me about penning his retirement speech, I realized that my first task was getting beyond the stoic persona he had projected his entire career.
I wrote, directed and hosted four episodes of a weekend adventure series, Hills & Hops, on KPIX-TV. As this trailer from the pilot episode notes, the series featured the area's best hiking trails -- and the local craft beer companies that make a day on the trails so rewarding.
After convincing all five Bay Area food banks to pool their resources for a holiday TV ad that would benefit each of them, I wrote and directed this Telly Award-winning commercial with the specific objective of showcasing the "new face of hunger" -- middle-class residents deeply affected by the economic downturn.
This video was supposed to show how the supply chain of a typical food bank operated . . . but it went viral on the strength of these peanut butter-smearing twins I discovered while researching the client pool for potential on-camera talent. The twins were subsequently featured on Oprah Winfrey's show.
My annual four-podcast series surrounding March Madness was thrust into the limelight by this 2019 episode featuring interviews with a Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times multiple best-selling author along with one of the nation's most innovative sports journalism professors.
On the book tour promoting my memoir, I returned to the studios of Radio DePaul in Chicago, where I was one of the pioneering DJ's when the radio station operated out of a broom closet. This interview centered around the book's most provocative chapter.
This is the audio version of my NPR story surrounding the 2017 wildfires that raged on all sides of Napa as I was conducting interviews. The Los Angeles Times facilitated this one-off partnership with Southern California public radio stations.