21st Century Digital Writing—That’s What I Do!
Marketing Communications writing is at the core of what I do. Honed over years working for some great companies and clients in the Boston area I have amassed a vast portfolio of mar/comm [that’s how I refer to the category] pieces to share.
The following examples include:
- Promotional Flyers
- Case Studies
- Spec Pieces
- New Business
- Direct Mail Solicitations
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- And more!
Many of these pieces were created using a combination of Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and online mar/comm collateral creator tools such as Vistaprint.
Let’s jump into it, shall we?
B2B With DTV!
Dedham Television and Media Engagement Center was looking to expand their operations into the Business to Business (i.e. B2B) market. What they had to offer was a top-notch film/TV studio along with state-of-the-art video and editing equipment and software. It would be a perfect place for corporations to shoot and produce their corporate videos for conferences, training, and advertisements.
So when the Executive Director had a meeting with a high-level Boston area marketing executive, she came back to me to help your develop a new B2B marketing campaign.
And B2B With DTV! was born!
Not only did I produce the following promotional flyer but I also concepted, developed, and wrote all of the content that went into this marketing campaign. Furthermore, I had a ton of these flyers professionally printed up and I distributed them at various professional venues. Had I had more time at Dedham TV, I would have begun a direct mail campaign to circulate the flyers to corporations looking for our services.
Finally, I integrated all of the copy and images (that I shot and edited) into the version of the DedhamTV.com website that I created (see the Websites page for more on that project).
This flyer was created in Adobe InDesign. I heavily modified a great promo-template that I found on the Internet—including Dedham TV’s branded color scheme and style usage that I helped create. All of the images were shot by me and edited in Adobe Photoshop.
To learn more about new company tagline that I wrote for Dedham Television (that appears on this flyer) visit the Copywriting page.
Bamboo Rose Platform Raises Everyone!
The only thing that I’d like to add here is that I again heavily modified an Adobe InDesign template that I got from the Internet. Also, I took the company logo and lots of their graphics/images off their website and from Google searches; as well as, adding other images from Google to create the collages you see in the flyer. All of that image editing was done with Adobe Photoshop.
The goal here was to create a convention-ready promo-flyer (with a few minor tweaks) that they could use almost immediately. This was to show what I could do for them if they hired me for their Marketing Copywriter role.
As a professional writer these days, one has to be more skilled than just being able to put words on a page. Professional writers (Mar/Comm, Business, Copywriters, Legal, Industry, Medical, Technical, etc.) have to know tons of content creation software from the Adobe Suite of products to CMS and MAS systems (like WordPress and Marketo), and even wire-framing platforms like Axure.
Professional writers have to be highly-skilled “Jacks of all trades”, which goes back to my original argument (made on my Nick Iandolo page) that writing is not a service but a profession and should be treated as such!
My most recent client (as of Spring 2018) was SeaChange International. They are long-established Emmy award-winning player in the video advertising technology space. Their successful history of servicing the traditional cable TV industry is well-regarded. Currently, they are in the process of taking the vast OTT (i.e. Over-The-Top, which means not-cable TV but via the Internet) video delivery market by storm.
Their massive portfolio of end-to-end platform agnostic back-end systems, video delivery, ad-insertion, content management, and multiscreen multi-device user interfaces makes them a huge competitor for companies like TiVo, Comcast, and MobiTV to name a few.
This new endeavor was part of a huge rebranding project spearheaded by their VP of Marketing, Kurt Michel.
His Senior Director of Product Marketing, Claire Cobden hired me to work as their Digital Copywriter. It was an amazing contract role that allows me to produce: data-sheets, tech specs, web content, white papers, customer segmentation analyses, and other marketing collateral. In the short time that I had been with them I produced tons of copywriting content!
The piece featured here to the left was the culmination of all of the work that I did for SeaChange. Essentially, they bundled their best product families together to form a tightly integrated suite (or solution) and offer that as a complete product called PanoramiC.
The interesting thing about this piece is that 95% of what I originally wrote was preserved after several rounds of reviews! Also, I was responsible for the layout of the text boxes, the addition of the sidebar, and the use of a table to demonstrate use cases. In fact, I generated the use cases on this piece based partly on my own understanding of broadcast and network systems technologies—and they were right on as far as the product managers were concerned!
Overall, I built the templates that were used for the draft versions of datasheets and technical specs (see my Technical Writing page for an example of that), which elements from them went into the final published pieces.
I also did other work such as writing up Customer Segmentation Analyses, B2B Collateral Proofreading & Copyediting, and White Paper Revisions. Much of my work went into the new website.
SeaChange Adrenalin (Draft Version)
The following piece is a mock-up example of the new datasheet template that I wrote and produced for them. The final version can be viewed below. I thought it would be worthwhile to display here for potential employers to see how I worked on these pieces. This was simply created in Microsoft Word (the final version was built in Adobe InDesign).
SeaChange Adrenalin (Final Published Version)
And here is the final published version. Note the similarities between the draft and the final versions. A lot of my design ideas were incorporated into the final version, including the sidebar, the graphic placement, the headers, the text box placements, and a third page of Merchandising Options. It goes without saying that I wrote all of the copy on both versions.
L-1 Identity Solutions DAS & AutoTest Families
One of the best companies I ever worked for was L-1 Identity Solutions (A.K.A. Viisage Technologies). I was brought on as a Marketing Communications Writer where got to do a crazy amount of writing: everything from case studies, web copy, proposals, data-sheets, marketing collateral, brand positioning and strategic messaging guides, to product descriptions, and more!
I worked with a great bunch of people whom I’ll never forget. I’d still be there if L-1 hadn’t acquired DigiMarc, then became MorphoTrust, then got acquired by Sarfan.
Sadly, the role ended after two years due to the acquisition and merger that saw my role there redundant. But that’s okay, because they treated me super well when I was there, and saw me off with respect and kindness—as all companies should.
On my Technical Writing page I go into great detail about the data-sheets that I wrote and produced for L-1 Identity Solutions/Viisage Technologies.
I’ll put one example on this page and you can view the rest of them here.
In the example to the left for the DAS Family of product solutions for Document Authentication Services, I had a bunch of technical specifications that I had to turn into features and benefits. I had already written a marketing Messaging Guide for the upcoming launch (see below), which included the value proposition for each of these products; therefore, I was well-versed in how to effectively write the product descriptions.
This data-sheet required a lot of elements from the main body headline and content, the features and benefits sidebar on the first page, to the tech specs and third-party integration on the second page. There’s a lot a negative space deliberately used in this document so as not to overwhelm the reader with content. I really like the L-1 color palette and design elements.
L-1/Viisage was a great company to work for. I’ll never forget how they gave me a place to focus my creative professional energy while I was grieving the loss of my mother. That organization came into my life at the right time and helped me in more ways than just professionally and financially. I made some good friends there, was paid what I was worth, and when it was time to leave they gave me a generous severance package that saw me through buying a new house and bringing home a new baby.
I only have great things to say about them. Period!
Here’s a funny L-1 anecdote: While I was helping on a huge proposal, one of the Sales Directors came up to me an said, “Ah, Nick, we’re going to need you to pick up some DL ID cards in Roxbury [Mass.].” To which I said, “Okay, no problem.” To which he then added, “And we’re going to need you to drop them off at a testing facility in Munich.” My reply was, “Munich? Munich Germany?” His final answer was, “Yes.” And so I was on a plane to Munich Germany the next day and did not sleep for like 48 hours! It was a crazy awesome adventure! I even got a chance to drink some amazing Hefeweizen beers at the Hofbräuhaus with a few Japanese businessmen!
Cognex Corporation In-Sight 7000 G2 Series
I have written about this data-sheet at great length on my Technical Writing page; you can read the whole story about this piece here.
The only thing I’ll reiterate here is that had I had the original Adobe InDesign file and the fonts, I would have done an even better job making this picture-perfect industry convention/conference-ready. However, I think the result of what I did have to work with came out really well. I only wish that my massive efforts were rewarded with at least a face-to-face interview. But that’s what happens when politics gets involved in hiring decisions.
If it’s any consolation, my buddy tells me that the person they did hire took nearly two months to start (when I could have started immediately!). So they cheated themselves out of two months of profitable work to accommodate some higher-up’s request. Oh well.
So my friends, when interviewing you should always ask,“How many people are you also considering for this role? What is your timeline to making a decision? Do I have as good a chance as the other candidates in winning this opportunity, or are you close to making an offer to someone else?”
These questions will save you a lot of time, aggravation, and heartache!
L-1 Identity Solutions – Illinois Secretary of State
This case is by far my favorite because the story behind it really shows off how fast a writer I am.
The story goes like this: The Directory of Marketing at L-1 (Viisage Technologies at the time), Marty Dugan (now the VP of Business Development at Inprentus) came up to me and said, “I need you to rewrite this case study for a conference going on in Germany right now. You have two hours to do it.”
And I gave it back to him fully rewritten to his absolute satisfaction in ONE!
And as aside, since the topic of the case study dealt with identity theft, I felt it necessary to ratchet up the drama and serious tone of the copy.
See for yourself.
NutriSavings – BSNENY Obesity Case Study
As a “hired gun” (i.e. a freelance writer), I am frequently called up on to do “one-offs” such as case studies, blog posts, contributing articles, and video scripts to name a few.
The following piece was written for NutriSavings, a B2B health and wellness service provider. They also have an app called NutriSavings Platform that subscribers can use to help them make healthier food purchases and receive discounts for doing so.
They called me in to collate several white papers and other content into a comprehensive case study on Obesity for their client BlueShield of Northeastern New York.
They would have been satisfied simply with the final copy in a Word document with no formatting, graphic elements, columns, or breakouts. But that’s not the way I roll when is comes to Marketing and Communications writing. I told them that the easiest way to do this was write it up as if it were the final published version.
The reason behind it is that it will be way easier to figure out how much space you have for limited word counts in each section and sub-section if you make it in template form instead of just writing willy-nilly in a Word document.
Having an idea of what constraints you have to work in is always better than trying to pare down the work—often times leading to abandoning content and having to start over.
Here, to the left, is the final draft version of the case study written and created in both MS Word and Adobe InDesign. The published piece is no longer available on the NutriSavings website due to its outdated data—now pending revision.
Oh, and though the authors on the document say that they are NutriSavings execs, I am the one who actually ghost-written it; I have the original files to prove it.