870.436.3860

 

This online portfolio contains actual examples of work I’ve completed for clients, with their permission.

Sample Item #1 – Web article written for a non-profit organization in Philadelphia that serves the homeless.

Mortgage Crisis Not Having a Visible Effect on Homelessness – Yet

Television newscasts, newspapers and online news outlets can’t seem to get through the day lately without talking about the mortgage lending crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners who can no longer afford their mortgages are being foreclosed upon – but what is happening to the families?

“I think there are a few bumps before a family ends up at a shelter door,” said Phyllis Ryan, director of the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness. “When someone loses their house, they usually return to renting, or sharing a home with family or friends.”

Ellen Schloemer, director of research for the Center for Responsible Lending agrees, but says the crisis is just now ramping up and the ripple effect on families could be felt for as long as a decade.

Understanding the Crisis

The mortgage crisis is affecting the subprime mortgage market, which means it is having an impact on people who are in the lower income brackets, or have blemished credit.

The problem occurred due to several changes in both the mortgage industry and in appreciation, particularly in the Philadelphia and South Jersey areas.

Approximately 3-5 years ago, mortgage interest rates for Adjustable Rate Mortgages, or ARMS, were at their lowest in years. Low interest rates – sometimes as low as 1-2 percent over a short period of the loan, made payments low.

Real estate agents and brokers eager to get people into homes sold these types of loans to people who most likely, could never have qualified for a traditional mortgage.

The disadvantage of an ARM type loan is that the interest will climb – either in a fixed length of time – or with the prime interest rate.

The result are rising payments – sometimes triple to quadruple what the borrowers were paying in the beginning.

At the same time, homes in the Philadelphia area were increasing in value – at a rate of 5-14 percent in 2004 and 2005, making it even more difficult for the working poor to afford their own home. Again, mortgage brokers were only too happy to help these buyers by fixing them up with an ARM.

Schloemer said a homeowner with a $1,522 mortgage payment could have seen it skyrocket to $2,208 in just 2 ½ years.

As a result, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, 2.2 million borrowers who obtained subprime loans since 1998 will be foreclosed upon. That includes 1 in 5 borrowers who obtained their loans in 2005-06.

Sample Item #2Brochure copy promoting an event for the Society of Professional Journalists (I also professionally blogged for this organization)

Newsroom issues—Ethics, Diversity, First Amendment, Freedom of Information!2004 Society of Professional Journalists

Region VII ConferenceFriday & Saturday, March 26-27

KU Regent’s Center, 12600 Quivira Road, Overland Park, KS

 

Featuring:

Jeff Seidel, reporter for the Detroit Free Press and embedded journalist during the Iraq War

and

Thomas E. Franklin, photographer for the Bergen Record who shot the famous 9-11 firefighter photo

 

Professional development seminars and skills-based workshops by award-winning journalists and representatives of:

The Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors,

The Poynter Institute, The Kansas City Star, Missouri Press Association, Wichita Eagle,

St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kansas Press Association.

Join us for the opening night party and auction, Friday, March 26, to benefit the Legal Defense Fund at

Zarda Bar-B-Que, 11931 W. 87th Street
(87th & Quivira), Lenexa, KS, 6 p.m-9 p.m.

Registration: Early Bird--$75 for SPJ members who register before March 10 and $90 for non-members and members who register after March 10. Registration forms available online at www.spj.org/kcpress.

Conference includes three general sessions, your choice of two breakout sessions, boxed lunch and dinner at the Mark of Excellence Awards.

Checks, money orders or cashiers checks only. Sorry, we cannot take credit cards. All registrations must be made by March 17. For more information, contact Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell at 913-362-3860 or Patrick Dobson at 816-333-7303.

Sponsored by The Kansas City Press Club, Universal Press Syndicate, the Missouri Press Association, the Kansas Press Association, the Nebraska Press Association, The Kansas City Star, the Wichita Eagle, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Associated Press (Kansas City office), the Columbia Tribune,

Discovery Publications-eKC

Sample Item #3Profile written on an attorney for a professional legal magazine

Vern Petri Profile

Vern Petri has always been known as a someone willing to try things no one else would chance. That’s why its not surprising that being known for taking on cases others wouldn’t, has become the hallmark of his legal career.

In 1966, even before he graduated from Indiana University Law School or had sat through a jury trial, he decided to run for prosecuting attorney in Owen County, Indiana. He tried and won his first case as prosecutor against a minister who was convicted of molesting young boys. Petri served a total of two terms as prosecutor and was elected president and served on the board of directors of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Association.

Lessons learned in investigating cases for the Counter Intelligence Corps before embarking in his law career, as well as trying cases as district attorney, gave Petri the experience and knowledge he needed to try civil cases.

Petri’s known for trying and winning medical legal litigation involving some of the most publicized cases in the country, including cases against the makers of Tylenol and various diet drugs, as well as chairing litigation cases involving adverse reaction to anti-depressants. He’s served on the executive committee of ATLA’s Breast Implant Litigation Group that represented 200 such clients.

Ask Petri which cases, of the thousands he’s tried over the years he is most proud of and he will point to cases that not only had a tremendous positive impact for his clients, but cases that eventually resulted in changes in laws he felt unfair to consumers.

Petri won a case involving a woman who wasn’t given a critical drug after the birth of her first child. The failure to administer that drug resulted in her second child being born with brain damage. When Petri took the case, the law read that women couldn’t sue for injuries a fetus sustained before conception, even if there was negligence. Petri took the case and the law was changed, which also resulted in another win for a subsequent client.

Petri has handled hundreds of medical malpractice suits in various parts of the United States, including Oregon, Kentucky, Illinois and other states.

One of Petri’s most memorable negligence cases involved a woman who came to Indianapolis for a weekend away and stayed at the Dollar Inn. She was stuck with a dirty hypodermic needle while reaching behind the toilet for a roll of toilet paper. It was in the early years of the discovery of AIDS. The woman spent the next eight years being tested for AIDS and other blood-born diseases, all the while worrying her family could also contract a disease if she became ill.

When Petri took the case, the general consensus was that actual medical injury was the prevailing factor for rulings. Although the woman never became ill, a jury awarded the woman over $250,000 for mental anguish she sustained during those eight years. The motel’s attorney’s appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, who, for the first time, ruled that mental injury could be worth more than actual physical injuries.

Winning that case prompted Daniel Harrigan, a well-respected trial attorney and someone who Petri only knew as a professional acquaintance to write, “I just read about your victory in Dollar Inn vs. Sloan. Once again you’ve proven your amazing ability to turn base metal into gold. You should have been an alchemist. Congratulations and Best wishes.”

Petri’s reputation for taking on cases others thought lost began shortly after he left the district attorney’s office in 1974. One of his first high profile cases involved a curve that became known as “the killer curve” on a stretch of I-70.

A widow of the killer curve came to Petri with a $500 bill she had received from the State of Indiana. In the wreck that killed her husband, he had damaged the guardrail and the state wanted the widow to pay for damages.

While investigating, Petri discovered that her client’s husband was the 13th person to die on that particular spot. Before that time, no one could sue the state, but Petri continued working the case. By the time Petri had the evidence to prove the highway department was responsible for the dangerous curve, the doctrine of sovereign immunity had been reversed and Petri won the lawsuit for his client. In another dangerous road case a passing lane was closed and remains unused to this day.

The Killer Curve case led to other lawyers referring him other difficult cases  – including a veteran who had been paralyzed by falling boxes on his job and a man who was paralyzed because a trailer fell on him while he was trying to weld a broken part.

He has also succeeded in representing people severely injured on construction sites; cases involving toxic spill injuries and poisoning of underground water, the air, water, neighborhoods and land surrounding chemical plants.

Petri continues to serve as national chair on cases involving tap water scalding burn injuries as a result of defective hot water heaters. His website at www.petrilaw.com is devoted to such litigation as well as to most of the litigation he has handled. His email address is vjpetri@petrilaw.com

Sample Item #4 - Ad Copy for a magazine promoting a prize sponsored by K9 Cuisine

You and your canine kid will agree, nothing could be more fulfilling for his tummy - and your wallet - than a 6 month supply ($250 value) of premium dog food from www.k9cuisine.com K9 Cuisine offers you the opportunity to shop from the comfort of home when it is convenient for you. Bonus! Your dog gets to bark at the UPS man when it is delivered for free to your door! Over 95 percent of our orders are shipped by our friendly staff the same day they are placed.

Sample Item #5 - A sample of a “PSA” type marketing email.

Subject Line: Is your pet eating healthier this new year?

If you have pets and care about what they eat, you’re going to want to read this:

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, but how many of us made resolutions to feed our pets a better diet?

Many studies also indicate that a higher quality diet could save money on veterinary bills over time. Think about it, when we eat better, we look better and feel better, wouldn’t the same hold true for your pet?

Your dogs and cats may not be getting 100% pure meat in their pet food as many commercial pet foods contain “meat by-products,” and “meal by product or bone meal.”

What are meat by products? Generally, this means anything “not fit for human consumption” and could be anything from hooves and beaks to heads and udders.

If that isn’t appetizing, consider that meat by product or bone meal is rendered fat from livestock.

Where do pet food companies get this livestock? Well, considering that the FDA found pentobarbital, a commonly used euthanasia drug in some rendered pet foods, we can only guess. “4D” – dead, dying, diseased and disabled – animals are banned from human food, but are still legal ingredients in pet food.

That’s something I didn’t want my own 4-legged family member eating and just one of the reasons in 2007 that I founded K9 Cuisine, an online retailer of high quality and organic pet foods.

K9 Cuisine carries over 150 brands of high quality pet foods that have beef, chicken, lamb, fish and other true meats at the #1 ingredient. Pet food regulations require ingredients to list the ingredients in order by weight – so when beef, turkey, chicken, lamb or other meat is listed as the main ingredient – you know your pet is actually getting meat.

Many of our high quality pet food brands also use only ingredients suitable for human consumption.

Your pet is really part of the family, isn’t that really what you want for them?

If you have any questions about how your current dog food stacks up, K9 Cuisine also uses a free online dog food rating tool (don’t fear cat lovers, Feline Cuisine with a similar tool will launch sometime in 2011!) Simply have the label of your current food at the ready when you sit down to complete the questionnaire.

In the meantime, if you see “meat by products,” “meal by product” or “bone meal” or even wheat or corn as one of the main ingredients on your current food, don’t you owe it to your loyal pet companion to check out a higher quality food?

I know I don’t want to walk into a restaurant thinking I’m getting meat only to find out it really isn’t. I don’t want my dogs and cats eating something I wouldn’t want to eat either.

K9 Cuisine offers you the convenience of shopping online at your convenience 24/7, avoiding the hassle of crowds, the possibility of getting out in nasty weather and the chance for your dogs to bark at the FedEx driver when your order is delivered right to your door!

K9 Cuisine also offers excellent customer service (99% of our orders ship out the same day), discounts and coupons on our site, FREE shipping for orders over $50 and no sales tax.

It can’t be any easier to feed your four-legged family member a high quality diet and it’s never too late to start.

Anthony Holloway,

Founder K9 Cuisine

January 2011

 

Sample #6 - Example of an executive profile for Entrepreneur Magazine

Diversity is About More Than Race

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

 

Mahnaz Shabbir was horrified when she heard about the terrorist attacks of 9-11. But as an American Muslim, she was saddened when some Muslims became the target of discrimination at work.

Shabbir, 44, has a MBA and she knew she could put her background to work helping people learn about diversity and tolerance in the workplace. She quit her longtime job as an executive with a large healthcare system to open Shabbir Advisors.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about other religions and cultures,” Shabbir said. “I talk about my Eagle Scout sons and bring my family to life as your neighbors.”

Shabbir conducts seminars for corporate clients, universities, health care systems and the military Command Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where she talks to military officers. She projects her sales to double in 2005.

Shabbir’s next projects are co-authoring a book with a Jewish friend about interfaith relationships and producing a documentary.

Caption Quote: “People can read about diversity in a book but if they can sit down and have a conversation, that is where inclusion begins,” Shabbir said.

Example #7 - Fans for Food Campaign email sent to K9 Cuisine customers, current Facebook fans and a mass email blast. This campaign resulted in the company increasing their fans from approximately 200 to over 7,000 in a matter of months. Now, over 7,000 people get daily updates with K9 Cuisine’s name attached on issues related to their pets in their news feeds.

Fans for Food – Will You Take a Moment to Help?
By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog-Month and many animal lovers and humane organizations are doing quite a bit to bring light to the fact that there are so many wonderful shelter dogs awaiting their fur-ever homes.

K9 Cuisine (www.k9cusine.com) an online supplier of quality pet foods, treats and toys is bringing awareness to the month by launching its’ Fans for Food campaign. If they get 5,000 Facebook fans by October 31, they will donate 5,000 pounds of dog food, divided between two worthy rescue organizations.

The first, Homeward Bound Gold Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary (http://www.homewardboundgoldens.org) in Northern California, saves hundreds of Goldens from an uncertain fate each year by rescuing them from puppy mills, shelters and owners who can no longer care for their dogs.

The other rescue is Half-Way Home Rescue in Collins, Mo., (http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/half-wayhome.html) one I personally have volunteered for and where we adopted our latest family member, a black pit/lab mix named Chloe. The founder, Latichia Duffy, rescues dogs and cats from the high kill municipal shelter in Springfield, Mo., where public adoptions are not allowed. If it weren’t for Latichia and Half-Way Home, thousands of dogs’ stories would have ended on a cold exam room table at the shelter.

Needless to say, 2,500 pounds of food would mean the world of difference for these two grass roots organizations and the dogs that are in their care.

However, October is more than half way over and K9 Cuisine is only at 2,000 fans.

Won’t you take a moment to help?

Here’s the ways in which you can become involved in making sure homeless dogs receive 5,000 pounds of food for the holidays:

  • Go to the K9 Cuisine Facebook page and hit the “like” button

  • Next, go to the left of the same page and invite all of your Facebook friends to do the same. You can hit “suggest to friends” and click on “all” and even send a note to them about helping homeless pets.

  • Forward this post to all of your friends, blog about the Fans for Food campaign and send out Tweets.

Getting some pet food to homeless animals is as easy as clicking your mouse.

Example #8 - Sample of an article I wrote on a financial services company’s new marketing campaign for Financial Advertising Review. In the four years I wrote for FAR, I crafted hundreds of these types of articles, learning all the while about marketing campaigns for financial services. Some of the most recognized I highlighted included the Regions bank green bicycle campaign, which has been such a success, Regions has used the campaign now for nearly four years.

Financial Services Company Starts Internally for Rebranding

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

What do you get when you take banks, financial services advisors, an insurance company and an insurance consulting group and mix them together?

For one financial services group, you get VIST Financial, based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

VIST Financial traces its’ roots back to the First National Bank of Leesport, which was founded in 1909. When Leesport Bank acquired three insurance companies, two investment firms and a bank in 2007, the company found itself with a 7-way identity crisis.

The company which has $1.1 billion in assets, knew it had to combine all of its’ financial services into one banking entity, which would help it establish itself as an overall financial services provider and help establish its 18 traditional banking branches as full-service financial institutions that could assist its’ customers with more than the normal bank products.

This year, Leesport Financial Services decided to make the leap, pulling together Leesport Bank, Madison Bank, Essick & Barr Insurance, Madison Financial Advisors, The Boothby Group, Madison Insurance Consultants, and Philadelphia Financial Mortgage under one name.

Joe Weinlick, chief brand strategist with the Brownstein Group, a Philadelphia based 65-year old marekting firm that specializes in branding campaigns, said his firm had been working with the then Leesport Financial for two years before embarking on the new branding campaign.

“We did some research with some consumers and employers of the different companies under Leesport,” said Weinlick. “We decided we were first going to have to get the employees to think of themselves as one internally.”

Deciding on where to start with the campaign was the easy part, said Weinlick, choosing a name became the challenge. Research showed that consumers, as well as employees had an emotional tie to the Leesport name and history, which traced back nearly a century. “We looked at all the names and decided if we went with any one name, we would have an immediate challenge,” said Weinlick. As well, leaders at Leesport decided they wanted something new and fresh. “We decided it was time for a new name, a new brand – something that says who we are – something new, fresh and alive,” said Paula Barron, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for VIST.

The Brownstein Group began looking at names and one thing they kept coming back to was that the company, with all of its’ financial services was a forwarding thinking, visionary company. “From visionary, which is evocative of many things, we came up with VIST,” said Weinlick. “It was a bold new name and Leesport was very supportive of that effort.”

Once the name was selected, VIST and Brownstein initiated the first campaign in October 2007, which was the internal marketing campaign, making sure all of the employees that were working in different entities of the financial services company, were all supportive of the effort to unite the companies into one. “Getting the employees behind the effort first really worked to our advantage,” said Barron, adding that by gaining the employees buy-in first, even the most loyal to the 100-year-old Freeport Bank name were excited to become a part of the bank’s next 100 year history.

The external marketing campaing was not rolled out until March of this year and when it was launched, the campaign featured actual employees that customers knew and could associate with the former companies. “Our research showed that many customers liked the banks because they knew the employees by name,” said Weinlick. “We wanted to take the bank that had been around for 100 years and make sure customers knew it was forward moving for the next 100 years.”

Weinlick said the campaign ran through June and so far, has only been measured anecdotedly. “The feedback we’ve heard is that the new name has been incredibly well received,” said Weinlick.

Ads: VIST Outdoors #1 & #2 on the CD

Pullout box: The challenge of changing the name of a bank while it is still operating under the same company is making sure customers understand they will see the same faces in the bank branches.

VIST Print ads #3,4,5 on the CD

Pullout box: To further communicate the message that customers at VIST bank branches and in other financial services offices would see the same friendly faces they were familiar with, the bank used actual – and recognizable employees in the ads. Weinlick said the challenge in using employees was finding people who were recognizable, but who also presented well in photos.

VIST teaser emails (last on CD)

Pullout box: VIST Financial used traditional billboards, in house signage and print ads, but also sent emails to it’s current customers. The emails not only helped the bank gain recognition for its’ new name, but also for its’ new, bright color of orange. Like the name, orange was a bold change from the traditional blue the company was using as Leesport Financial.

Sample Item #9 - Press Release for moreprofiles.com. The key to crafting a successful press release is finding the news hook that will make the editor want to cover the company or event.

The Online Dating Industry Evolves With One Click

moreProfiles.com Empowers Singles and Simplifies How They Search the Internet for Love

PHOENIX, Ariz.- Anyone who has tried to select the perfect online dating sites and then filled out profiles for each one knows how time consuming it can be. That collective frustration felt by singles was the motivation behind moreProfiles.com, which has launched the first and only free online dating meta-search and profile submission website.

moreProfiles.com members create just one personal profile that is distributed to all of the top dating websites automatically, and absolutely free – saving time for busy professional singles.

An additional advantage to becoming a member at moreProfiles.com is the ability to browse, for free, the profiles of more than 30 million singles from the top online dating websites including Match, Yahoo Personals, American Singles, Love Happens, True and more—simultaneously.

John Dahl, president of moreProfiles.com, believes the seamless integration of profiles from the top online dating websites represents a tipping-point in the industry that is long overdue.

“By offering a way to easily and intuitively browse all the top online dating websites simultaneously,” Dahl points out, “we think a lot more people are going to take advantage of online dating to reach out and find that special someone.”

Choosing a dating service and creating and managing profiles shouldn’t be the focus for people who are wanting to find a relationship through an online dating service. “The question shouldn't be ‘which dating website is right for me?’ The question should be ‘which person is right for me?’” Dahl said.

moreProfiles.com (http://www.moreProfiles.com) helps singles find the answer using two new software functions:

  • One Search™ - Allows moreProfiles.com members to browse all of the dating websites at the same time. Users enter the qualities of their compatible match and One Search instantly searches the top dating websites, returning only those matches that most closely fit what our member is seeking in a relationship. All of this happens with just one click.

  • One Profile™ - Allows our members to create and manage just one personal profile. One Profile processes the answers and formats them for submission to all of the top dating websites. Our members have told us it takes an hour or more to complete each profile, which means numerous hours spent just launching profiles on the top dating websites. One Profile places our members everywhere at once, with minimal effort that maximizes results.

The moreProfiles.com team was inspired by meta-search websites like WebCrawler and Dogpile, travel consolidation websites like Expedia and Travelocity and price comparison websites like Shopping and NexTag to create a similar format for the fragmented world of online dating.

moreProfiles.com is bringing online dating technology current with other online functions. “If we can search everywhere online for the perfect digital camera through one website, we should be able to search everywhere online for the perfect date through one website. And it should be as simple and easy as possible,” Dahl said.

moreProfiles.com is part of Online Dating Concepts, Inc., a Phoenix based company. For more information, contact Tom Pittman, Communications Director, moreProfiles.com 480-759-7721.

Sample Item #10 - Spay it Forward Press Release for Crawford Dog & Cat

For Immediate Release
Contact Lisa Alexander 516

SPAY IT FORWARD… a veterinarian gives back.

A local veterinarian, in an effort to give back to the community, has launched a new program in answer to Long Island’s multiplying stray cat population. Experts believe these animals on Long Island to be in the tens of thousands.

Dr Keith Niesenbaum, owner of Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital in Garden City Park, has decided to give back to those who want to help these homeless animals and are finding it difficult in these economic times.

He is hoping others will take his lead as well to “spay it forward” by offering similar programs, discounting all of his services to rescuers for a “trap, neuter, release program”. Niesenbaum says “TNR maybe the most effective answer to the problem, preventing the needless suffering of generations of animals to come.  I am hoping to inspire people to help.”

Those who wish to have neighborhood cats neutered and spayed should contact Lisa Alexander to make an appointment Monday thru Friday. Humane traps are available at the clinic.

 

Sample Item #11 - Online source book I wrote for Mini-co Publications:

http://minico.imirus.com/Mpowered/book/vrv10/i1/p1