I’m a corporate communications and public affairs professional with decades of writing, PR, and design experience online and in print, serving organizations from non-profits to Fortune 500 corporations.
I also have a strong background in graphics and digital, having produced meaningful results for my employers and clients in television/broadcast news, national publications, legislatures, social media, direct mail, trade shows, and even PowerPoint.
I regularly draft legislative testimony, executive presentation materials, white papers and a range of other targeted proactive works, and I know what it means to cultivate relationships with media, putting training into practice when it comes to getting the right messages delivered.
When not crafting talking points, speaking to the press, coding websites, or managing any number of varied projects with looming deadlines, I’m typing away at my blog or pursuing my own personal art and photography.
I have a passion for creating, a love of words and technology, and I believe there is always a way.
Specialties and Keywords
Public Affairs, Media Relations, Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Government Relations, Advocacy, Writing, Public Speaking, Social Media, Crisis Communication, Analytics, Digital Communications, Marketing Communications, Web Design, Graphic Design, HTML, SharePoint, Photoshop, WordPress
Senior Manager, Communications · RAI Services Co. · Winston-Salem, NC · 2009-present
Designing and executing external communications initiatives for the operating companies of Reynolds American Inc. (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, RJR Vapor Company, American Snuff Company, Niconovum).
- Driving awareness and understanding of corporate strategy while providing public relations & policy support, oversight and guidance for brand and advocacy projects (product launch/expansion, advertising, digital) as well as legislative and governmental initiatives (harm reduction, policy development).
- Producing and writing a wide array of advocacy materials: testimony, white papers, fact sheets, talking points, social media advertising for advocacy.
- Media spokesperson for brand marketing and many other public affairs issues, developing relationships with media contacts and disseminating company position on news items.
- Maintaining all aspects of and developing content for external and internal corporate websites.
- Implemented company social media policy and social media profiles across multiple channels, providing training, best practices guidance and analytics across departments.
- Managing and growing connections with agencies, contractors and key stakeholders relative to government relations and public affairs work in support of operating companies’ positions on key legislative issues.
- Advancing corporate communications externally and internally across digital media platforms while working with industry partners, trade associations, non-profits and cross-functional teams to support policies and communications projects that foster a positive business environment.
- Prior Positions:
– Senior Manager, Policy & Advocacy (08/15-9/16)
– Lead Manager, Communications (03/12-08/15)
– Manager, Digital Communications (12/09-03/12)
Creative Services Manager · PhoneTree · Winston-Salem · NC · 2002-2009
Writing, editing and web design for multimillion-dollar worldwide telecommunications business.
- Designed and wrote copy for marketing literature, press releases, corporate and promotional websites.
- Created/maintained company website, tailored to specific markets (healthcare, business, others).
- Developed and implemented entire product brand look-and-feel.
- Designed and coordinated all stages of production of all print and digital media (product literature, trade show gear, direct mail marketing, national magazine advertisements, etc.).
- Prior Titles:
– Senior Creative Specialist (02/06-11/07)
– Advertising Manager (01/05-02/06)
– Graphic Artist (01/02-12/04)
Owner, Blogger · rsmithing.com · 2011-present
Ongoing posts on photography, social media, public relations, technology, music, and writing, with exclusive content and comments from bestselling authors, worldwide brands and artists, along with my own photography and artwork. Featured as guest writer and cited source in other online publications.
Website Designer · Insync Creative · High Point, NC · 2000-2001
Copywriting, production and concept development for web with full-service advertising agency.
- Provided copywriting/editing for logistics and furniture clients, generating multiple advertising campaign and briefing materials for each.
- Created websites for existing client base, providing all design, layout, html, scripting, graphics.
- Performed high-visibility image retouching, color-correcting, photo editing.
Owner, Designer · rsmithdesign · 1999-present
Developing a full range of websites, from personalized URL campaigns to content management systems-based corporate presences. Also creating a full span of logos, digital/print collateral and marketing specialty media.
Presentation Specialist · Pratt & Whitney · West Hartford, CT · 1999-2000
Creation and management of executive-level sales material for Fortune 50 aerospace manufacturer.
- Fully responsible for design, consistency, and production of business-to-business sales presentations.
- Directed content traffic from multiple company divisions, ensuring input deadlines and standards.
- Worked very closely with senior management to distill highly technical information into marketable form.
Art Director · Market America, Greensboro, NC · 1997-1998
Production and coordination of marketing collateral for worldwide direct sales company.
- Produced monthly magazine and newsletter for network of distributors, generating all copy and advertisements.
- Interviewed management and suppliers for articles and press releases, editing for consistency/tone.
- Systemized project review between production and executive staffs, enforcing corporate standards and deadlines.
Marketing Administrator · Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Boone, NC · 1996-1997
Marketing material development and design for major regional tourism and business development center.
- Rendered concepts into projects – print advertisements, brochures and direct mail, producing design and copy.
- Wrote press releases for community and chamber events, serving as media relations contact.
Education: Appalachian State University, Boone, NC · BA, English, 1996 · Minors in Fine Art and Communication.