I am a creative communicator with more than 20 years of experience. My expertise is social media, online advertising crisis communications, agricultural and environmental communications and developing and overseeing complete marketing communications functions for all kinds of organizations.
About me (in detail)
As an undergraduate journalism student in the early ’90s, I had the honor of getting my first freelance job, a page layout design gig for the eminent psychologist Allen Gardner.
It was perhaps fortuitous, as I ended up a few years later working in the agriculture and science communications fields and developing a love for how to best communicate about complex issues involved with research and science topics.
Since that time, I completed in 2011 my Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno, where I researched how the news media cover higher education institutions in times of crisis, taking a look at the differences among blog content, traditional news media (the Associated Press) and niche news media (The Chronicle of Higher Education).
My dissertation results: citizen driven communications — blogs, social media — introduce (surprise!) unchecked content in which citizens don’t always distinguish news (Associated Press) with “news” (blogs such as Michelle Malkin’s, The Huffington Post, etc.).
In a way, my research showed that you can generally trust the news media to stay on point in news coverage. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be concerned with the news media as a source of information. My dissertation also looked at a news media deficiencies, which, combined with my professional experience, led my to writing a book about the topic, Spin (see below).
One of my favorite projects is the development, oversight and maintenance of the community news website, ThisisReno.com, which my friend and I developed in 2009 to help provide our local area with a community-focused news resource after local newsrooms downsized significantly, impacting the breadth and quality of local news. ThisisReno is a mainstay of local news, frequently scooping other media and always focusing on the greater Reno news market. Read my articles here. I’m also the host of the ThisisReno radio show/podcast, available on iTunes and Soundcloud.
My professional experience has been diverse but focused on science, agriculture, energy and natural resources. My hair has gone grey from much time spent the crisis communications realm. Some of my experience spans floods, fires, whistle-blowers, budget cuts, activist attacks, disease outbreaks, human-animal chimeras, media misinformation, biotechnology, natural resources, environmental issues and a number of other public relations challenges.
- Agricultural, environmental and natural resource issues
- Public relations strategy
- Online advertising
- Crisis communications
- Social media strategy.
I’ve authored a number of articles, publications and a few books. My previous PR blog received an “Editor’s Pick” from the U.K. Journalism.co.uk, “The essential site for journalists,” and my work has been featured in Information Week, Bulldog Reporter, eSkeptic, PRSA’s TACTICS and other sites and publications.
- (Book / Ebook) Spin! How the News Media Misinform and Why Consumers Misunderstand (available at Amazon.com)
- (Book / Ebook) The Good, The Bad, The Spin: Collected Salvos on Public Relations, New Media and Journalism (available at Amazon.com)
- (Ebook) Strategic Advising: An Interview with Crisis Management Expert Jim Lukaszewski