Work I’m Most Proud of

I am a professionally accredited public relations counselor with masters degree in journalism and a communications career that spans more than three decades. Here’s the work I’m most proud of:

Drowning is Preventable

Shortly after earning my APR accreditation in 2010, I decided to launch my public relations consulting firm by offered my services, pro-bono, to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), a nonprofit organization whose mission was personally important to me because my precious daughter Alicea Nita Payton had drowned in a neighbor’s unfenced swimming pool in 1988, shortly before her fourth birthday. The NDPA executive director was thrilled to hear from me. “It’s like you’re an angel who dropped down from heaven at just the right moment.”

The NDPA had just received an invitation to apply for a national public education contract with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) which was launching a national Pool Safely public education campaign, funded by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act . They were looking for partner organizations who could create supplemental campaigns and collateral material. But no one on the NDPA’s volunteer board knew how to respond to the CPSC’s RFQ. I accepted the task, applying all the strategic communications planning skills I had learned while earning my APR. My strategic communications plan secured a $1.3 million federal contract for the NDPA. Then, during the next two years, I lead a team of 15 independent, remote consultants to implement the organization’s federally contracted, national public education program.

Strategic Communications Planning Award

My strategic communications plan won honorable mention in the public service category of PR News 2012 Nonprofit Awards.

News Media Relations

Our news media outreach secured thousands of national and regional news placements, including: the Today show, The Early Show, The Associated Press, The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, CBS News, The Weather Channel and National Public Radio.

Public Service Announcements Awards

Our TV and radio PSAs secured donated media placements valued at more than $11 million and won 2012 Silver and Bronze Telly Awards.

Social Media Award

Our social media planning and execution won the 2011 PR Newswire Earnies Award for Best Outcome Based on Listening, Monitoring and Measurement.

National Presentations and Exhibits

Our national exhibit and presentation schedule had NDPA subject matter experts presenting or exhibiting at more than 50 distinct events, including annual conferences and conventions, with large gatherings of health and safety influencers, such as: the National Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the American Lifeguard Association and many others.

In January 2014 I put aside my public relations consulting business to accept a position as communications director at Stroud Water Research Center. During the nearly two years at Stroud Center my accomplishments include:

Developed and implemented a strategic communications plan.

Media relations strategies and tactics that significantly increased news and feature articles about the organization.

Improved the appearance and readability of the annual report.

Improved and increased the publishing frequency of its UpStream newsletter.

Substantially grew the organization’s Twitter following

Developed a coordinated exhibit display.

Exhibited on behalf of Stroud Center at the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Developed a strategy for adding an Instagram and Periscope channel

Served as staff photojournalist so that media releases, newsletter articles and collateral pieces are attractively illustrated.

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