Copywriting, editing, and speechwriting


Recent Samples

Website, Jump Credit, 2019

Wrote and designed a website for an early-stage international financial-tech startup. Winner, Austin Fast Start financial-tech competition, January 2019.

Collateral, Johns Hopkins MFA program, 2018

Proposed, wrote, and designed a flyer (PDF) and FAQ sheet (PDF) to educate prospective applicants at events about the JHU MFA program.

Creative writing

20+ publications—book reviews, poems, and Spanish-to-English translations.

Assistant Editor, The Hopkins Review, 2016-2018

Copy edited and proofread 8 issues of an award-winning literary journal. I also created the Review’s house style guide (PDF). Editing samples: Play excerpt (print), Essay (print and online).

Social media, the Waywiser Press, 2016-2018

Daily Twitter and Facebook for a small press based in London and Baltimore. Significantly increased entries to Waywiser’s annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.

InstaVet press release, freelancer, 2015

Between finishing at Hailo and starting at JHU, I did a little freelance copywriting and editing. Here’s a press release I wrote for a startup—70k impressions, 1,750 full reads, according to PRWeb.

🚖”NYC Taxis: Past, Present, and Future,” 2014

Wrote and performed a lecture on the history of taxis and the implications of ridesharing services, including a sold-out Brooklyn Brainery class. Created a shorter YouTube version with 35,000+ views.


Hailo

2012-2014

I worked on the small North America marketing team for Hailo, a London-based taxi app that expanded into the US during the politically-fraught early days of ridesharing. (For more background, check out my brief writeup of Hailo’s New York launch in the marketing management section of my portfolio.)

Over two years, in positions of increasing responsibility, I wrote hundreds of emails, blog posts, landing pages, social posts, driver training materials, display ads, in-app messages, and more. Since Hailo no longer exists, most of the blogs, help documents, and social posts I created are gone; as such, these samples skew a little heavily toward email, which was only one part of my copywriting work for the company.

Driver marketing and communications

Engaged tens of thousands of drivers in multiple cities.

  • NYC app manuals, Android and iOS (PDFs). Distributed at in-person trainings and via email/SMS.

  • Chicago, NYC, and Boston recruitment flyers, and bilingual poster (English, Spanish) for partnered black car bases (PDFs).

  • DC triggered email, sent upon app registration, active during beta and early days after launch. (Note: the email contains links to driver tutorial blog posts I wrote, which are now inactive.)

  • NYC one-time email, payment integration announcement. Context: When Hailo launched in yellow taxis, passengers still had to pay with a card using the console in the back of the taxi. A few months later, Hailo launched full automatic payments in yellow taxis. This email was sent to drivers whose taxis used a particular payment provider, announcing the upgrade.

  • NYC Instructional video.

Passenger communications (sooo many emails… 📜)

Social media, @Hailo, @HailoUSA, @HailoNYC, and others

Built multiple handles from zero to tens of thousands of followers (with guidance from an expert mentor!). Again, since Hailo is no more (RIP), very little of this content remains online. I’ve saved some screenshots showing engagement with a few campaigns.

  • #SkipTheLine. Hailo launched in NYC’s yellow taxis at the end of April 2013, in invite-only Beta. To build buzz around the launch, we created a social promotion where people could tweet why they wanted to #SkipTheLine for a chance to get early access. We emailed the promotion to pre-registered passengers, incorporated it into drip emails sent to newly-registered leads, proactively reached out to dozens of influencers, and made the promo a part of our in-person presence at the 2013 TechCrunch Disrupt convention. #SkipTheLine winners got access to the Beta, and I also designed and tweeted images of winning tweets, which spurred further sharing. Hailo registrations spiked and #SkipTheLine trended in NYC.

  • Valentine’s 2014. Ridesharing demand can be seasonal. To increase engagement during a slow period, we ran a Valentine’s Day promotion: in 6 US and Canadian cities, people could win Hailo credit by sharing how they felt about Valentine’s Day with the hashtags #HailYes, #HailNo, or #WhoTheHailCares. Along with the social campaign, we ran emails and set up custom landing pages. As a follow-up, we shared an infographic showing how each city had “voted.” There was a bump in Hailo rides and #HailYes trended in Chicago (who knew Chicagoans were so romantic?)

  • #70at70. Long story short, we welcomed summer with a multi-city promotion giving away 70 Hailo credits when the temperature reached 70 degrees. Trended on FB in some cities.


NYC Mayor’s Office

2011-2012

As an Urban Fellow, I worked on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speechwriting team.

Speeches

Typically, one speechwriter would lead a speech, researching, drafting, incorporating stakeholder feedback, sending a version around for editing by the rest of the team, making corrections, and submitting a final copy. Unfortunately, I can’t share samples, but I’ve included links to coverage of some projects I worked on—proofreading, fact-checking, contributing language, and (in a couple of cases) acting as the primary writer.

  • Million Trees NYC 500,000th tree planting (event video).

  • NY Giants Super Bowl victory parade (NY Times article; event video, speeches start around 2:06).

  • First annual NYC Literary Honors (press release).

  • NYC BigApps 3.0 awards ceremony (The Next Web article + event video).
    The BigApps competition awarded grants to mobile apps that made use of municipal data made available through the broader NYC Open Data initiative.

  • 2012 Shorty Awards (Forbes).
    Social media awards ceremony. (Bloomberg was nominated for “Foursquare Mayor of the Year.”)

  • CitiBike (bike share program) funding announcement (WNYC).

  • Brooklyn Navy Yard museum opening (Gothamist).

  • 2012 State of the City address (HuffPost on environmental angle; Mashable on Academy for Software Engineering announcement; Downtown Express on Governor’s Island park expansion)

Letters and proclamations

I also worked on the Correspondence team, writing Proclamations (documents commemorating organizations that have made a positive impact on the city) and letters to numerous nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations—Consumer Reports, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, City Limits.org, and the Harlem Dowling Center, to name a few.

Spanish blurbs

Bloomberg (in)famously took Spanish lessons and made a practice of ending speeches with recaps ✨en español✨. I wrote a number of these blurbs. Summarizing a speech quickly while sounding natural—but not too natural for a new Spanish learner—was an interesting challenge. A few events for which I contributed Spanish: Social Media Week 2012; groundbreaking of the Gotham West building; Steiner Studios expansion.

Social media, @NYCMayorsOffice

  • Twitter: with guidance from a mentor, helped @nycmayorsoffice add 15,000 followers. Researched and wrote responses to constituent questions with the #AskMike hashtag.

  • Helped initiate the @nycmayorsoffice Instagram.

  • Wrote as “NYCGov” for Tumblr and other channels working with NYC Digital and other agencies to source post ideas.
    Sample Tumblr posts: Literary Honors, #NYCPoetweet (NYC-themed poetry contest), NYC BigApps, Immigrant Heritage Week 2012, Taxi of Tomorrow launch, #AskMike example question.


Selected Older Samples

Middlebury College, 2007-2011

Speech honoring mathematics professor Steve Abbott, 2010

Chosen by professor Steve Abbott to deliver a speech (PDF) on his receipt of a teaching award.

Address to Phi Beta Kappa Graduates, 2011

Spoke (PDF) at Middlebury’s Phi Beta Kappa graduation ceremony.

Radio Arts Middlebury, 2009

Wrote, produced, and hosted a long-form arts journalism podcast and radio show.

One Nation Under Contract (Yale University Press, 2009)

Edited Allison Stanger’s One Nation Under Contract, reviewed in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and elsewhere. (I’m mentioned in the acknowledgments!)

The New England Review, intern, 2011

Proofread and contributed to editorial decisions for one of the nation’s most prestigious literary magazines.

The Addison County Independent, intern, 2011

Wrote for an award-winning local paper. (Sample articles: 1; 2, p.31; 3, byline incorrect). I also translated an article into Spanish.