Copywriting, editing, and speechwriting
Website, Jump Credit, 2019
Collateral, Johns Hopkins MFA program, 2018
20+ publications—book reviews, poems, and Spanish-to-English translations.
Assistant Editor, The Hopkins Review, 2016-2018
Social media, the Waywiser Press, 2016-2018
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
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.
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.
Passenger communications (sooo many emails… 📜)
North America marketing emails, Nov-Dec 2013 (PDF - large file!). This file catalogs more than 75 emails sent to passengers and drivers across Hailo’s North American cities over a two-month period, including…
Semi-automated emails to customers who failed to get a ride in the previous week (“ICE customers”).
National and international promotions.
New feature announcements.
Other drip and one-off campaigns.
Toronto new feature announcement email (vanilla version; version targeted at lapsed users with reactivation credit).
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
As an Urban Fellow, I worked on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speechwriting team.
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).
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).
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.
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
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.