Resume

Executive Summary
  • An award-winning, multi-talented communications professional with 30 years of experience in public relations and journalism.
     

  • Expertise includes writing/editing, photography, videography, graphic design, web development, community outreach, marketing campaign development/implementation, media relations, and project management.
     

  • Adept at “training up” others, while forming collaborative, rather than combative, working relationships.
     

  • Possess insider’s knowledge as a former reporter about how news media organizations really operate—experience that allows for generating more effective news releases, pitching stories and “getting out front of stories.”
     

  • Ability to combine graphics with text to generate online content or printed materials that have eye-appeal without compromising readability.
     

  • Technically proficient while also possessing exceptional people skills.

Education
Experience Summary

Northwest Missouri State University

Maryville, MO   |   1991-1994

 

  • Bachelor of Science In Education

  • English Major

  • Journalism Minor

  • 3.7 GPA

Jackson County, Missouri

Kansas City, MO   |   2007-Present   |   Website Administrator & Communications Specialist  |   FULL DETAILS

  • Web content increased from one site (fewer than 30 pages) to six sites (2,000-plus pages).

  • Web traffic increased from fewer than 150,000 visitors per year to more than 2.5 million.

  • Copywriter for county's highest elected official (2007-2016).

United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Section

Overland Park, KS   |   2005-2007   |   Senior Publications Coordinator   |   FULL DETAILS

  • Implemented USTA re-branding campaign and developed section’s style guide.

  • Created CrossCourt membership magazine.

  • Redesigned section website. Web traffic increased 175%.

Union Station Kansas City, Inc.

Kansas City, MO   |   2003-2005   |   Advertising Copywriter & Web Master   |   FULL DETAILS

  • All exhibits exceeded attendance goals.

  • Website traffic increased 400%. 

Kansas City Area Transportation Authority

Kansas City, MO   |   1999-2003   |   Media/Publications Coordinator   |   FULL DETAILS

  • Launched "Customer-Driven... Every Minute... Every Mile..." campaign.

  • Customer complaints dropped 43% in one year.

Cameron Citizen-Observer

Cameron, MO   |   1994-1999   |   News Editor & Sports Editor    |   FULL DETAILS

  • More than a dozen state and national awards earned.

Creston News Advertiser

Creston, IA   |   1986-1992   |   Sports Editor    |   FULL DETAILS

  • Then youngest (daily newspaper) sports editor in Iowa.

 
Jackson County, Missouri

Kansas City, MO  |   November 2007-Present

Website Administrator (February 2017-Present)

 

  • Transitioned to new position—after nine years splitting time between Communications Specialist and the Web Content Administrator duties—due to county’s need to have an individual dedicated full-time to modernizing its online presence.
     

  • Redesigned jacksongov.org website in 2017 to reflect preferred color scheme and image of new County Executive.
     

  • Currently coordinating “culture-changing” project to develop new digital services-oriented site, emphasizing citizen needs as determined through analytics, surveys and focus groups.
     

  • Analyze web data to monitor all six county websites and draft monthly reports on traffic patterns (most commonly visited pages, devices used to access sites, social media referrals, etc.) and make recommendations to improve each site’s performance:

    ► Jackson County Main Site (jacksongov.org)

    ► Parks + Rec (makeyourdayhere.com)

    ► COMBAT (jacksoncountycombat.com)

    ► Sheriff's Office (jacksoncountysheriff.org)

    ► Prosecutor's Office (jacksoncountyprosecutor.com)

    ► JCOOL Intranet (public access restricted)
     

  • Coordinate with 19 different departments, 12 elected officials, more than 30 boards/commissions and content management system (CMS) vendor to manage all web-related projects.
     

  • Create and implement training program for all website content contributors. Monitor ongoing web updates to assure quality control. More than 60 content contributors trained in 2017.
     

  • Develop mobile applications for Parks + Rec Department and continue to update Parks website, makeyourdayhere.com, including design of all online graphics.
     

  • Convert hundreds of PDFs into online forms or web pages.
     

  • Website performance:

    ► Inherited a single site in 2007 consisting of fewer than 30 pages of content and attracting fewer than 150,000 visitors per year. Web traffic first exceeded 2 million visitors in 2011 and has topped 2.5 million last three years.

    ► Expanded the county’s online presence to six sites with more than 2,000 pages of content combined.

    ► County site now ranks No. 2 when conducting a non-geographic specific Google search for “Jackson County.” (In 2007 jacksongov.org did not appear within the first 10 pages of results.)

Web Content Administrator & Communications Specialist (November 2007-February 2017)

 

  • Communications Department’s only writer. Responsible for consistent messaging (news releases, online content, talking points) for special events, major projects, key initiatives and community-outreach programs.
     

  • Served as the ghostwriter for County Executive and department directors, including speeches, correspondence and guest-column submissions.
     

  • Completed initial redesign of main county website in 2008, utilizing graphic artist skills and, in addition to the content, also writing HTML/CSS code.
     

  • Expanded County’s digital footprint from one website to six.
     

  • Developed an “in-house news agency” to increase content on websites through feature articles and to create a historical archive.
     

  • Managed project in 2015 to redesign all six websites and migrate them to new content management system (CMS).

    ► Wrote formal Request For Proposals and chaired CMS selection committee tasked with reviewing bids and vetting vendors.

    ► Utilized graphics and code-writing skills to develop new wireframes to serve as blueprint for final site designs.

    ► Analyzed web traffic patterns and search engine data to develop more user-friendly navigation trees.
     

  • Other duties:

    ► Responding to media inquiries and coordinating news conferences, speeches and special events.

    ► Producing PowerPoint presentations.

    ► Still photography and videography.

    ► Writing copy for newsletters, brochures, print advertisements, video scripts and social media.

Seeking a leadership position with an organization that places a greater emphasis on long-term strategy—a proactive approach to media relations, crisis communications planning, image building and branding—and values ongoing professional development and service. Also, prefer web focus be primarily on design and generating content, rather than technical administration.

 
United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Section

Overland Park, KS   |   June 2005-July 2007

Senior Publications Coordinator

 

  • Created new quarterly publication, CrossCourt, focusing specifically on local players, events and news to complement section members’ subscriptions to Tennis and USTA Magazine, which concentrate on professional players. Responsible for layout, photography, articles, editing/rewriting submissions and ghostwriting Executive Director’s column.
     

  • Designed pieces—flyers, brochures, posters, etc.—to promote membership drives, programs and events.
     

  • Submitted print specs and selected vendors, while maintaining project/graphics budget. All projects completed on time and under budget.
     

  • Produced, then enforced style guide to guarantee consistent messaging and branding throughout the Missouri Valley Section’s seven districts—Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, St. Louis and Heart of America (Greater Kansas City region)—in accordance with national rollout of new logo branding campaign.
     

  • Trained staff and volunteers in use of style guide, media relations, writing and basic photography.
     

  • Attended events and tournaments throughout the section, acting as a press aid while also taking photographs, writing feature articles and posting updates on missourivalley.usta.com. Photos published in various local and national publications, including Sports Illustrated.
     

  • Revised section website through updated content, photo galleries and standardized design templates. Web traffic increased 175% June – December 2005 and another 120% in 2006.
     

  • Compiled information through coordination with various district Tennis Service Representatives and volunteers to design 88-page annual yearbook.

Resigned due to lack of growth opportunities without relocating to national office in New York City and after being offered position at Jackson County in June of 2007. Pursued freelance offers while waiting for county’s hiring freeze (June – October 2007) to be lifted.

 
Union Station Kansas City, Inc.

Kansas City, MO   |   October 2003-May 2005

Advertising Copywriter & Web Master

 

  • Generated copy for all print ads, signage, brochures, direct-mail pieces, newsletters, radio commercials, etc.
     

  • Revised and updated the text/graphics for the web, including the rebuild of the Union Station and Science City home pages, as well as the initial design of a new Kansas City Museum site. Devised and implemented special promotions exclusively for the web, including e-newsletters.
     

  • Analyzed web traffic statistics to determine viewing patterns and initiated strategies for improving the site’s performance. Number of web visitors increased 400% in 2004.
     

  • Established profiles of target markets to establish different “voices” to appeal to suburban and urban families, corporations, educators, donor, etc. Based on these profiles, created themes and taglines to focus marketing campaigns for exhibits, movies, special events and fundraising. All exhibits exceeded attendance goals.
     

  • Utilized photography skills to increase USKC’s image library.
     

  • Developed organization’s style guide, drafted scripts for phone system and assisted PR specialists in producing newsletters, FAQs, press kits, article submissions, media events and talking points.

Resigned due to organization’s instability (three CEO’s and four Marketing Directors in 21 months).

Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
 

Kansas City, MO   |   June 1999-September 2003

Media/Publications Coordinator

 

  • Applied an array of journalistic skills to significantly upgrade all KCATA communications, combining graphics with copy to produce a variety of marketing publications, including annual reports, newsletters, direct-mail pieces, brochures, advertisements, flyers, etc.
     

  • Produced agency’s internal and external communications by managing editorial calendar, conducting interviews, writing articles, taking photographs, designing newsletters and coordinating with print vendor.
     

  • Started new monthly internal newsletter with original design and concept of serving as an employee-recognition tool to complement weekly news-oriented publication. Also, responsible for writing and designing monthly and quarterly external newsletters.
     

  • Implemented new “Customer-Driven . . . Every Minute . . . Every Mile!” public relations campaign to emphasize customer service. Customer complaints dropped 43% in one year.
     

  • Wrote news releases, speeches, ad copy for print and broadcast, scripts, etc. Ghost-wrote guest columns and other media submissions for the general manager and board chair. Pitched story ideas to the media.
     

  • Conducted research to bolster agency’s image related to community service, economic development and environmental impact.
     

  • Surveyed customers, obtained testimonials, and performed comparative studies with peer agencies regarding funding, efficiency and service quality.

Resigned when presented opportunity to further develop web design/editing skills at Union Station.

 
Cameron Citizen-Observer

Cameron, MO   |   November 1994-June 1999

News Editor (January 1999-June 1999)

 

  • Planned and oversaw all editorial projects, including annual 124-page Profile edition and paper’s first-ever full-color magazine, Crossroads Country.
     

  • Hired and supervised staff reporters and freelance writers, assigning stories, setting deadlines, editing and fact-checking articles.
     

  • Covered City Council, Park Board, School Board and Police beats, while continuing to serve as Sports Editor.
     

  • Broke two major stories ahead of larger competitors (Kansas City Star, St. Joseph News-Press and area television stations): 

    Abandoned Infant Left At Hospital

    State Prison Causing Air Pollution

Sports Editor (November 1994-June 1999)

 

  • Expanded game coverage and use of graphics to create award-winning “Sports Beat” section, increasing readership through greater emphasis on female athletic teams and “minor” sports.
     

  • Created paper’s style guide.
     

  • Designed Profile edition every year.
     

  • During publisher’s prolonged illness in 1997, volunteered to assume his responsibility for designing front page, leading to full pagination of entire paper.
     

  • Earned 10 Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Awards. 

Resigned to pursue opportunities outside the newspaper industry.

Creston News Advertiser
 

Creston, IA   |   March 1986-August 1992

Sports Writer/Editor
 

  • Published more than 1,800 by-line articles and 3,000 photographs.
     

  • Promoted to Sports Editor in September of 1989. Trained and supervised sports department’s staff. Coverage area featured 11 high schools and one college. At the time youngest sports editor of a daily newspaper in Iowa.

Resigned to pursue undergraduate degree full-time.

Organizations
Awards
  • National Assocation of County Information Officers
     

  • Public Relations Society of America (Greater Kansas City Chapter)

National Association of County Information Officers
 

  • 2010 Best In Show Award—For Historic Truman Courthouse Renovations Public Relations Campaign

Greater Kansas City Public Employees Recognition Award
 

  • 2016 Distinguished Technical Service Award
     

  • 2009 Distinguished Technical Service Award

Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
 

  • July 2002 Employee of the Month

Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest
 

  • 2013 Best Sports Feature   |   Honorable Mention   |   Platte County Citizen (Freelance)
     

  • 1998 Best Sports Coverage   |   2nd Place   |   Cameron Citizen-Observer
     

  • 1998 Best Sports Article   |   Honorable Mention
     

  • 1997 Best Sports Coverage   |   1st Place   |   Cameron Citizen-Observer
     

  • 1997 Best Feature Story   |   3rd Place
     

  • 1997 Best Feature Story   |   Honorable Mention
     

  • 1996 Best Sports Coverage   |   2nd Place   |   Cameron Citizen-Observer
     

  • 1996 Best Sports Column   |   3rd Place
     

  • 1995 Best Sports Coverage   |   2nd Place   |   Cameron Citizen-Observer
     

  • 1995 Best Sports Article   |   Honorable Mention
     

  • 1995 Best Sports Photo   |   Honorable Mention

National Newspaper Association Bette Newspaper Contest
 

  • 1995 Best Sports Column   |   Honorable Mention

Northwest Missouri Press Association People's Choice Awards
 

  • 1995 Best Sports Photo   |   1st Place

Technology

Hardware & Software
 

  • PC & MAC Platforms

  • Digital Still Photography & HD Video Camera

  • Adobe Creative Suite

  • Office 365

  • SharePoint

  • HTML/CSS Code Writing

  • Civic Plus Content Management System

  • Wix

  • Squarespace

Design Skills
 

  • Advanced photo enhancement with layered special effects.
     

  • Talent for integrating graphics with text to produce eye-catching yet reader-friendly materials.
     

  • Fomratting graphics for print and online media.
     

  • Generating wireframes to develop new website designs and navigation hierarchies.
     

joeloudon@yahoo.com © Joseph Loudon