Mark Cramer

Freelance Article Writer & Blog Writer

Location:Richmond, Virginia, United States
2 Skills
Mark W. Cramer

I am a seasoned communications professional with 19 years of experience in a variety of disciplines—publications, journalism, sports writing, marketing, technical documentation and public relations—seeking a leadership or director position. I feel comfortable in any writing arena and can build communication strategies from the ground up, using all media. I also am adept at mediation strategy and long-term communications planning and project management.

Education: B.S., Barton College (Wilson, NC)
Major - Communications (Film/Video Focus), English minor

Senior Communications Specialist, New Mexico State University (2009 – 2011)
• Provided professional assistance and support to administration in the planning, design, development and management of strategic communication projects and initiatives.
• Performed in-depth research and analysis on specific issues as assigned; developed and prepared comprehensive reports based on analysis and interpretation of issues.
• Participated in strategic planning and managed and coordinated the development, implementation and completion of special projects related to internal and external communications and public relations initiatives.
• Collaborated in the development and dissemination of broadly based strategic communications designed to inform the public of such issues as the university's programs, accomplishments and points of view on specified issues.
• Coordinated public outreach programs; designed and developed presentations for administration and senior staff.
• Analyzed target audiences’ needs and identified tactics for reaching different groups, with special emphasis on the exploration and development of social media channels.
• Recommended ways to capitalize on media trends, especially through social media.
• Covered assigned news beats; wrote and distributed/marketed stories and story tips/ideas for a wide variety of outlets, including internal/electronic newsletter and magazines, as well as externally focused media outlets on a variety of areas.
Communications Specialist, Medical Society of Virginia (2008 – 2009)
• Researched and wrote content for organizational publications, website, brochures and collateral as well as for media and public dissemination.
• Developed media relations activities including fielding media inquiries, coordinating interviews and writing and disseminating press releases and proactively pitching stories.
• Established and maintained cooperative relationship with internal clients in order to develop concepts, content and messaging appropriate to specific communications goals.
• Collaborated with internal clients, designer and Web manager to create publications and collateral materials.
Writer/Editor, Wachovia Securities via Manpower Professional, Glen Allen, VA (2007 – 2008)
• Developed compliance content across all securities channels, insuring associates and branch offices were fully compliant with local, state and federal financial rules and regulations via thorough, easy-to-use manuals.
• Cross-referenced manuals for accuracy and consistency; insured printable and online versions were uniform and links were accurate and functional.
• Proofread and copy edited all written compliance materials for grammatical and stylistic conformity, as well as clarity.
• Managed content changes via associate interaction, taking into account both changing regulatory needs and suggestions from intended audience. Responded to audience concerns and suggestions as required.
Staff Writer/Photographer, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Richmond, VA (2004 – 2007)
• Kept Virginia Farm Bureau members, legislators and the media informed of organizational initiatives and relevant agricultural issues and legislation via stories and photography in Farm Bureau News.
• Organized, wrote and distributed weekly “News Leads” sent to media throughout Virginia, with objective to have stories run in newspapers and on websites.
• Acted as staff photographer, taking pictures for internal and external use, including Farm Bureau News, the VFB website, media outlets and the company newsletter.
• Responded directly to media inquires regarding VFB or the federation’s stance on agricultural issues, acting as a federation spokesperson as needed.
• Traveled throughout the state to speak with and interview farmers and agricultural leaders on pertinent issues and accomplishments.
• Developed and implemented public relations and marketing events, including organization’s annual convention.
Communications Specialist, Capital One, Richmond, VA (1996 – 2004)
• Maintained and managed content for departmental intranet site.
• Provided communications solutions and ideas to market process methodologies.
• Led change and configuration management initiatives, via direct interaction and response with customers, to ensure consistent practices.
• Evaluated documentation needs for projects, including structure, format and medium.
• Devised and contributed to departmental marketing plans in order to best utilize research and development projects.
• Built and maintained document management solutions.
• Developed, enhanced and supported technical documentation.
• Produced various monthly group newsletters, both business and personnel-related.
• Responded to customer queries and complaints with regards to change management and content management solutions and issues. Used customer interaction and mediation tactics to maintain a constantly evolving interface that best met customer needs.
Sports Reporter, Mount Airy News, Mount Airy, NC (1994 – 1996)
• Journalist for sports section of daily newspaper, responsible for covering local athletic events, reporting results and interviewing participants.
• Developed and wrote sports feature articles and took accompanying photographs.
• Served as editor and designer of Sunday sports section.
Public Affairs Assistant, City of Wilson, NC (1992 – 1994)
• Responsible for the City of Wilson's newspaper and cable television advertising and public service announcements.
• Assisted in scheduling and shooting footage for city's monthly "City Talk" program.
• Wrote news releases, public service announcements and reports.
• Fielded general questions, complaints and requests from city residents and local media, researching issues and responding directly to taxpayers when needed.

Other Activities
• Specialist, New Mexico Army National Guard
• Freelance Writer/Reporter, Herald-Progress, Ashland, VA (1998 – 2005)
• Instructor, General Equivalency Diploma program (1999-2000)
Skills (2) Rating
Article Writing
Blog Writing