Hi. Thanks for checking out my resume. I’m not currently looking for work, but all the information here is up to date.
Managing Editor | Billy Penn | current
Let’s talk about what it means to produce news for non-journalists, and how to engage communities in the process.
—Billy Penn is “a mobile platform for a better Philly.” Our small team produces three to five original articles every day and simply links directly to other can’t-miss coverage around Philadelphia. We make news approachable bringing voice — and sometimes humor — to headlines, and consider events just another type of content.
—As the first hire of the bootstrapped Billy Penn, my job is to help build our news site by finding and engaging with existing communities through social media, partnerships, events and editorial content. We’re redefining what it means to produce content by focusing on the needs and interests of the audience. But engagement is just step one. The next part is key — keeping in touch with readers and maintaining a relationship. We want readers to attend events and someone who sees an Instagram photo to dive deeper into one of our stories.
—Day to day: I provide the first edit on many of Billy Penn‘s original stories, and oversee up to three editorial interns at a time. I’m currently building out our Featured Contributors network, which publishes regular commentary from a growing list of prominent Philadelphians who weigh in on the city’s challenges as experienced through their specific professional lenses. I work closely with our design and development team to make sure new features create the best possible user experience.
Social Media Strategist | WHYY/NewsWorks | 2013-2014
If ever there was a way to bridge the gap between editorial and marketing, social media is the place to start.
—I evolved into this position in Fall 2013 to help better incorporate social media and digital thinking into not just the news content at NewsWorks, but also the marketing of our news content. Tasks included assisting with the creation of strong membership campaigns that appeal to social audiences, and helping reporters find angles in their stories that are most approachable through social networks.
—Day to day: I oversaw a $500,000 annual social media marketing budget and served as the newsroom’s NPR liaison to create more awareness for and engagement with NewsWorks’ content. I worked closely with the marketing manager and data analyst to redefine content beyond just news stories, and identify measurements for success.
Social Media Editor | WHYY/NewsWorks | 2012-2013
Everyone uses social media differently, and reporters’ strategies should reflect that. Read more about this role here.
—This position was created for me in mid-2012 to accommodate the growing demand for news organizations to be present on multiple platforms. I managed NewsWorks’ engagement with readers on social media and measured the impact on audience growth. I also created tailored social media plans for reporters and incorporated social media into WHYY’s on-air packages.
—Day to day: Based on reporters’ existing use of social media, I created about 20 individual social media plans to help them incorporate certain networks into their reporting and improve upon what they were already doing. Goals included adding followers, hosting live chats and finding new sources, and they were written into each reporter’s annual performance evaluation.
Editor and Owner | NEast Philly | 2008-2013
There’s a community of more than 400,000 people and 40 neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia, and no one was paying attention.
—I launched NEast Philly in 2008 to fill a coverage gap in the region of Philadelphia that’s home to more than 400,000 people and 40 neighborhoods. I wrote and edited content, managed contributors, facilitated content partnerships, organized events and pursued revenue and grant opportunities. I grew a 20,000+ social media audience from scratch with no spending whatsoever.
—I shut down the site in late 2013 to pursue other professional goals. The archives are now available on PlanPhilly.com
Project Manager | NewsWorks | October 2013-July 2014
Can you complete a three-prong, $1 million grant project in nine months? Yes.
—As part of the third and final phase of grant funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I served as manager of a project that involved several overlapping deadlines, multiple consultants and various WHYY departments. The final result is meant to improve the way public media stations interact with different types of audiences, and included a dashboard prototype for all station metrics, and an audience acquisition tool called Philly QuizWorks.
—Day to day: I kept 10 people on task, included my own supervisors, and managed relationships with four consultants on both U.S. coasts. After the audience survey, three mobile app tests and the dashboard prototype were finished, I organized a two-day conference at WHYY for editors and membership directors from other public media stations across the country.
Adjunct Journalism Instructor |Temple University | 2010-present
Skills I value in young journalists: An understanding of the personal brand, a good grasp on grammar and the knowledge that different types of stories demand different platforms. I’ve written about these experiences.
—I began teaching in July 2010 as part of partnership with Temple University and the School District of Philadelphia, and went on to teach grammar and AP Style to Temple freshman and multimedia publishing to seniors. For three years, I assigned and edited stories by student reporters of Temple’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods newsroom-style class.
—I routinely teach Multimedia Storytelling, a weekly 2.5 hour, newsroom-style class that has anywhere from six to 20 students. Students produce written, video, audio, social media and data visualization stories, and publish them to a WordPress site. We discuss storytelling platforms, practice headline writing and conduct almost weekly pitching sessions.
Covering midterm presidential election on live TV: As the nation waited to hear if Barack Obama had been re-elected in 2012, I joined political reporting veterans like Dick Polman on live TV for WHYY to discuss election-related social media issues, including the legality of tweeting photos from the polls.
Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Fund: J-Lab awarded funding in late 2010 to a handful of Philly news partnership projects, including this one I pitched and led for NEast Philly and Philadelphia Neighborhoods about how a neighborhood had to rebuild itself after its biggest political champion was charged with corruption. Reporters working for both publications continued to cover the issue two years later.
Multimedia investigative reporting project: WHYY received a grant in 2012 to follow a person’s genealogical roots, and my boss asked me to share my story about having no idea where most of my family originated (Scotland? Ireland? A Native American tribe?). I spent a few months researching my genes with the help of the Genealogical Society Pennsylvania, and ended up producing a package of web, TV and radio stories in partnership with my NewsWorks colleagues.
Metro content partnership: When Metro’s Philadelphia paper was looking to expand advertising opportunities, the staff sought out my publication, NEast Philly, to provide targeted content. For the first half of 2010, I wrote and edited stories that appeared in a weekly Northeast Philadelphia section of the newspaper.
The Eagle Eye: Under the Prime Movers High School Journalism program, I helped students at George Washington High School in Northeast Philadelphia launch and maintain a website for their school newspaper during the 2009-2010 school year.
BOARDS AND VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
Spirit News Board of Advisors: I’m one of six advisors to The Spirit News, a hyperlocal news network that started as a community newspaper in my neighborhood and now has an online presence and a second publication in another Philadelphia community. The board meets to review and discuss editorial strategy, revenue models and branding.
Fishtown Neighbors Association: I am the Safety Committee chairperson for my neighborhood organization, and also manage the group’s social media accounts. This FNA is run entirely by volunteers, and my role is to steer the Safety Committee’s efforts, which include crime analysis and communication, road safety, lighting and everything in between.
AWARDS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award: I was honored to receive this award in 2010 for an interview I did with a Philadelphia police officer that led to an internal affairs investigation.
Philadelphia City Paper Choice Award: I was among good company in 2009 when City Paper honored me for my controversial interview with a Philadelphia police officer.
David E. Brace Scholarship for Community Service: Awarded to me during my final days as a Temple University student, this scholarship will always have meaning for me because it honored my love for and dedication to community journalism. I received the award for my reporting work for Philadelphia Neighborhoods and for starting NEast Philly.
I’ve grown multiple Facebook pages and Twitter accounts from zero, and I know my way around WordPress. I’ve hosted an accidental reddit AMA, led a $1 million grant project and coordinated a two-day event for 20 public media innovators. I started, ran and closed my own media business.
I’m a 2009 graduate of Temple University with a degree in journalism, and proud managing editor emeritus of The Temple News.
I don’t list references’ names and contact information on my website, but will provide them in a PDF resume for potential employers.