SUZANNE UNDERWOOD RHODES
Copywriter, editor, journalist, communications specialist and public relations professional with proven success working for a corporation, developing and leading a comprehensive public affairs program for a nonprofit organization, and launching a successful, independent PR business.
Owner, PR Flair June 2017 – present
Offer wide spectrum of contractual services including advertising, consulting, editing, writing, social media, newsletters, and ghostwriting.
Services and Clients
- Copywriter – Raising the Standard Marketing Agency. Wrote website for several businesses, including dental, pet store, and vineyard and winery). (May 2018 – present)
- Copywriter, Canada Traffic Network. Write 10 and 15 second radio ads based on neuroscience for various businesses and organizations. (January 2018-present)
- Copyeditor – Collective Press. Edit lifestyle articles and evaluate writers. (Nov. 2018 – present)
- Advertorial writer – Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (August 2018 – present)
- Advertorial and features writer—Sandusky Newspaper Group (June 2017 – present)
- SEO Content writing – BKA Content (February 2017)
- Ghostwriting – Completed autobiography of a World War II legend and assisted with marketing.
- Editing: nonfiction, fiction and poetry book manuscripts, with several published.
- Writer and Consultant – A Brighter Way nonprofit organization. (June 2017 – January 2018)
Website and brand development, newsletter creation, email campaigns were projects to raise funds and visibility for a young artist with cerebral palsy named Cristina Powell who gifts patients with her colorful artworks and compassionate spirit.
- Communications director – Air Compassion for Veterans. (May 2017-March 2018) Published posts on Twitter and Facebook, designed ads and collateral, and produced newsletters. Currently volunteer as needed.
Director of Public Affairs and copywriter, Mercy Medical Angels, Virginia Beach, VA (2003 to 2017)
Mercy Medical Angels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides charitable transportation for patients needing travel to long-distance clinical appointments. I was hired to develop the public affairs department and advance the brand and the reach of the organization.
- Implemented high standards of communication for internal and external communications, resulting in trustworthy brand recognition and contributing to Charity Navigator 4-Star rating.
- Creatively designed ads, email campaigns, direct mail, brochures, slide presentations, displays and other collateral to ensure excellent brand communication through compelling stories and high-quality graphics.
- Established favorable and frequent relations with media. Held news conferences and wrote press releases resulting in numerous feature stories in local and national newspapers and TV stations.
- Proven increase in donations and client loyalty resulting from 24 newsletters I published annually, both print and online editions.
- Drove engagement through creation and management of five social media sites.
- Enhanced MMA visibility and reputation by writing website content, press releases, blogs, books, magazine articles, and reports.
- Educated and encouraged communications students at James Madison University by participating in Communications Conference in 2013 (taught PR class, shared expertise in panel discussions).
- Project manager and editor, Sacred Glances (Mercy Medical Airlift, 2008). Recruited WWII veterans for interviews; recruited students, staff, and community volunteers to conduct interviews and write stories for a book. Acquired vintage and current photographs of veterans, acquired bids and contracted with a publisher to self-publish, obtained (pro bono) cover design from graphic artist, and organized oral history event with veterans as part of a “Halos and Heroes” fundraiser held at the Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach Airport. Rewarding and eye-opening project that received media attention and honored 42 worthy veterans living among us.
- Author, Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic (Arcadia Publications, 2009). Pictorial history and stories.
Education and Training
- MA, The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars (teaching fellow)
- BS in English, James Madison University (magna cum laude)
- Donor-Centered Fundraising with Penelope Burk, Dallas, Texas
- Big Duck webinar series on rebranding
- Robert McKee’s Story Seminar, Los Angeles, California
Technology & Resources
- Fluent in Microsoft Word, Publisher, Power Point
- Expert use of AP and Chicago Style Manuals
- Basic knowledge of Excel and Photoshop
- Adobe Acrobat Professional
- Google Docs
- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram
- Email Marketing (Constant Contact)
- Movie Maker
Books, Articles, Essays, Blogs, Poetry
Articles in Official Kids Mag, Kingsport Times-News, Bus Trader, Wings of Gold, Auto/Body Line, AutoPilot Magazine, and others; social media posts; blogs published on website: MercyMedical.org. Poems and essays in numerous literary journals such as Image, Midwest Quarterly, Shenandoah, Spiritus, Edgar Allan Poe Review, Town Creek Poetry, and others. Books: Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic (Arcadia), Sacred Glances (Mercy Medical Airlift), Flying Yellow (2020-Paraclete Press), What a Light Thing, This Stone (Sow’s Ear Press), Hungry Foxes (Aldrich Press).