Cynthia Lueck Sowden
2800 Garfield Street N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Summary of Qualifications
Creative, highly skilled communications professional experience in public relations, marketing and employee communications.
Education and Training
University of Minnesota. B.A. in Journalism, advertising emphasis. Post-graduate courses in magazine writing. Marketing research courses at University of St. Thomas. Languages: French, Spanish
Writing, editing. Editorial copy, advertising copy, collateral materials, employee benefits brochures/manuals, annual reports, web copy.
Desktop publishing. Simple ad layouts, newsletters.
Public relations. Develop story “hooks” for clients. Place stories in media whenever possible.
Trade show, special events management
Proficient in Word, Outlook and Excel. Familiar with Quark, InDesign, PageMaker and Photoshop.
• Author of two published books, contributed chapters to two more.
• Established the Southern Minnesota territory for Travelhost magazine
• Established a first-ever, ongoing corporate public relations campaign for one of Minnesota's largest private employers.
• Established an effective employee communications program that included a quarterly newsletter, weekly e-mail newsletter and easy-to-understand benefits materials.
• Planned and coordinated several successful special events.
• Developed annual marketing plans and budgets--and stayed within budget.
• Midwest Direct Marketing Association award for direct mail campaign.
• Public Relations Society of America for corporate video.
• National Agri-Marketing Association for print advertising.
• International Association of Business Communicators for feature article.
• St. Paul United Way for corporate campaign.
9/2008-present: Part-time writer and editor, Larson Systems Inc., 10073 Baltimore St. N.E., Blaine, MN 55449
Hired to write user manuals for spring-testing machines, I’ve been able to put my big-company marketing experience to work in ads, videos, press releases, web copy and other marketing materials. I implemented a successful ad campaign to race car owners for a spring tester—the ad has average six responses per week after its initial debut in the January 2009 issue of Engine Builder magazine. Larson Systems also owns Stone Mountain Pet Lodge. A radio campaign that offers web-downloadable coupons increased pet lodging reservations the first week the commercials were aired. A PR pitch to Twin Cities Business magazine resulted in a June 2009 article on Dave Larson and his two businesses. Larson Systems recently began manufacturing dog-kennel gates; ad placement in Pet Services Journal and online news releases have succeeded in generating inquiries and sales.
9/2007-9/2008: Part-time Sales Associate, Party City
Assisted customers, ran the cash register and stocked shelves. It was a fun job, but I’d rather be writing.
2001-Present: Freelance Writer and Editor. Producing feature articles, web copy, newsletters, radio commercials, press releases, brochures and various other communications from my home-based office. Contributed chapters to How I Got the Gig (Nasus Publishing) and Masters of Sales (Entrepreneur Press).
Various on-site writing, editing and proofreading assignments on an as-needed basis, arranged through Celarity and Digital People. Assignments include:
Select Comfort, 12/06-4/07, proofreading, copy editing (Digital People)
Patterson Dental 1/06-3/06, editing catalog copy (Celarity)
Thomson West 9/05-11/05, editing and proofreading catalog copy (Celarity)
Futura Marketing, various half-day assignments, proofreading (Celarity)
Carlson Companies creative group, various one-day and half-day assignments, proofreading Web and printed copy (Celarity)
2002-2005: Associate Publisher, Southern Minnesota TRAVELHOST Magazine. As owner of the magazine, I did it all--determined editorial content, wrote copy, edited articles submitted by others, took photos, sold advertising, prepared files for magazine production staff. I established the distribution network and worked closely with a delivery company to ensure prompt delivery of each edition. Southern Minnesota TRAVELHOST was distributed in 9,100 hotel rooms in 40 cities across the southern third of the state. Sold the magazine in 2006.
Temporary writer/editor at U.S. Bank Piper Jaffray 801 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Wrote newsletters, web copy. 9/02-2/03
Summer Outreach Worker, State of Minnesota, Midway WorkForce Center, 2455 University Ave. W., St. Paul, MN 55114. Temporary position, involved cold-calling small to medium-sized employers, setting appointments and sharing information with them regarding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Minnesota's Job Bank. 6/02-9/03
4/2001-9/2001: Account Supervisor, Miller Meester Public Relations, 17 N. Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Planned special events and coordinated media interviews. Wrote new product releases and feature stories for publication in trade magazines. Initiated yearly planning for product publicity, placed several stories in trade publications and arranged several radio and television interviews. Agency out of business.
6/1993-4/2001: Senior Account Executive/Public Relations Specialist, Liberty Diversified Industries, 5600 N. Hwy. 169, New Hope, MN 55428. Originally hired as a copywriter, I developed annual marketing plans and budgets for three of the company's seven divisions. Performed public relations functions for all divisions, including announcements of acquisitions, new construction, and new products, as well as longer articles for trade publications. Worked with outside agency to plan and develop PR media “hooks.” Planned and coordinated special events, such as Liberty Carton division's sponsorship of the Sprint/PCS Grand Prix, which benefited the Cancer Kids Fund, Liberty Paper’s grand opening, and various trade show appearances. Communicated LDI's mission to various constituencies, including employees, management and customers via quarterly employee newsletter. Started a weekly e-mail newsletter for employees, and provided input on the development of company web sites. As lead person in the Marketing/Communications department, I acted as coach to other employees. I also interviewed job applicants, wrote job descriptions, provided input on performance reviews and held weekly departmental meetings to keep projects on track and monitor work flow. I made annual print purchases totaling approximately $500,000.
1990-1993: Copywriter/account executive, Hilleman House Advertising, 7808 Creekridge Circle, Bloomington, MN 55439. Wrote ad copy, collateral materials, brochures, business-to-business advertising, news releases and slide show scripts. Arranged press conferences and produced a monthly public service radio program. Agency out of business.
1984-1990: Freelance writer and editor. Produced newsletters, feature articles, brochures, advertisements, speeches, radio commercials and video scripts for several clients, including Children's Hospital of St. Paul, Multifoods, Miller Meester Public Relations, Miller Publishing, Weber Shandwick, Piper Jaffray. I also authored hundreds of magazine articles and two books, published by Brighton Publications, Wedding Occasions, and An Anniversary to Remember.
1976-1984: Harvest States Cooperatives, 1667 N. Snelling Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55164. Hired as editor of employee newsletter. Wrote benefits brochures, slide shows, policy manuals, interviewed, administrated corporate United Way campaign and Savings Bonds campaign. In the corporate communications department, wrote and edited a weekly newsletter, press releases, arranged press conferences, contributed feature articles to shareholder magazine. Assisted in planning and budgeting for public relations campaign and corporate identity program when Grain Terminal Association changed its name to Harvest States Cooperatives.
Calhoun-Isles Community Band (President, 1999-2001, 2008-09); Northeast Community Band. In addition to playing, I have written several successful grants for the bands.
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