Experienced PR Strategist Looking for Freelance Opportunities

Real life sometimes intrudes on my writing life… and real life right now has me looking for  some freelance PR opportunities.

Over the last eighteen months, I have had the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a published author (known here as Zoë Mullins). Six months ago, I gave up a hot-bed of Public Relations delight (a.k.a. Horizon Health Network) to dedicate myself to my art. And though there have been times in my life when I had to eat my words, I prefer Starbucks.

To that end I am looking for freelance opportunities, in particular any writing, editing or strategy development opportunities with which I could assist.

I have nearly 20 years of experience in public relations. I have run my own consulting company (see http://www.bae-nb.com), managed budding non-profits and am an experienced PR strategist. Over the last five years, Horizon challenged me and made me excel in areas that I’d no previous experience.

As the Director of Communications , I had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of high profile and complex projects across the organization. My team consisted of graphic designers, multimedia specialists and public relation advisors. Within my portfolio we were responsible for a number of corporate priorities including quality improvement initiatives to improve patient and family centred care, communication to staff and public re: ongoing performance excellence/benchmarking initiatives, planning & maintaining all web and social media, developing community engagement opportunities, advising on & launching the smoke-free together campaign, providing strategic direction/community engagement for procedural changes that affect patients and/or their families.

There was never a dull day at Horizon. In my role as the Director of Communications, I was responsible for leading the development of execution of strategic communications plans that support the fulfilment of Horizon’s mandate and the achievement of its strategic goal. I was also tasked with developing and championing a department plan that improved accountability and quality metrics within the portfolio, by using performance excellence/lean six sigma tools (such as project charters, SOMIA, and various survey methods).

I was also responsible to manage the editorial content and development of all external Horizon corporate publications, and the development of all portfolio-related policies. And finally, I worked directly on a number of pet projects over the past year including blood clinic service changes at the DECRH, MRI & CT utilization, Emergency Department service planning, local community engagement councils, and the organ and tissue program awareness.

If there is any way in which I can assist you, I hope you will give me a chance. I am available at your convenience to discuss any projects you may have.

 Thank you,

Carol Cottrill

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The Ways and Means to New Orleans

I have been dreaming of going to New Orleans for more than two decades. Yes, I will admit it – since I read Interview with a Vampire. The long-winded descriptions of the scents and sounds of the city – both historic and modern. I became further enamoured after the Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters series – a series by the way, which after countless books… I can’t put down.

So how was it? Is it terrible to say it was a bit of a let down? Don’t get me wrong – the history, the wonder of the place – I loved it. The crowds and congestion and vibrancy. It would have been nice to have more time than just 3.5 days to explore… but it wasn’t what I thought it would be when I was 19 and listened ad nauseum to Concrete Blonde encouraging me to go to the river, have a drink, and walk around.

I did that. I sat by the river, having a drink, then I walked around. At nearly 45, I actually have a lot more to think about than I did at 19. I gave up near six-figure salary four months ago to pursue writing fiction as a career. It was an insane move – not bold, or courageous as people keep telling me. It was crazy.

But one thing I learned from my time in NOLA is that sometimes crazy is okay. (Did you know that if you walk down Bourbon Street at any time of day – you will see a lot of crazy – and not just crazy kids – but crazy senior citizens acting like crazy kids. And I have a feeling that some of these crazy people are pretty sane in their every day life. That this ‘crazy’ is an escape. It’s what they need.

And I think I need to go a little crazy – to make this leap of faith. In fact, it may have been long over due. I graduated high school with teachers and friends alike convinced that “I was a writer!” But I wasn’t convinced, and I sure as heck didn’t think I could make a career out of it. I’m still not sure I can, but I have a lot more stories to tell than I did twenty-five years ago. And a lot more confidence (okay – so somedays only a little more confidence).

So was NOLA a yay or a nay? Definitely a yay. Go if you have the chance. Garden District – beautiful. Jackson Square – something to experience. The history – unparalleled. Beignets at Cafe du Monde – to die for. The vampires – okay they don’t exist but Gwydian at the Haunted History Vampire Tour can make you believe they do.

And if you go, stop in at Dollz and Dames on Decatur. Fabulous new vintage-wear! I got a lot of idea for ‘Gambling on Love’ on that shopping trip.

Okay friends – thanks for listening.