LaTonya Michelle Darrisaw
Writer, Essence Snapchat Discover, New York, NY
January 2018 – Present
Staff Writer, Southern Living, Birmingham, AL
January 2017 – December 2017
- Produced news and evergreen content that has led to 12 percent growth in total social media shares and 20 percent increase in traffic.
- Promoted from Editorial Assistant to Staff Writer after just two months of starting the position.
- Pitched, researched, and wrote timely news articles on the topics of travel, human interest, food trends, beauty and style.
- Contributed to social media content, specifically Pinterest and Instagram using Canva.
- Interviewed experts to lend credibility and deepen news stories.
- Ensured all content on site follows best SEO practices.
- Regularly tracked social media trends and content performance across diverse platforms using SocialFlow, Parse.ly and Google Analytics.
Temporary Editorial Assistant, CookingLight.com/MyRecipes.com, Birmingham, AL
December 2015 – December 2016
- Drove traffic and optimized posts on social media using SocialFlow for more than six
- million fans on Facebook and 200,000 followers on Twitter.
- Wrote daily articles and produced galleries under tight deadlines centered around news, food trends, wellness and nutrition for Cooking Light, MyRecipes, and the Cooking Light Diet.
- Brainstormed and helped to execute cross-channel promotions to meet monthly UV and pageviews goals for both Cooking Light and MyRecipes.
- Constantly researched data and algorithms to post the best content at the optimal time and in the most effective way for Cooking Light and MyRecipes Facebook pages.
- Read and responded to social media comments during Facebook Live events.
- Increased customer base of the Cooking Light Diet by 15% in nine months following strategic implementation of social media plans, resulting in a 2017 Luce Awards nomination for best brand extension.
- Monitored online presence of the Cooking Light Diet’s brand, engaging with users and strengthening customer relationships.
- Assisted the marketing and editorial team of the Cooking Light Diet with developing and implementing social media strategies, which effectively increased Facebook followers by 200+ and developed brand awareness.
Freelance Writer, Long Island Pulse Magazine, Remote
March 2015 – December 2015
- Developed pitches and wrote monthly assigned content on art, culture, entertainment and style for the magazine’s website.
Contributing Writer, Quirky Daily, Remote
July 2014 – January 2015
- Assisted with launch of new online magazine by contributing articles on dating, lifestyle topics, fashion and beauty and entertainment.
March 2014 – January 2015
- Pitched and produced weekly how-to articles and answer fashion and beauty related questions from readers using a Q&A format.
- Promoted targeted content through various social media sites.
February 2014 – May 2014
- Wrote articles for print and online for regular monthly “Due North” department, featuring the latest events and issues going on in North Atlanta.
- Edited copy and fact-checked articles from freelance writers and on-staff writers.
- Conducted additional research and interviews for feature stories.
- Uploaded content via CMS on website.
Freelance Writer, Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa, AL
October 2011 – May 2013
- Interviewed and wrote 78 profiles on local restaurants, athletes, attractions and people for 2011 and 2012 “Best Of” special issues
- Organized content for 2012 spring bridal issue and wrote three feature stories
- Selected products and wrote blurbs on 43 items featured in the holiday gift guide for the 2011 winter issue
Contributing Blogger, emcBlue, Remote
May 2012 – August 2012
- Pitched three to five story ideas on a weekly basis pertaining to fashion, celebrities, music, pop culture and entertainment
- Produced three blog posts per week on topics using WordPress platform
- Wrote commentary posts on trending and recent news events
- Provided links, images and videos for each story to enhance online interest and usability
- Promoted articles on various social media networks
- Generated and collaborated on story ideas for fashion section in weekly staff meetings
Arts & Entertainment Reporter/Intern, The Anniston Star, Anniston, AL
May 2012 – July 2012
- Covered arts and entertainment for weekly “Escapes” section, writing three stories a week on local bands and artists, art exhibits and cultural events. One particular story was on the benefits of developing an entertainment district in Anniston
- Provided complete, accurate and compelling coverage of both anticipated and spontaneous news in the community
- Developed story budget, planned visual components to complement story content and contributed to paper’s online presence and Twitter feed
- Organized and wrote annual “Best Of” content on readers’ favorites in Calhoun County
- Requested images and took photographs to enhance published articles
- Compiled art and entertainment events for calendar and fall planner feature
Contributing Writer, Her Campus Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
December 2011 – May 2012
- Wrote two bi-weekly posts for the “Style Spotlight” blog profiling popular fashion bloggers and style tips
- Pitched story ideas and edited blog submissions for various sections of the online magazine
Editorial Assistant/Intern, Pregnancy & Newborn, Atlanta, GA
September 2008 – December 2008
- Conceptualized, pitched and executed three full-page articles for health sections
- Edited shot lists, copy, credits and PR contacts
- Conducted research for online content and staff editors
- Requested products for photo shoots and assisted at photo shoots
- Responded to online readers’ submissions and prize winners
- Assisted managing editor with fact checking by calling or emailing to confirm information and helped with administrative tasks
Editorial Assistant/Intern, JEZEBEL, Atlanta, GA
March 2007 – March 2008
- Wrote copy for Editor-in-Chief’s weekly on-air radio and television appearances on arts and entertainment events in Atlanta
- Edited monthly event calendar and content from various sections of the magazine
- Researched, pitched and produced story ideas on travel, fashion, dining and culture for regular monthly features and front-of-the-book
- Lead and motivated team in creating and organizing content for annual “Best Of” issues
- Performed administrative duties and fact-checked at least 30 articles per issue
Editorial Assistant/Intern, Atlanta Sports & Fitness Magazine, Atlanta, GA
March 2007 – March 2008
- Wrote and edited monthly “Buzz” section on travel, fitness, sports and nutrition
- Planned and prepared event and organizational calendars
- Covered and reported on local races, walks and sponsored runs for monthly feature
- Edited readers’ submissions of their weight loss stories and meal makeovers
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Office Assistant (Temporary Staffing), Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA
October 2015 – December 2015
- Provide front desk coverage for human resources department, including answering and routing incoming calls, relaying and resolving walk-in inquiries, maintaining records, performing data entry tasks, assisting with new employee orientations, and scheduling calendar meetings
Customer Support Assistant (Temporary Staffing), University System of Georgia Shared Services Center, Sandersville, GA
October 2014 – December 2014
- Provided clerical and customer support in the call center for employees and retirees of various colleges in Georgia regarding payroll, password resets, benefits and system troubleshooting
- Sorted and processed incoming and outgoing mail, scanned and filed personnel documents and entered personal data and inquiries in an electronic case management tracking system
Merchandising Associate, Crate & Barrel, Atlanta, GA
November 2013 – September 2014
- Stocked inventory, replenished products on shelves and furniture on sales floor with accurate pricing and coordinated with warehouse for supply replenishment
- Created visual displays and maintained markdowns and signage throughout the store
- Processed customers’ online and phone orders quickly and accurately
Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
August 2011 – May 2012
- Assisted professor in undergraduate Journalistic Principles class with grading, lectures, creating PowerPoint presentations and organizing professional leadership events for student attendance
- Ensured classes were on track with producing quality blog posts on class related topics, current events and professional events attended
- Proofread and edited blog submissions using WordPress while giving students feedback on their writing and enhancing their blogs through links, videos, images and SEO
AP Style, The Chicago Manual of Style, digital photography, Windows & Mac OS platforms, video/audio editing, blogging, HTML, LexisNexis, web analytics, Quark Xpress, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Audacity, SoundSlides, iMovie, WordPress, Drupal, Blogger, CMS, SEO and social media scheduling tools and social media platforms.
University of Alabama, M.A. Journalism, August 2012
Clark Atlanta University, B.A. Fashion Design & Merchandising, May 2008