ABOUT


WHO 

For more than two decades, I’ve been a trusted communications advisor and storyteller for organizations large and small.

 

Before turning my attention to strategic communications, I spent fifteen years alternately moving furniture, tending bar, managing a business, teaching high school, co-leading a public school restructuring effort, and teaching writing at UC Berkeley Extension. Throughout those experiences, I’ve also written poetry, fiction, essays and feature articles, with my work appearing in publications that range from literary journals (New England Review, The Sun, Confrontation, Catamaran and Columbia) to big city newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle). I consciously draw on all of that experience in my strategic communications work, as well as on the hands-on training I received from Timothy B. Peters (now lead content strategist at TaTa Consultancy Services) and Ted Michel (a former director of investor relations at Levi Strauss).

 

 


WHAT                  

I offer a personal, handcrafted service, in which I do my homework, ask tough questions and listen carefully to your answers to unearth your organization’s unique stories and make them matter to the people who matter most.

 

 

I also meet deadlines, answer my own phones and enjoy close working relationships with media relations experts, technical writers, brand consultants, web designers, graphic designers, photographers, videographers, copyeditors and other communication professionals. I can quickly put together a team that will deliver the highest quality, most cost-effective projects, which could include:

  • Communications strategy and planning
  • Writing and Editing:
    • Annual Reports
    • Brochures
    • Case Studies
    • Feature and trade press articles
    • Newsletters
    • Presentations
    • Research reports and white papers
    • Speeches
    • Video Scripts
    • Web Content

In more than two decades of communications work, I have worked for dozens of clients, many of whom continue to work with me to this day. A selected list includes the following:

Health Care
Access Closure
AHRQ
Annals of Neurology
Catalyst for Payment Reform
ePocrates
First DataBank
Ingenix
John Muir Health
Kaiser Permanente
La Clínica de La Raza
OptumInsight
Stanford Children’s Health
Stanford Department of Surgery
The California Endowment
The Community Health Fund
Towers Perrin
UCSF Health

Education
San Jose State University
San Lorenzo Unified School District
Stanford University Medical School
University of California, San Francisco

 

Information Technology
Aspen Advisors
Autodesk
Baan
EMC
Google
Mindjet
Oacis
Primavera Systems
Quickturn
Synopsys
Teradata

Non-Profit and Government
California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (CaJPA)
Cisco Systems Foundation
Integrated Benefits Institute
Lucile Packard Foundation
Ronald McDonald House
Yosemite National Park
United Way of the Bay Area

 

 

 


WHY

I’ve worked with Andrew for over 15 years and there’s a reason I keep coming back. He’s smart, helpful, a great team player, creative, and highly reliable...

For our department’s last annual report, he helped us conceive the project, guided us to making the hard decisions about focus, interviewees, etc. He stayed on time himself and more importantly, kept us on time, gently but appropriately firmly. He took a general idea to produce an annual report and turned it into something special, something we’re quite proud of and has served our needs very well.

Robert M. Wachter, MD
Chair, UCSF Department of Medicine

Having the opportunity to work with Andrew for well over a decade has enabled the Community Health Fund (CHF) to get better at achieving our mission, clearly articulate our grant making process, and most importantly, publicize the impact our investments in nonprofit organizations have had in helping to improve the health status of those most vulnerable and underserved residents in Contra Costa County.

We have come to rely upon Andrew – not only for his exceptional communications skills but also as a thought partner. For example, he was instrumental in encouraging us to develop an annual community impact report and for years now, has helped us think through topics to highlight and conceptualize a vision for how to communicate the story both in words and graphically. He is also extremely flexible and responsive – a joy to work with. He is proactive in reaching out with ideas, challenges our thinking and ensures that whatever product we are working on – website, print materials, press releases, video – is something that captures the essence of what we want to convey.

 Without hesitation, I would (and have) recommended Andrew to others. He is creative, innovative, inquisitive and passionate about any project he takes on. He won’t stop until he is sure his clients are satisfied with the product.

 Lillian Roselin, Executive Director
The Community Health Fund

Andrew’s work has substantially raised the profile of our department by producing high quality and eye-catching reports that are engaging and readable. They not only show off our accomplishments, but have also managed to capture our aspirations and the general spirit and mission of the department. He is also very easy to work with. He works with our schedule, answers emails quickly, and brought in a great designer. He has a keen ability to get to know your organization quickly and discern what it is you want in a publication. His reporting/writing is accurate and interesting and he finds what is unique and newsworthy in the stories we suggest. The final product is always dazzling.

Peter Sokolove, MD
Chair, UCSF Department of Emergency Medicine

Andrew is always easy to work with…very professional, detail-oriented, learns quickly, and is able to elicit the key messages for various types of communications. He helped us overcome a huge hurdle in preparing our reengineered website for a brand new section on markets served and uses of our products. … He asks good questions for clarification, and is able to synthesize complex concepts and voluminous information into nicely written content.”

David Manin, Senior Director of Marketing
First DataBank

Andrew is a consummate professional — an excellent consultant and an excellent writer. He has a passion not only for writing, but for understanding the issues he is writing about, and uses this passion to help us frame our messages and arguments. He has won accolades from everyone at the firm he has worked with.

Jenny Emery, former Senior Vice-President, Reinsurance
Towers Perrin

Andrew is…fun, thoughtful, and a pleasure to work with… He quickly grasps the essence of what you are trying to say and is able to communicate it in simple, compelling ways. … He has a good ear for what will grab the attention of the reader… (and his) final product is consistently outstanding. … he makes our pieces so much easier to complete and so much better than if we used someone else or did them ourselves.

Brad Fluegel, former CEO
Reden & Anders

 

 

 


HOW

While conventional wisdom can and should inform your thinking about any communication project, it is unconventional wisdom that gets you heard.

 

 

Unconventional wisdom rejects standardization. The constant is a process in which – together – we test ideas until we create something that will get noticed in a sea of noise.

The Process:

Discover

Define the communication challenge by asking tough, informed questions that identify what’s at stake and why it matters to your organization and the people you’re trying to reach. This collaborative process helps you develop and articulate the right communication strategy or tactic for your organization.

Create and Refine

Develop a strategically informed creative brief that begins to frame the story. The brief:

  • Defines the communication challenge
  • Identifies a proposed solution
  • Proposes a frame and tone
  • Provides a detailed outline of proposed content

 We review the brief together and reshape as necessary until we believe we’ve identified the ideal direction.

Implement

The brief – as well as craft and creativity honed by decades of experience – leads to shorter editing and approval cycles and, most importantly, stories that effectively move the people and organizations you need to move.

 Connect and Engage

Throughout the process, I work with either your organization’s communications/social media team or bring in allied experts to find the most effective channels and methods to distribute what we have created. 

 

 

THE WORK


 

UCSF

Since 1999, I have consulted on strategy and developed a variety of content – websites, annual reports, newsletters and brochures – for various groups across this internationally respected health sciences institution, including: The Department of Anesthesia, The Department of Emergency Medicine, The Department of Medicine, The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, The School of Nursing, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. 


The Community Health Fund

Since 2007, I have served as the primary communication consultant for the Community Health Fund (CHF). As the community benefit arm of John Muir Health, the CHF distributes grants and partners with community-based, nonprofit organizations to create health initiatives that expand and enhance health care services for the underserved in central and east Contra Costa County. I developed the CHF’s long-term communication strategy and create the organization’s web content, press releases, annual reports, a script for the organization’s 20th anniversary video and other communication materials.


OptumInsight/Ingenix Consulting/Reden & Anders/Towers Perrin

For more than a decade, I ghostwrote and edited trade press and general interest publications for consultants to the health care industry on a wide range of high profile economic and policy-related topics.


Annals of Neurology

I wrote numerous articles for NerveCenter, an upfront section in Annals of Neurology, a publication of the American Academy of Neurology.