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nDash Writer Profile for Allison Babka

Allison Babka

Headline

Storyteller/Journalist: Features, Editing, Interviewing, Copywriting, Blogging, Content Planning

About Me

*** I specialize in interviews and profiles, journalistic articles and other researched pieces, long and short blog posts, how-to's and listicles. I also write content for newsletters, briefings and websites on a case-by-case basis. I have extensive experience in journalism and marketing and have written about everything from education to quirky people to farts to kittens to automobiles. FYI, you should let me run with strange ideas.


Who I Am: I'm an award-winning wordsmith, editor and content planner with more than 15 years of experience in journalism, editing, copywriting, video production, digital media and more. I currently work with publications and branding agencies. Read stuff: clippings.me/ambabka. Email me about stuff: allison.babka@gmail.com. *

Things I've Made Pretty: editorial/photo/content plans, newspaper/magazine/blog articles, print/online/video interviews with rock stars, geek heroes & community leaders, advertising/marketing copy/brand stewardship, video/audio campaigns, scripts & logistics, SEO copywriting/ghostblogging, social media content/community engagement, entertainment reviews, focus group discussion/analysis and internal communications. 

Random stuff: I once was a karaoke host with a weekly advice column. I'm vegetarian who only wants things that actually look and taste like plants. I'm a barre junkie and much prefer holding my knees in uncomfortable positions instead of running on a treadmill for an hour. I heart AP style. I will name that tune in five notes.


Industries I Write About

Apparel & Fashion

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Entertainment

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Higher Education

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Marketing & Advertising

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Farming

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Experience

Freelance Journalist

Chief contract storyteller of things that make you say, "Huh. Neat." I write cover stories, interviews/profiles, blog posts, reviews and listicles around interesting personalities, social justice/identity issues, entertainment (especially music), general nerd stuff, food, bizarre traditions, tech/startup issues and things that are "so St. Louis." Look me up in print and online, or go here if you're kind of lazy: clippings.me/ambabka.

Company: Riverfront Times

I worked there from 7/2012 until now

Freelance Journalist

I'm frequently tapped to contribute feature stories and interviews to the Ladue News, highlighting amazing people and businesses in the greater St. Louis area for an audience of high-income readers. My 800-1000-word pieces focus on local celebrities, fashion, home life and community initiatives.

Company: Ladue News

I worked there from 12/2016 until now

Freelance Writer/Communications Consultant

Geile/Leon, Infuz, Standing Partnership, FarFetched Studios, Atomicdust, Mason Communications, Spot MPG, Fusion, Stealth Creative and more hire me to tell stories creatively, concisely and charismatically. Need SEO marketing copy for print or digital pursuits? I'm all over it. What about soundbyte gold? I'm your nosy interviewer. Video and audio scripts? You betcha. Nerdy blog posts? Now you're just making me swoon. Ask me to create an editorial/communications calendar, and I'll do the work while high-fiving *and* singing. That's your bonus for hiring a karaoke host. Topics I've covered (though certain agreements and lack of physical collateral prevent me from showing you all of this stuff): museums, coffee, boat gear, crisis management and communications, snacks, automobiles, cable providers, green initiatives, beverages, nursing, video production process, medical issues, trade shows, safety equipment, higher education, nonprofits and more.

Company: Self Employed

I worked there from 4/2012 until now

Editor/Consultant

I was brought in as a Swiss Army knife editor and consultant for ALIVE Media Group's flagship print and digital properties, which focus on makers/artisans in nearly 10 Midwestern cities. In addition to pitching, writing and editing print feature stories, I oversaw daily content strategy and production on AliveMag.com, including blog and interview assignments, writer development, editing, social media management and promotions. In addition, I worked with other teams on digital content strategy and deployment for the company's sponsored content arm, plus I offered overall recommendations for refining processes and efficiencies and adding more journalistic value both to stories and the general business.

Company: Alive Magazine

I worked there from 8/2016 until 12/2016

Editor

Addicted to blog posts, listicles, slideshows and quizzes about "Star Wars," nature's quirks, adorable puppies and world trivia? Great, then we should be friends, because that's the kind of stuff my writing staff and I brought you on Brainjet.com and Yespets.com, Gateway Media's two biggest content marketing verticals. They're data-driven entertainment sites that give both readers and advertisers exactly what they're looking for, and you won't believe the 17 hilarious things that actually happen next. Oh, here's what happened next: the company was forced to downsize, and I was one of many casualties. Womp womp. The company is now known as Gateway Blend.

Company: Gateway Media

I worked there from 9/2015 until 5/2016

Content Lead/Brand Journalist

I ferreted out content gold while making sure we maintained a consistent brand voice across channels -- or something awesome like that. Traditional copywriting, social media planning, blog ghostwriting and everything else you'd imagine from an agency writer. Journalism-based brain + fingers in all the pies = happy Allison. I wrote a LOT about cotton, corn and soybeans.

Company: HLK

I worked there from 1/2015 until 9/2015

Web Editor

Let's develop some kick-ass communications strategy and social media tactics while writing cool stuff and putting together gorgeous click-bait slideshows, shall we? I headed up digital duties while serving as assignment editor for the newspaper's freelance photographer pool. This is where my love and appreciation for quirky alt-weekly newspapers was cemented.

Company: Riverfront Times

I worked there from 2/2014 until 2/2015

Contributing Writer

Stealing from Joan Jett, "I love rock and roll," so it was a no-brainer to offer to attend shows and swoon over my favorite bands for ReviewSTL.com, one of St. Louis' most trafficked entertainment websites. I wrote show previews/reviews, conducted interviews, composed "how-to" posts and reported on random nerd news. In addition, I reviewed films and "films" (the latter of which I prefer) and helped raise ReviewSTL's local profile via social networking. I also represented the site at community events - sometimes in a superhero costume.

Company: ReviewSTL

I worked there from 1/2011 until 7/2012

Marketing Specialist for Undergraduate Recruitment

Oversaw multi-channel relationship and aspirational marketing plans for the university’s highly successful undergraduate student recruitment brand. Ensured that messaging and concepts in all channels were consistent with established strategy/goals to attract college-bound 15- to 17-year-olds. The brand experienced steady growth since its inception in 2008, and my efforts directly helped the university welcome its largest freshman class in history in Fall 2011. Wrote, edited and approved messaging for all major undergraduate recruitment materials and properties, including signature catalogs, special websites, traditional advertising, outdoor advertising, social media and more. Served as brand and project manager for the recruitment portal, coordinating all aspects of development, design and content. Oversaw strategic, on-brand video production/interviewing for the recruitment portal as well as for movie theatre and television spots. Coordinated logistics for radio ads, video voiceovers and photo shoots for major recruitment marketing. Developed content for study abroad options. Maintained multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts and developed proposals for overall university social media use. Led training and brand consistency sessions for university brands and departments. Led recruitment focus groups in current and growing target markets.

Company: Saint Louis University

I worked there from 6/2007 until 6/2012

Contributing Writer

As the only girl on a testosterone-filled staff, I composed weekly lists focusing on topics of interest to the target audience of men ages 15 to 40 (The Allison of today would call this crap out more). I also researched and wrote general blog posts about news from the video game, comic book and pop culture worlds. In addition, I edited other bloggers' posts and provided style and voice guidelines.

Company: Nerdbastards

I worked there from 6/2009 until 6/2011

Editor of Internal Communications

Managed and grew the university’s internal communications efforts, including a daily news website, daily e-newsletter, bimonthly newspaper and other channels (initially developed for 5,000+ faculty and staff members but later expanded to also include 12,000+ students). Researched and wrote exclusive features, assigned stories and photography, edited submissions, coordinated distribution, developed policies and fact-checked all items. Topics included academics, faculty research, administration issues, student concerns and community profiles. Maintained the university’s online style guide, marketing department website and publication website.

Company: Saint Louis University

I worked there from 3/2002 until 6/2007

Communications Assistant

Served as a jack-of-all-trades communication professional for a financial institution with nearly 200,000 members in Missouri and Illinois. Wrote and designed targeted marketing pieces, worked with external vendors, planned employee and member events, produced teen and employee newsletters and composed leadership communications. Covered personal savings, checking, retirement options, loans and more.

Company: First Community Credit Union

I worked there from 9/2000 until 11/2001

Staff Reporter / Website Designer

Covered local news and developed web presences for area advertisers. Wrote daily city news stories and weekend feature articles, edited and added daily news content to local and statewide news websites, and designed websites and graphics for local and statewide web portals/corporation newspapers/external clients. Professionally retained after a series of print and digital internships.

Company: Ogden Newspapers

I worked there from 12/1995 until 5/2000

Content I Write