Team Leadership: Our Goal is to Tell Your Story

Ed Lallo, Chief Storyteller

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Newsroom Ink’s CEO Ed Lallo has traveled to places search-engine companies have yet to find – let alone map.

Lallo goes to where business gets done – from the sweltering char house of a Louisiana sugar refinery to the corner office of a FORTUNE 500 chief executive. He’s equally at home with both.

In his travels, Lallo has learned this lesson: The best businesses use communications to connect with key stakeholders, positioning them to perform better – inside and outside of their organizations.

An award-winning journalist for the majority of his career, Lallo understands the power of stories that are well told, with words, photos and video. Working as a writer and photographer for publications that included the Dallas Morning News, People Magazine, CNN, Bloomberg, Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Associated Press, he knows stories told from a client’s perspective bring a special insight that only a client can give. After all, who knows the business better?

His career is broad and diverse. It includes corporate work for ExxonMobil, IBM, National 4-H, the Williams Companies,  DuPont, AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway and ChevronTexaco.

Creating a Strategic Platform

After years of success, Lallo founded a business that expanded the boundaries of brand journalism. The News Group Net was instrumental in developing the first dynamic online newsroom staffed by brand journalists for the Imperial Sugar Company.

This new communications tool gave the company a strategic platform to tell its stories. Aligned with the CEO agenda, the news site enabled a company once beset by crisis to move forward and address the demands of an ever-changing marketplace.

The ISC Newsroom gave Imperial Sugar a greater voice and became the “source site” for sugar industry news. The site was recognized as “the future of online newsrooms” by the Executive Communications Council, part of the Corporate Executive Board.

Moving From Sugar to Oil

Moving from the sugar cane fields of Louisiana, Lallo soon found more brand journalism work along the Gulf Coast. During the height of the nation’s worst oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board needed to keep the public informed about the safety of seafood, as well as the potential dangers the spill could have on the industry.

With the launch of LouisianaSeafoodNews.com, Lallo’s on-the-ground and at-sea coverage gave the Louisiana board and its constituents – fishermen, seafood processors, restaurant owners and chefs – a place to tell their stories.

As the world watched the disaster unfold, the newsroom gave a constant voice to the seafood industry in Louisiana. It spoke to international press, legislators, federal and state agencies – and had the ear of the Oval Office.

Being Heard in Austin – and Beyond

Working with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Austin team, Lallo’s Newsroom Ink team developed BeHeardAustin.com. The news site gives a small, local IABC chapter a global presence. The international association –along communicators from around Austin, Texas and the world – regularly follow it.

Returning to the Gulf of Mexico, he established Gulf Seafood News for the newly founded Gulf Seafood Institute. This powerful communication tool was instrumental in establishing the organization as one of the most powerful and respected voice for Gulf Seafood on Capitol Hill. The newsroom again shows the power of brand journalism to connect with new and broader audiences.

Lallo believes life is a journey with countless stories all along the way. Some can be told by words alone. The most compelling, though, are those punctuated with memorable images and video. They call you back, keeping the stories fresh and alive.

That’s his goal for Newsroom Ink, keeping your brand alive in readers’ minds.

Springfield Lewis, Strategic Communications Czar

Springfield Lewis – Vice President of Strategic Communications

Springfield Lewis is a recognized expert in business communications for FORTUNE 100 companies and other organizations. His communications and marketing career spans journalism, corporate, online agency and consulting work.

He’s helped develop and drive best practices cited by PRWeek, Melcrum Internal Communications and the Executive Communications Council, part of the Corporate Executive Board. They encompass leadership communications, employee engagement and organizational storytelling – as well as creating strategic content and dynamic online communications.

Lewis is a co-founder of The News Group Net, which created the awarding-winning Imperial Sugar newsroom  for the Imperial Sugar Company (ISC). The new website proved instrumental in giving the Sugar Land, Texas, company a powerful voice in the industry – improving its reputation as ISC rebuilt its operations after a tragic refinery explosion and fire.

Taking a journalistic approach, The News Group Net produced credible news stories about Imperial Sugar’s commitment to employees, customers and partners. The coverage highlighted its growth, product innovation and industry leadership in new worker safety and manufacturing processes.

These stories offered a more balanced view of ISC’s business in search engine results, which typically displayed negative reports about the refinery disaster. This “brand journalism,” as it’s called, became a steady source for stories picked up by mainstream media.

In the corporate arena, Lewis is a former director of communications for Harris Corporation, a $5B global information technology and communications leader. He also ran an in-house marketing agency and led executive, enterprise and internal communications at EDS, a $21B technology services company that became part of Hewlett-Packard in 2009.

His career includes communications and marketing leadership roles at IBM’s national and global operations in Atlanta and New York.

Before IBM, Lewis worked as a journalist for The Cincinnati Post, Rocky Mountain News and other media. He stepped back into his reporting role while on EDS business at Ground Zero during the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. The Cincinnati Post published his eyewitness account of the tragedy.

Lewis loves consulting with FORTUNE 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofits to architect their communications and tell their stories well.  He also speaks about the importance of aligning a company’s content to the executive agenda and putting it in a context to connect with target audiences, strategic storytelling, content development/packaging and digital communications at industry events and institutions – such as Yale University and Southern Methodist University.

Gordon Curry, Writing and Strategic Wiz

Gordon Curry – Writer, Editor, Business Strategist

Gordon Curry is a proven communications professional whose corporate experience spans diverse industries that include food manufacturing, retail sales, consumer electronics, health care, defense and IT services industries. Companies that boost thought-leadership raise brand visibility and engage employees.

His versatility is reflected throughout a wide variety of work – news stories, corporate messaging, online newsrooms and executive communications – for well-known and respected brands such as Imperial Sugar, Hewlett-Packard, EDS, JCPenney, RadioShack and the Boy Scouts of America.

Over a 25-plus-year career, Gordon has created executive communications for six chairmen and CEOs – as well as dozens of other senior executives of FORTUNE 500 companies. Always a student of the business, Gordon’s pragmatic approach to his work aligns whatever communications he is creating with an organization’s goals and desired outcomes.

While employed at EDS, Gordon served as the U.S. lead in developing an award-winning storytelling program, which ultimately engaged 118,000 employees worldwide. He also proved instrumental in crafting change-of-control communications around the largest acquisition in the IT services industry – Hewlett-Packard’s purchase of EDS.

Gordon contributed weekly news features, executive profiles and employee stories to the Imperial Sugar Newsroom as the company reshaped the face of the global sugar industry – with new worker-safety measures and industry-defining manufacturing innovations. He was influential in helping the Imperial online newsroom become the “source site” for sugar industry news.

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