Sample Writing

I write for a living, primarily News Releases. Here's why: I love the format. (About 500 words.) The urgency. ("We needed it yesterday!") But, most of all, I love talking to clients one-on-one about their new product or service and then finding a way to help them tell their story. Writing a solid News Release is like building a ship in a bottle. The tiny vessel should have the recognizable characteristics of its bigger, ocean-going cousin, but on a smaller scale. It's a matter of telling a big story in an intimate way. Below are samples of my work. —  jsl

Patzi Gil Celebrates her Show’s 2nd Anniversary by Adding More Than 40 Stations

Patzi Gil loves books: big ones, small ones; those with a happy ending, as well as those riddled with mystery, bullets and blood. Little wonder, then, that when she decided to launch a radio show, books would be spotlighted, and that’s how “Joy on Paper” was born.—Link

NaturaLawn of America Celebrates 30 Years of Eco-Friendly Lawn Care

Three decades ago NaturaLawn of America pioneered the breakthrough into environmentally responsible lawn care. Stewardship of the environment continues to be the company’s foundation.—Link

NaturaLawn of America Launches an Environmentally Friendly ‘Ice Melt Product’ That’s Less Corrosive Than Tap Water

NaturaLawn of America, “The leader in organic-based lawn care,” has launched a chloride-free “ice melt product” that’s less corrosive than tap water, yet exceeds the U.S. Green Building Council LEED credit guidelines for Building Operations and Maintenance.—Link

MCA-Russell Johns Lands at #21 on the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s List of Top 100 Women-Owned Companies

The Tampa Bay Business Journal has recognized MCA-Russell Johns as one of the Bay area’s Top women-owned companies. Veteran entrepreneur Blaire Fanning heads up the nationally known, award-winning, multi-media operation.—Link

LANFA Honors Odile Koudou Author of ‘The Blessing Legacy’ With a Special Achievement Award

Odile Koudou has been honored by the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Association during an exclusive ceremony at the prestigious James Bridges Theater. Odile, who was born in Africa and lives in Maryland, is the award-winning author of “The Blessing Legacy.”—Link

MCA-Russell Johns Represents USA TODAY’s Popular ‘Auction Showcase’ at the 67th Annual International Auctioneers Conference

More than a thousand visitors from around the world attended the International Auctioneers Conference & Show in Michigan. Among those welcoming them were account executives from MCA-Russell Johns whose goal it was to spotlight USA TODAY’s popular “Auction Showcase.”—Link

‘Give BACK Tampa’ Gears Up to Distribute Hundreds of ‘Blessing And Care Kits’ to the Homeless in Hillsborough County

Volunteers will be heading for Ginger Beard Coffee & Pourhouse at Grand Central on May 21 to fill backpacks with donated items to help the homeless. It’s part of the effort of “Give BACK Tampa” and its corporate sponsors, which include MCA-Russell Johns.—Link

Big New Billboards Boldly Announce Michael C. Anthony’s Upcoming ‘Hypnotized Live!’ Shows at Tampa’s Straz Center

Giant billboards in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties tell the story: “Hypnotized Live!” featuring award-winning performer Michael C. Anthony is coming to The Straz, May 20-21, with the promise that audience members will be invited to “See the Show or Be the Show.”—Link

AchieveAbility Therapy in Lutz Gears Up for the Autism Speaks Walk on April 23 in St. Petersburg

AchieveAbility Therapy has announced that it will be among the many Tampa Bay area businesses to support the upcoming Autism Speaks Walk around Tropicana Field on Saturday, April 23. —Link

Campus Activities Magazine Announces That Hypnotist Michael C. Anthony Has Been Nominated as ‘Performer of the Year’

As he prepares for his upcoming show “Hypnotized Live!” at Tampa’s Straz Center, Michael C. Anthony  was notified that he’d been nominated as Performer of the Year in Campus Activities Magazine’s Best Variety Artist category. “It’s an honor,” said the popular entertainer.—Link

Community Outreach Program in Tampa Sets a Lofty Goal of Donating 500 BACKpacks to the Homeless in Hillsborough County

After a successful effort last fall, “Give BACK Tampa” is springing forward with a goal of packing 500 BACKpacks with items helpful to the homeless.—Link

Jim Lamb Author of ‘Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales’ Is Profiled at

Jim Lamb, author of “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales,” has been profiled by, “a reading and writing community that provides an innovative social platform for creating and consuming literature.”—Link

Advertising Media Specialist Alex Clevenger Named General Manager at MCA-RJ

Alex Clevenger, who majored in Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University, has been named General Manager at My Classified Ads-Russell Johns. “Alex is a talented individual with a great work ethic,” said Blaire Fanning, the CEO at MCA-RJ.—Link

More Than a Thousand Visitors Stopped by Hoveround’s Booth at the Senior Expo to Learn More about Its Power-Wheelchairs

Turnout turned out to be great for Hoveround at the Tampa Bay Senior Expo. The nation’s largest direct-to-consumer manufacturer of power wheelchairs welcomed flocks of visitors who wanted to learn more about the company’s products.—Link

Tampa Businesswoman Receives Award of Distinction From Her Alma Mater in Illinois

Blare Fanning, a 1982 graduate of Rockford University, has been named an Award of Distinction winner from that school. Fanning, a media veteran, co-founded My Classified Ads in 2004, then acquired Russell Johns Associates a decade later to form Johns.—Link

Award-Winning Performer Michael C. Anthony’s Future Includes a Second Book, New Venues and the Launch of ‘Hypnotized Live!’ in Tampa

A second book and visits to new cities are on Michael C. Anthony’s agenda, but it’s a stop at the Straz Center that has him most excited. His high-energy show “Hypnotized Live!” is set for May 20-21.—Link

Hoveround Announces the Winners of Its National Family Caregivers Giveaway

As part of National Family Caregivers Month, Hoveround invited family and friends to share stories about the impact caregivers have made on their lives. From among those submissions, a select number of caregivers were given gift cards, courtesy of Hoveround.—Link

Power-Wheelchair Manufacturer Hoveround Announces Its Inaugural Appearance at the Upcoming Senior Expo in St. Petersburg

Hoveround, the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer manufacturer of power wheelchairs, will be among the featured businesses at the popular Tampa Bay Senior Expo on Jan. 25 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.—Link

Professor Warns That Unwise Financial Decisions in December Make Major Money Make-overs More Difficult in January

Prof. Rodney Ballance, Jr., was a Police Chief before becoming a consumer advocate so he knows about issuing warnings, which is what he’s doing to over-spenders who expect to turn things around with a New Year’s Resolution. The professor takes on such issues in a new video.—Link

Fresh Off His Multi-City Mega-Tour Hypnotist Michael C. Anthony Suits Up for a Magical Appearance With the ‘The Illusionists’ in Cancun

The Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Mexico has booked “The Illusionists” starting Dec. 22, saying it expects “a fast-paced, wildly entertaining show.” Appearing with the elite team of international performers is noted hypnotist, speaker and author Michael C. Anthony.—Link

Florida Knifemakers Association’s First-Ever ‘Club Knife’ Fund-Raiser Will Benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children

The spotlight at the Florida Knifemakers Association’s Custom Knife Show will be on FKA #1, its first-ever “Club Knife,” the proceeds from which will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. For more information about the Dec. 5-6 event, visit FKA’s website. — Link

Hoveround Celebrates National Family Caregivers Month by Recognizing the Dedicated Men and Women Who Care for Their Loved Ones

As part of Family Caregivers Month, Hoveround, the nation’s largest direct-to-consumer manufacturer of power wheelchairs, is recognizing America’s dedicated caregivers with a special weekly giveaway, details of which can be found online. — Link

Professor Has Harsh Words For Predatory Financial Practices In His New ‘Senior’s Guide To Wealthy Living’ Aimed At Protecting Consumers

Prof. Rodney Ballance, Jr., is a friendly guy with a Southern drawl but when it comes to predatory practices he’s tough as an ol’ grizzly. That’s why Ballance is giving away his brand new “Senior’s Guide to Wealthy Living” for those anxious about their financial future. — Link

The Florida Knifemakers Association’s 18th Annual Custom Knife Show Is Scheduled for Dec. 5-6 in Sikes Hall at the Lakeland Center

Talented artisans from around the Sunshine State will put their handiwork on display at the Florida Knifemakers Association’s 18th annual Custom Knife Show Dec. 5-6 at the Lakeland Center. Details about the intricacy of their artistry can be found — Link

Fresh Off His Multi-City Mega-Tour Hypnotist Michael C. Anthony Suits Up for a Magical Appearance With the ‘The Illusionists’ in Cancun

The Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Mexico has booked “The Illusionists” starting Dec. 22, saying it expects “a fast-paced, wildly entertaining show.” Appearing with the elite team of international performers is noted hypnotist, speaker and author Michael C. Anthony. — Link

Struck Corporation’s ‘End of Season’ Compact Crawler Sale Continues Through Nov. 20 and Features Its New High-lift HL295 Loader

The company that helped launch the do-it-yourself movement a generation ago continues to break new ground for America’s handymen, homesteaders and farmers. Details about Struck Corporation’s line of powerful compact crawler tractors and new accessories can be found online. — Link

MCA-RJ Partners with the Caladesi Steel Band to Celebrate the One-Year Anniversary of Its ‘Healthy, Wealthy & Wise’ Program

Ping-Pong, pizza, lively workouts and “live music” may not be the classic recipe for a corporate wellness program, but for Johns it’s just what the doctor ordered. That’s the verdict as “Healthy, Wealthy & Wise” celebrates its first anniversary. — Link

Candidate Colleen Fanning Invites Voters in Indianapolis to Identify the City’s Priorities by Participating in an Interactive Online Survey

An online survey and a friendly face-to-face get-together on Oct. 17 are just two of the ways Colleen Fanning is embracing voter feedback in her campaign as a candidate for the City-County Council in Indianapolis/Marion County. — Link

'Give BACKpacks to the Homeless Day’ in Tampa Gains Momentum and Sponsors as Distribution Deadline Approaches

When Chad Haynie launched “Give BACKpacks to the Homeless Day,” his goal was a modest 25 backpacks filled with useful items. Thanks to support by local companies like, that goal has doubled and is growing. — Link

Viewers of the Upcoming Presidential Debates Can Learn a Lot by Looking for Non-Verbal Cues Says Body Language Guru Michael C. Anthony

The man who wrote the book on “Body Language Secrets” says voters should pay close attention to non-verbal cues during the upcoming presidential debates. Such cues help provide clues whether a candidate is being truthful or lying, says author Michael C. Anthony. — Link

Tampa Businessman Launches ‘Blessing And Care Kit’ Program to Help the Homeless in Hillsborough County

Chad Haynie, born in Korea, was adopted into a loving family in Kansas, but he isn’t in Kansas anymore; the 40-year-old businessman lives in Tampa where he’s launched BACK, a “Blessing And Care Kit” program for the homeless. MCA is helping get the word out about his efforts. — Link

City Council Candidate Colleen Fanning Energizes a Grass Roots Campaign as She Heads Into the Nov. 3 Elections in Indianapolis

Colleen Fanning has helped kids and parents at the Emory Autism Resource Center, worked as a volunteer on the Galapagos Islands and championed the issues of economic development and mass transit as a small business owner. Now she’s focusing her energy on serving Indianapolis, a city she loves. — Link

Powerful New High-Lift Loader Highlights Struck’s Annual Compact Crawler ‘End of Season’ Sale Share Article

For nearly 50 years, Struck Corp. has made life easier for America’s handymen, homesteaders and farmers with its compact crawler tractors. That load gets even easier to lift with the debut of the new high-lift loader featured in its “End of Season” sale. — Link

NWBOC Announces That My Classified Ads Has Been Certified as Being Eligible for the Women-Owned Small Businesses Program

The National Women Business Owners Corp. has certified the eligibility of My Classified Ads, LLC, for the Women-Owned Small Businesses Program. MCA, a full-service ad agency, was co-founded by media veteran Blaire Fanning who serves as its CEO. — Link Immigration Specialists Gear Up for AILA-Orlando Following a Successful Visit to American Immigration Lawyers Association’s National Conference

After meeting old friends and making new ones at the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s national conference in June, representatives from Classified Advertising Plus, LLC, are gearing up for the annual AILA Central Florida Chapter’s gathering in October. — Link

Body Language Guru Michael C. Anthony Reveals How GOP Presidential Candidates Sent Subliminal Messages During the Recent Debate

Savvy viewers watching the GOP presidential debates may have picked up on the hidden non-verbal messages candidates sent. “Body Language Secrets” author Michael C. Anthony deciphered these signals during a recent appearance on the syndicated talk show “Daytime.” — Link

Reps from Russell Johns Tout USA TODAY’s Popular ‘Auction Showcase’ at the High-Powered International Auctioneers Conference in Texas

More than a thousand visitors from around the globe attended the 66th annual International Auctioneers Conference & Show. Welcoming them were account executives from Russell Johns Associates who were there to plug the benefits of USA TODAY’s popular “Auction Showcase.” — Link Launches Its ‘Get Familiar With Bitcoin’ Program to Introduce Digital Currency to the Public as the Future of Money

Time was when a farmer might trade a cow for a chair; later, money closed the deal. believes digital currency is replacing money in day-to-day transactions so they’ve launched a “Get Familiar With Bitcoin” campaign. — Link

Hypnotist Michael C. Anthony’s Multi-City Mega-Tour to College Campuses Includes New York, Florida, California, Texas and Ohio

With a touch of magic and a full measure of charisma, hypnotist Michael C. Anthony will again reveal why Campus Activities Magazine named him a “Performer of the Year” as he launches his tour to colleges across the U.S. — Link

A Sneak Peek Into Draper’s & Damon’s New La Jolla Store Reveals Stylish Clothes, Spacious Aisles and Stunning Chandeliers

Virginia Draper planted a fashion dream into the culturally rich soil of California a generation ago that continues to produce a head-turning harvest of “smart things to wear” for sophisticated women with modern tastes. — Link

Hypnotist Michael C. Anthony Gears Up for the Launch of His Multi-City Mega-Tour to College Campuses Across America

Recognized by Campus Activities Magazine as a “Performer of the Year,” hypnotist Michael C. Anthony is preparing for his annual trek to colleges across the U.S. The popular entertainer is also an author and corporate trainer. — Link Reps Ready to Answer Questions About Labor Certification, SWA and More at AILA’s Annual Conference June 17-20

The 2015 conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) takes place June 17-20. Representatives from Classified Advertising Plus, LLC, will be at booth #404 to answer questions about Labor Certification, SWA and other aspects of Immigration Law. — Link

My Classified Ads Has Been Selected as a Semi-Finalist for the 2015 ‘Small Business of the Year’ Awards

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce has announced that My Classified Ads, LLC,  has been chosen as a Semi-Finalist for the 2015 “Small Business of the Year” Awards. The company will be honored at a luncheon June 16 at the Tampa Museum of Art. — Link

PERM Specialists from Will Attend the 2015 Conference on Immigration Law Set for June 17-20 in the DC Metro Area

What’s billed as “The Premier Annual Gathering in Immigration Law” is scheduled for June 17-20 at Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD. As in previous years, attendees will include representatives from Classified Advertising Plus, LLC. — Link

Vietnam Veteran News Talks With ‘Orange Socks’ Author Jim Lamb and Posts the Interview Online as a Podcast

Mack Payne of Vietnam Veteran News recently turned the tables on journalist Jim Lamb, who is used to being the interviewer, not the interviewee. Payne spoke with the former Navy man about his new book, “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales”; a link to that interview is at — Link

‘NAFCA Honors Hollywood’ Names Odile Koudou Author of ‘The Blessing Legacy’ as a Literary Arts Award-Winner for 2015

Odile Koudou, author of “The Blessing Legacy,” has been named an “NAFCA Honors Hollywood” award-winner. She will be featured at an exclusive ceremony at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles; Koudou’s book was recently adapted into a screenplay. — Link

40 Years After the Fall of Saigon a New Book Unearths Nuggets of Humor Glittering in the Shadows of an Unpopular War 

Saigon fell 40 years ago and that milestone has put Vietnam back into the spotlight. Jim Lamb served in Da Nang, courtesy of the Navy. The Vietnam vet writes about the good, the bad and the funny things that happened to him in his new book, “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales.” — Link

The Good, the Bad and the Funny—Vet Takes a Look Back at Vietnam in His New Book ‘Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales’

Jim Lamb’s new book about Vietnam has more in common with “Forrest Gump” than with “Apocalypse Now.” The retired journalist says he had some of the best days of his life in Da Nang—and some of the worst. He details that and more in “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales.” — Link

Award-winning Author Announces That Her Book ‘The Blessing Legacy’ Has Been Adapted into a Screenplay

Despite being born in a small African village, Odile Koudou had big dreams that inspired her climb from poverty to success, a story she shares in “The Blessing Legacy." Now the award-winning author has revealed that her book has been turned into a screenplay. — Link

Tina Griffin’s Fight Against Cancer Didn’t Stop With her Chemotherapy—Her Next Step Is to Run in the Suncoast ‘Race for the Cure’ Oct. 11

Though she admits to having had “down days” occasionally during her chemo treatment, Tina Griffin, Sales Associate at Russell Johns, is gearing up for the Suncoast “Race for the Cure” on Oct. 11, and she’s asking friends, family and co-workers to support her effort. — Link

Jazzy Jewels and MCA Create a Magical Makeover Moment for a Group of Bay Area Girls— Captures Their Transformation

When it comes to makeovers, the creative professionals at Jazzy Jewels make magic happen—and with the help of MCA, and Meyer Inspired Photography, nine deserving Bay area girls were chosen to learn what it’s like to get Jazzy Jewels royal treatment. — Link

American History Magazine Launches App for Interactive Digital Edition in iTunes Store

The oldest continuously published magazine devoted to American history ushers in a new era by delivering the rich story of America to a global audience in an informative, entertaining and interactive format. — Link

Military History Magazine Helps Put the Ukraine Crisis Into Historical Perspective With its September Cover Story

For some, the Russian takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and the growing conflict in the region is largely a mystery. Military History magazine helps puts the crisis into perspective by answering the question “Why do armies keep invading Crimea?” — Link

‘Healthy, Wealthy and Wise’— Johns Implements Holistic Programs to Embolden Employees and Help Make Work More Enjoyable Johns decided that when it comes to keeping employees “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise,” team-building is more than just having meetings. That’s why MCA-RJ has announced the implementation of new programs that are as much about fun as they are about profits. — Link

Website Upgrades Announced as Phase Two of the New Johns ‘Click-and-Brick’ Consolidation

After settling into their new building, and Russell Johns Associates (MCA-RJA) have now completed the second phase of their “click-and-brick” consolidation by substantially tweaking and upgrading the Internet presence of both brands. — Link

MCA-RJA Garners Another Honor as the National Association of Professional Women Welcomes CEO Blaire Fanning Into Its Membership

For the third time in less than a year, Tampa-based My Classified Ads, LLC, a full-service advertising agency, has received another acknowledgment from a respected independent organization—this time, it’s the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). — Link

Michael C. Anthony Appears on the Popular Talk Show ‘Daytime’ Before Jetting off to Australia for His Debut With The Illusionists 2.0

The international performance group known as The Illusionists 2.0 welcomes Michael C. Anthony to the Arts Centre Melbourne. Dubbed by VH1 as “the best stage hypnotist on the planet,” Anthony is also a popular performer on college campuses and at corporate events. —Link

Mentalist Michael C. Anthony Takes His ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ to the Next Level With an Illusion Worthy of Houdini

Michael C. Anthony interrupted his 16-state tour to produce “The Most Amazing Ice Bucket Challenge Ever!” Though he didn’t get wet, he did donate $100 to ALS. — Link

New Book Reveals ‘Body Language Secrets’—Making It a Great Gift for Everyone from Poker Players and Politicians to Pastors and Parents

Research indicates that speaking is just part of the communication process; nonverbal signals play a much larger role than most people realize. This mystery of nonverbal communication is unlocked in “Body Language Secrets,” a new book by Michael C. Anthony. — Link

Michael C. Anthony Has Been Chosen as ‘The Hypnotist’ for Illusionists 2.0—His First Performance Is Set for January in Australia

Michael C. Anthony, who VH1 called “the best stage hypnotist on the planet,” has joined The Illusionists 2.0, dubbed “The next generation of magic.” Anthony’s first appearance with the elite team of performers will be Jan. 16-25 at the Arts Centre Melbourne. — Link

Ralph Turnbull Will Be Featured at the 2011 Knifemakers' Guild Show Sept. 15-18

The artistry of custom knifemaker Ralph Turnbull will be on display Sept. 15-18 at the 2011 Knifemakers' Guild Show, scheduled to take place at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, KY. — Link

Restaurateur Announces His Secret to Social Media Success and How It Helped Put Him on the Map—Literally

Scott Earick didn’t set out to be a Social Media celebrity; he just wanted something fun to do on his day off at Scott’s on Fifth. But what started as a lark has now attracted a flock of Facebook followers, and the award-winning chef is not afraid to share the secret of his success. — Link

Michael Ortoll of iPEO Solutions Reveals the Eight Key Questions Businesses Must Ask When Choosing a Professional Employer Organization

More firms are considering Professional Employer Organizations—and for good reason. iPEO Solutions says PEOs help companies shift from time-consuming administrative tasks to revenue-producing activities, thus lowering the level of pain endured to achieve success—but key questions must be asked in choosing a PEO. — Link

PEO Solutions Spotlights the 7 Contractual Relationships Business Owners Must Understand Before Committing to a Co-Employment Arrangement

Maintaining a quality workforce without having to endure administrative headaches may seem a dream to many business owners. Co-employment is a viable option, but iPEO Solutions points out what business owners need to recognize when they commit to such an agreement. — Link

iPEO Solutions Announces the Release of a New Video Designed to Help Companies Answer the Question ‘What is a PEO?’

iPEO Solutions is releasing a series of straight-forward video presentations designed to help small- and mid-sized firms decide if outsourcing to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) will help make them more successful. The first video is titled “What is a PEO?” — Link