I am an Interactive Producer at Funny Garbage, a digital design company with clients ranging from Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, CNN, HBO, and Bloomberg to the nonprofit Jessica works for: The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. We have been working with Jessica for the last year, exchanging ideas to develop creative solutions that take the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s teen-focused website, empowerME2b.org, to the next level. Her eye for detail, strong grasp of new media, copywriting skills, and focus on improving IA made for a natural back-and-forth that allowed us to make steady progress on small details while planning for our next “big jump” on the site. She did a fantastic job of managing this project on her end, and I would gladly work with Jessica again!
This letter is our professional recommendation for Jessica Forrester. Jessica worked as a consultant to United Way of Montgomery, Radford, and Floyd to create a marketing plan for our web-based Volunteer Solutions program. Her communication was exemplary and her deliverables far exceeded our expectations.
Jessica took her creative ideas and formed an actionable task list with her commitment to detail and proactive approach to this project. She quickly grasped two realities of our organization: we don’t have time, and we don’t have money. Her solution? First, she used resources available to her for free through the university and on the web in order to meet our goals with only a small financial investment. Second, she leveraged the United Way name and her personal connections to enlist a group of volunteers to help make her vision a reality. She handed us every tool we needed to get started, including a database she had created of over 450 local agencies that might use our services.
Jessica thinks outside the box and allows no barrier to go unpushed. We had recognized a resistance from many of our less web-savvy agencies to get involved using the program, and we weren’t equipped to provide them consistent technical support. Jessica was able to connect us with the director of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Space through our existing connection with VT Engage. We will now be able to send any agency or volunteer having difficulty with the program to their location, and they’ll give them assistance free of charge. Outstanding!
Additionally, Jessica was able to recruit a volunteer from Modea, a cutting-edge digital services agency with Fortune 500 clients, to redesign our website. The vastly improved, beautiful design took into account the many design and layout restrictions placed on our organization and improved upon difficulties our existing agencies had run into (uncovered through survey research). Working within these tight boundaries the smart volunteer created an impressive new look for our site. The new design is more welcoming, easier to navigate, and it incorporates the social networking tools Jessica had recommended we take advantage of. Modea has since agreed to do the coding and finalize the design free of charge. We are extremely grateful and look forward to getting it up online!
Jessica’s professionalism comes from her experience doing freelance consulting throughout her college career. Her experience was obvious in both her communication throughout the project and her impressive final presentation. Her slideshow was smart, exciting, and graphically interesting, her explanation was thorough yet brief, and she answered all of our questions with poise and enthusiasm.
We would gladly recommend Jessica to manage any project or inspire any team, and we’re confident that she could impress any client. We are truly thrilled with Jessica’s work.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Jessica on a web design and marketing project for United Way NRV. Jessica is driven by a strong vision for her client and overflows with the energy and ambition needed to transform vision to reality. Throughout this project it was clear to me that she had taken the time to develop a strong relationship with her client. Jessica clearly communicated the restraints and barriers we faced in accomplishing design goals. She even brought me to meet the client directly to ensure there was an open dialogue and a clear understanding of their needs and expectations. Jessica also ensured I received full credit for my efforts, expressing her appreciation for both myself and Mansi (a fellow Modea co-worker whose advice she sought) to her client in her final presentation. Both Mansi and I heard from Kymn and Stephanie (from United Way) who were extremely pleased with her entire presentation and expressed their gratitude for our participation. I look forward to working with Jessica on future projects!
My name is Lorin Ashton, and I am writing this letter in wholehearted recommendation of Jessica Forrester. I run a multi-media, internationally-touring act [The Bassnectar Project] that relies heavily on internet marketing.
Jess wrote to me in August of 2007 interested in marketing and promotional work. I wasn’t hiring, and I wasn’t really looking for help – until I read her letter, which pitched a lot of great ideas and looked at the project in a way I had wanted my team to look at it for years. She looked at Bassnectar as a brand, and wanted to expand our use of Web 2.0 and better brand us through our multi-channel media outlets to create an integrated marketing campaign.
Jessica wrote out a complete analysis of our project as a brand. She detailed a constructive redefinition of our mission, the message we hoped to convey through our music and media, who exactly our audience was and who we wanted it to be, and thus defined a consistent image we could then extend across many forms of media and communication. She has a critical eye when methods aren’t meeting goals, and offers her criticisms with new solutions. Jess was truly instrumental in taking our project to a new level.
Jessica was able to help us better craft our message to gain more receptive ears. She pointed out what she believed was a flaw in my methods, advocating inclusive and constructive outreach over my usual angry political rants and tirades. Jess was all about spreading a message of activism, but convinced me to swing it to the positive end. “Rather than scaring them into action,” she said, “inspire them to join a movement for a better world.”
Jess has strong insight as a businesswoman and endless creativity as a marketer. She was an effective team member in the planning process for our web forum: Bassnetwork, and she effectively inspires her street teams both in person and online as a manager. She can be relied on for anything, I trust her with everything, and we’re glad to call her part of our team.
Please contact me if you have any questions
This letter gives my full and enthusiastic recommendation for Jessica Forrester, who I’ve hired for various freelance projects since August 2008. I’ve worked with Jessica in my role as a band manager and sound producer.
Jessica continues to impress me in four big ways. First, she’s organized and efficient, great at laying out goals, rallying the troops, and getting things done. Second, she’s extremely creative when it comes to everything from tactics to problem-solving. Third, she is an incredible writer, and can churn out the fresh, quirky messaging music-promotion requires with ridiculous speed. Fourth, she’s a great communicator and collaborator, which makes working with her both stress-free and fun.
I manage a band called Basshound. They’re from Baltimore, MD, but southwest Virginia is without a doubt their best market. This is in no small part due to the effort Jess put into writing fun press releases for local newspapers and radio, connecting bandmates with the Collegiate Times for interviews, and best of all- launching creative guerilla marketing tactics on Facebook I’d never seen used before to encourage everyone to get out to the show.
Jess wrote the copy for our advertisement in Relix: The Magazine for Music, and the band liked the text so much that they used it to replace the biography on the homepage of their website, houndjam.com. She really has a way with words. Aside from our paid projects, I have been lucky to have had her guidance and revisions for everything from business correspondence to Facebook event descriptions.
Jess is my go-to gal for anything related to web marketing or the written word, and I seek her counsel often in regard to each of these areas of expertise. I am certain her talents would be of benefit to anyone lucky enough to work with her. Let me know if I can add to this recommendation in any way.
Gregory Maly, Talent Management & Sound Production
In her role as Youth Mobilization Manager for the Web, Jess was the Project Manager for all web content related to the empowerME Movement for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. She recruited me and a few other Youth Advisory Board members to help support and expand the empowerME brand online. Jess is responsible for the vastly improved online presence of the empowerME Movement. Due to her leadership, the website became more professional-looking; more interactive with videos, pictures, and personal journals from teens; and more publicized. Jess worked diligently with myself and other Youth Advisory Board members at our meetings to find out what ways we responded best to the internet and technology and to help us develop our story-telling skills on the web. Teaching a group of 25 kids from ages 8-18 must be challenging, but Jess found ways to keep us all interested and make sure we were all learning. She also really seemed interested in our feedback, making it easy for us to open up to her and share ideas. Even the 8 year olds were taken seriously! Jess is warm, empathetic, and compassionate; she gives great hugs! With careful planning and lots of insight from the kids, Jess launched the empowerME Facebook page. Jess did not just merely launch the page; she made sure there was a method to sustain it. She had a few Youth Advisory Board members regularly update the status in order to continue engaging our Facebook fans, and she worked with us to brainstorm ideas to draw more fans. The page has gained over 100 fans a month! Jess has also supported myself and other Youth Advisory Board members to increase attendance to empowerME events, to produce videos, and to maintain personal blogs related to health and activism. As a person, Jess is very warm, empathetic, and compassionate; I will never forget the great hugs she gave me when we said goodbye at our meetings. I have had an awesome time working with Jess, and I continue to call her for advice. I hope we’ll get to work together at this level again!
This letter is my enthusiastic recommendation for Jessica Forrester, a member of my Marketing Strategy class in the spring term, ’09. It was a large section with 70 students. Jessica stood out as an achiever, a difficult thing to do in a section that large. She impressed me on several accounts: her business insights, her consistent thorough preparation, her willingness to participate, and a stubborn unwillingness to accept anything but excellence for herself.
Marketing Strategy is a case course. That is, instead of teaching business theory, I demand the students read dozens of cases and apply theory in order to reach a sound decision. Teaching marketing classes, in my opinion, is best taught by teaching decision making skills first. I require daily that students come to class prepared with that optimal decision and the backup rationale for the decision. Having said that, there are many times when the core issues get lost and students focus on what they perceive to be creative solutions rather than the core problems the company is facing. Jessica displayed a clear talent for stripping away the chafe, and identifying the central problems. Although I think of marketing as hard work first and creativity second, Jessica also has a clear creative voice. In one case, I was prepared to recommend a “text-book” repositioning strategy for a company; Jessica had an “outside-the-box” solution which was at least as sound as mine.
In a section that large, there are a lot of places for a student to “hide.” A student can prepare poorly or not at all from time to time and still succeed. Jessica refused to do this. She was one of my “go-to” students when I needed to refocus a discussion. She was consistently aware of nuances that affected case decisions, and she volunteered those insights regularly.
Perhaps most impressive, though, was her unwillingness to accept anything less than excellence. Early in the course, she and I misfired in our communication of an assignment. It was not a bad grade, but for Jessica, it was mediocre and therefore unacceptable. She moved her seat down closer to the front, and attacked the curriculum with a vengeance. She sought out opportunities for extra assignments. She correctly identified that thorough day-to-day preparation would move her closer to the solution (finishing the class with an “A”).
Finally, she showed a fearless honesty. One of the cases had strong ethical implications, a pharmaceutical company which had developed an AIDS drug and was challenged to bring it to market in a cost effective manner. I was playing a little “devils advocacy” to stir discussion. Jessica politely and firmly confronted me, not letting me get away with an ethical breach. That, too, is not an easy thing to do in a section that large.
I enthusiastically recommend Jessica; I am confident in her ability to succeed. Please call or write if I can add to this recommendation.