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Everyone’s got at least one great STORY to tell.

This is mine.

Thanks very much for visiting my site.

Long story short, my name is Nancy Pekala.


If you’d like to learn more, click on a tab and read the key chapters of my story.
And keep in touch.  I’d love to hear about your story or help craft it.

Who am I?

I’m a journalist, content strategist and social community builder.  But those are just the keywords.
In a nutshell, I’m a storyteller for a big (and small) brand world.  Nothing excites me more than crafting content that makes a real difference in the lives of a client, customer or consumer.

What I Believe  

  • Really great content matters.  But content without context offers little value in today’s customer-generated content world. That’s why I always start by connecting the dots.
  • Think of the customer first, last and always.  Whether it’s a Tweet or a feature article or an entire website, content needs to be couched in a deep understanding of customer’s needs.
  • A content strategy has limited appeal without a corresponding people plan.  The only way to make real impact is to excel at cultivating connections, engaging consumers, and influencing the influencers.
  • What I Promise

    Content strategy isn’t about more content.  It’s about the right content, in the right channel, delivered the right way to the right customer.  That’s why my promise is to craft stories and strategies that translate customer needs into actionable realities that make a real difference.
    I believe in the power of words.  They can move hearts, change opinions, engage minds, inspire action and, yes, open wallets.  But in today’s multi-channel world, stringing together words that matter means connecting the dots for end users.
    I commit to craft stories that matter…for you, your brand, your clients and your bottom line.
    If you have a story to tell or message to sell, I’d love to help you can connect the dots.
    Read My Blog

    If it’s one thing you should know about me it’s that I tell great stories.

    As a journalist, writer and content strategist, my work is something to write home about.
    I’ve launched award-winning magazines, interviewed some of our most engaging thought leaders, authors and experts, and crafted social media strategies that build communities including the development of a niche community platform exclusively for marketing professionals.
    Currently, I work as the Senior Director of Online Content for the American Marketing Association where I direct organization-wide digital content strategies including content creation, acquisition and curation, website management, content authoring and social strategies.
    I’ve also served as editor and publisher of award-winning business publications such as the Journal of Property Management and AMA Perspectives as well as a portfolio of e-newsletters reaching more than 250,000 subscribers.
    My byline has appeared in a number of business publications as I’ve reported, researched and written hundreds of articles, white papers and e-books.
    I’ve brokered partnerships with more than 40 leading corporations, organizations and associations including McKinsey Research, Prophet, Copernicus, Colloquy, Gfk Research, Maritz, Aquent, WOMMA and the Society of New Communications Research.
    I believe really great work speaks for itself.  In today’s multi-channel world, it’s important to cut through the noise. That’s why I believe my portfolio of work speaks volumes about my talent, commitment and passion for really great content.  See for yourself.  I encourage you to browse through my online portfolio which includes examples of content strategy, editorial writing, publication management, social media strategy, podcast interviews, research and insights and website development and management.
    Browse My Portfolio

    Follow your yellow brick road.

    Everyone has their own road to follow and this is mine.  Like Dorothy ‘s traveling companions in the iconic Wizard of Oz, I understood that my journey would require brains, heart and courage.
    I set off on my professional journey when I received my degree in journalism and business communications from NIU (Go Huskies!) where I learned my way around a newsroom working as a newspaper writer and editor for the community’s newspapers.   Upon re-entry to the real world, I plied my trade as a newspaper journalist at the Regional Publishing newspaper group covering everything from local government to human interest and  education.
    When the mantra of the day turned from “All the News that’s Fit to Print” to “All the News that’s Fit to Publish—Online”, I directed my attention and journalism credentials to developing a mix of digital and print content vehicles.  Fully enamored with the digital world, I launched magazines and websites for IREM, the largest affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS and created content strategies that engaged new and existing customers.
    Along  the way, I also completed consulting assignments for financial and business clients and wrote for a number of business publications including FORUM, Journal of Property Management, Perspectives, National Real Estate Investor, Commercial Property News, NACORE, Multi-Housing News, FM Link, Multi-Family Executive, Rockford Register Star, DeKalb News Service and The Innovator.
    During the most recent leg of my journey, I’ve served as Senior Director of Online Content for the American Marketing Association where I craft organization-wide digital and content strategies.  I develop, acquire and curate content for the AMA’s award-winning website, Serving as Editor-and-Chief of the website, I manage, write and publish a portfolio of e-newsletters and create topical e-books, white papers and research studies. I also direct and implement social strategies including the development and management of AMAConnect, a proprietary online professional community and am the voice behind @marketing_power, the AMA’s official Twitter account.  I also cultivate more than 40 content partnerships with name-brand corporations, organizations and associations.
    Like Dorothy, there’s no place like home and mine is located in the Chicago area.  I work in the heart of the “Loop” in a trophy skyscraper building with views of the river and lake and the action that takes place below when movie sets frequently are on the scene for the latest action thriller like Transformers and The Dark Knight.  I live a manageable commute from the city—close enough to enjoy the best that the greatest city in the country has to offer, but far enough to be guaranteed of free and easy parking.
    It’s been a great journey and I look forward to the next adventure.  To learn more details about my background, view my resume.
    View My Resume

    Kudos. Congrats.  Great job.


    Professional awards and recognitions provide another opportunity to tell a story—the story of how a vision became a reality.  It’s also a yardstick to measure our efforts and ourselves against our peers.  That’s why formal recognitions by our peers are so meaningful.
    Doing work I love and am passionate about is reward enough.  Expressions of appreciation by my peers in the form of trophies, awards or plaques are just icing on the cake.
    I’m appreciative that my work has garnered more than two dozen industry awards in the areas of publishing and editorial excellence, design and website development.
    A selection of my awards include:
    • Journalist of the Year (Society of Professional Journalists)
    • Best Business/Finance Website (Editor & Publisher)
    • Best Professional Association Publication (Association Trends Magazine)
    • Best General Excellence in Magazine Publishing (Society of National Association Publications
    View My Awards

    On the Record….with Me, Myself and I

    It’s time to get personal.  In my career, I’ve interviewed hundreds of fascinating people —from thought leaders and authors to big brand CEOs, legislators and community activists.  But what would happen if I turned the tables on myself?  Let’s find out.


    When did you know you wanted to spend your career in content?


    A In Miss Constance’s fourth grade  class.  For homework, I wrote the pre-cursor to today’s e-books called “A Bird’s Eye View of Chicago.”  I interviewed my classmates, teachers and family on how they would view Chicago if they were a bird that could be perched anywhere in the city. It won accolades, applause a big gold star.  I was hooked.

    If you could do any other job for a single day, what would it be?


    So many to choose from.  But it would have to be the job of a Google Doodler.  I’m obsessed with those doodles. (Check our my favorite doodle to date.)

    What do you know for sure?


    First, life is much too short not to spend it doing work you love.  Second, an afternoon spent at the beach can cure just about anything that ails you.

    What’s your proudest professional achievement?


    There are several.  The biggest one is launching a new online community-AMAConnect.  The $1M project involved 2 years of planning and changing the culture of the company to think social.  A challenge and a success.

    What’s your best advice for anyone interested in doing what you do?


    Listen actively. Write daily. Think of the end user proactively. Add value religiously.

    What five words in the English language best describe you?


    Creative. Strategic. Dedicated. Passionate. Motivated. Social. Confident. (Okay, that’s more than 5.  Hey, I’m an over-achiever!)

    How do you amuse yourself when you’re not logged on?


    Not logged in? Blasphemy! When that rare occasion occurs, my activities of choice can be summed up this way: Snorkeling. Sea glass searching. Shoe shopping. Summer concert going. Sightseeing the world over.

    QWhat is your most memorable interview?


    AThat’s tough because I’ve had the chance to tell the stories of so many interesting people.  Perhaps the most memorable was with a very well-known business tycoon who was infamous for not granting interviews.  I convinced him to let me ride to the airport with him and I conducted the interview in the back seat of his limo.  He was my captive audience for 50 minutes (thanks to a traffic jam) and I was able to get him to open up (albeit begrudgingly).  I gained a new perspective of who he was and a great story to boot.


    Got another question you’d like answered?  Shoot me an email.  I’d love to connect.


    Connect With Me


    • Senior Content Strategist.
    • Journalist.
    • Social Media Specialist
    • Community Builder.

    Contact Me


    Web Content Strategy

    Social Media Strategy

    Website Management

    Podcast Interviews



    [blockquote  align=”center”]Have a story to tell or a message to sell?
    I can help.[/blockquote]

    Contact Me

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