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Content Strategy|Digital Marketing|Editorial|Social Media


Nancy Pekala is a content strategist, journalist and editorial leader and community builder. As a leader, she fosters high performance by encouraging shared responsibility, personal engagement and authentic relationships.

Core Competencies

Content Strategy Editorial Social Media Leadership
  • Content Strategy
  • EditorialPlanning
  • Persona Development
  • Content Management
  • Content Mapping
  • Website Management
  • Usability Testing
  • Market Research
  • SEO/Web Analytics
  • Editorial Development
  • Team Management
  • Training and Mentoring
  • Interviewing/Reporting
  • Writing and Editing
  • Calendar Planning
  • E-Marketing Strategy
  • E-Mail Marketing
  • Video Development
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Social Content Planning
  • Blogging
  • Community Engagement
  • Community Management
  • Social Monitoring
  • Campaign Strategy
  • SEO Strategy/Training
  • Channel Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Change Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Brand Evangelism
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Budget Management
  • Leadership Presentations
  • Public Speaking

Career Highlights

Content and Digital Strategy Consultant (1/2015-Present)

Develop content and digital strategies including but not limited to content creation, website development, SEO, analytics, social media strategy and management and brand marketing.

Digital Content and Social Media Leader(3/2013-11/2014) Kemper Corporation

Architected first corporate-wide and customer-focused digital, content and social media strategy for $2.5B insurance company. Directed content creation, governance and measurement for all digital channels.

  • Defined corporate-wide social media strategy including content planning, campaign development, channel management, governance and guidelines, executive leadership and stakeholder training, social media monitoring and analytics
  • Crafted LinkedIn career recruitment strategy resulting in 20% increase in likes and 15% increase in comments within 6 months
  • Conducted first benchmarking analysis of 16 primary competitors resulting in annual strategic map and quarterly roadmap
  • Designed technical business requirements for global website redesign including responsive design, improved e-commerce, enhanced search, custom agent profiles, keyword strategy, content taxonomy, website analytics and database integration
  • Created brand voice guidelines encompassing persona, tone, language and purpose tied to key brand attributes
  • Developed Voice of the Customer strategy to align customer experience priorities, response models and tactics

Senior Director, Online Content (2008-Present) American Marketing Association

Served as Content Strategist and Editor-in-Chief

Defined, directed and transformed multi-channel content marketing function for largest marketing association in North America by delivering engaging customer experiences through data-driven insights. Created new Content Center of Excellence encompassing content research, governance, planning, creation, distribution, measurement, customer experience, SEO and content author training. Increased customer engagement 25% by implementing a multi-pronged approach of Content Strategy, Content Development, Social Media and Digital Marketing.

Content Strategy
Instituted and led “newsroom” concept of customer-focused content development focusing on Agile and collaborative planning, creation and publishing methodologies. Created enterprise-wide content strategy merging internal silos increasing customer registrations by 20% within 1 year.

  • Led development and implementation of first-ever customer research encompassing content needs assessment, focus groups, 1-on-1s and heuristic evaluation
  • Audited content ecosystem, delivering a quality evaluation, gap analysis, content prototypes and editorial calendars
  • Developed and maintained key deliverables including content personas, editorial plans, creative briefs, content indices,page inventories, metadata documentation, style guides and templates to guide content delivery teams
  • Directed 30+ content producers across 4 national stakeholder teams, providing guidance on strategy, editing, SEO writing, style and best practices
  • Crafted and delivered 10 strategic plans to C-Suite and Board of Directors outlining customer insights, content development, roadmap and measurement results

Content Development

Built customer-focused, multi-channel content development infrastructure creating, curating and repurposing content across 15+ content types. Researched, wrote and produced 250+ annual custom content offerings for multiple target audiences. Launched portfolio of e-newsletters resulting in 250,000+ subscribers. Established first revenue-generating Content Partnership Program resulting in 500+ annual content offerings.

  • As Editor of portfolio of 8 e-newsletters with 250,000 subscribers, increased subscription rate by 54% and average CTR by 15% through keyword optimization and advanced targeting
  • Produced 250+ newsletter articles increasing subscriber list by 56,000 in 2-year period
  • Launched the first Content Partnership Program, managing 40+ strategic alliances resulting in acquisition and creation of 1,700 content offerings including custom research, articles, white papers, case studies, podcasts and webcasts
  • Produced 55 leadership podcasts netting 3,000+ downloads and 1,500+ page views
  • Developed custom content for bi-weekly branded AMATV video news series segments
  • Wrote and produced e-books and executive-level white papers on topics including mobile marketing trends, content marketing, customer experience management and international social media practices
  • Conducted interviews with industry thought leaders including Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott and Jeff Hayzlett

Social Media

Architected enterprise-wide, multi-channel (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, AMAConnect) social strategy including social media content planning, guidelines, policies, customer response models, social monitoring, social analytics and insights. Hosted corporate Twitter account including content creation, monitoring and response. Delivered social media training, guidance and toolkits to 100+ local chapters.

  • Planned, launched, managed and grew proprietary branded online community of 11,000+ individual members and 4,000+ group memberships as competitive differentiator and customer benefit
  • Developed and executed content plan for branded community comprised of 4,500 blog and forum posts, 850 media files and 40+ groups resulting in 20% increase in user-generated content in 12 months
  • Increased Twitter followers for corporate account (@ama_marketing) from 0 to 23,000 in two years, retweets by 20% and direct website traffic by 15%
  • Created targeted content campaigns resulting in a 34% increase in Facebook monthly site visitors and an 82% increase in LinkedIn group members in one year
  • Produced and hosted social media podcast series featuring interviews with industry experts generating 4,000+ downloads and 3,600+ page views.
  • Selected as 2012 Constellation SuperNova Award semi-finalist in “Next Generation Customer Experience” category for execution of AMAConnect, a custom branded online community

Digital Marketing/Customer Experience

Defined and designed enterprise digital strategy aimed at delivering memorable customer experiences encompassing two website designs, mobile app development, e-learning platform launch, organization-wide digital measurement, SEO best practices, QA processes and ongoing usability testing. Scoped business requirements and led creative project team in the ideation, design, development, launch and maintenance of site redesigns.

  • Planned, launched and managed $1.5M award-winning website generating 2M annual unique visitors and 9.6M views
  • Developed annual website strategic plan encompassing all roadmaps, CMS implementation, content migration, business requirements, content taxonomy, site architecture and usability guides
  • Conducted first website usability testing leading to website redesign based on improved customer experience encompassing mobile-friendly responsive design, personalization features and improved search functionality
  • Designed measurement program including KPIs, data tracking using Omniture/Google Analytics, reporting and analysis
  • Defined SEO best practices and delivered content author training for 30+ staff on SEO writing, keyword research strategy, metadata descriptions and on-page and off-page tactics
  • Delivered presentations on digital strategy at key industry events including Telligent’s “Big Social” conference, Leadership Summit and Non-Profit Marketing Conference

Communications Consultant (2004-2008)

Produced editorial, marketing and communications campaigns for financial institution. Developed website content, created marketing materials targeting Latino market, crafted promotional campaigns for savings and mortgage programs, launched campaign promoting Citizenship Conference and prepared regular reporting communications for financial agencies and committees.

Institute of Real Estate Management, Chicago, IL (promoted four times)

Web Strategist and Editor (1999-2003)
Architected the organization’s transition from print to digital with launch of major $1M+ design of website ( including creation of Strategic Plan; development of global design, scoping and business requirements; measurement and reporting; content creation and taxonomy; and site governance.

  • Increased unique user visits by 60% in 12 months following launch
  • Transitioned print publications and course content to digital format including 4 decades of journal articles
  • Developed online event portal resulting in increases in conference registrations (20%) and course registrations (15%)
  • Produced custom digital content for targeted individual and company audiences for four-star rated website

Editor, Journal of Property Management (1999-2003)
As editorial director for award-winning industry magazine, established editorial calendars; developed and managed budgets; hired, trained and managed staff; edited, reported and wrote features; created subscription and advertising programs, and represented the magazine at trade events.

  • Led creative team in award-winning redesign and positioning of 70-year old magazine
  • As advertising manager, developed campaigns resulting in $1,000,000+ in annual revenues
  • Created industry’s only software review research, top-selling reprints and monographs
  • Developed new traffic control process resulting in 33% savings in production schedule

Editor, ARM News (1996-1999)
As Editor of award-winning, 10x-a-year news publication targeting senior-level managers, established editorial calendars, reported and wrote content, directed design and production and managed budgets.

Additional Experience

  • Created business plan and launched award-winning Perspectives business magazine including management of editorial and production staff, writing, budget development, subscription promotions and marketing
  • Produced award-winning Annual Review utilized in USC graduate program
  • Executed communication strategies including annual media plan, press conferences, media placements, media buys, speeches and direct mail campaigns; effected 65% increase in news placements in national publications
  • Developed Diversity program resulting in 33% increase in minority participation
  • Scripted, planned and produced award-winning corporate video program series
  • Reported and wrote stories for: Commercial Property News, NREI, FORUM, NACORE, Multi-Housing News, Multi-Family Executive, Regional News, Rockford Register Star, DeKalb News Service and The Northern Star


Northern Illinois University–BA (Journalism/Communications)

Columbia College: Extensive course work in video communications


Earned 30+ awards for website, editorial and publishing excellence including:

• Best Business/Finance Website (Editor and Publisher) • SNAP Award, Magazine Publishing Award • First Place, Association Trends Magazine Competition • Outstanding Journalist Award (SPJ/SDX)

Computer Proficiency:

SharePoint 2010, Dreamweaver, WordPress, Telligent, Spredfast, Word, Photoshop, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML, Omniture, SubscriberMail

Download Resume PDF

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