I’m a digital marketing and e-commerce professional living in Nashville, TN. I enjoy web design, content strategy, graphic design and the ever-changing world of social media.
Whether it’s through web design, graphic design, social media planning or content strategy, my goal is to tell your story to the audience or community that buys your product or invests in your cause.
I believe every person or brand has a story, and telling that story to your audience online and offline is an essential component of any communication or marketing strategy.
I’m probably on a computer or iPhone! But I currently live in Nashville, TN, but was born and raised in Memphis, TN, and previously lived in my “home away from home” of Chicago.
Hello! Thank you for visiting my website. My name is John Stevenson and I’m a digital marketing, social media and e-commerce professional living in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m also finishing a master’s degree in journalism and integrated communications at the University of Memphis.
I have a passion for telling stories through digital media. I love the challenge of creatively and effectively communicating an idea to a targeted audience or community.
My professional experiences have included event marketing, creative design, destination marketing, environmental sustainability communication, editorial writing and public relations strategy.
I have worked at an internationally renowned event organization, a Chicagoland convention and visitors bureau, a Fortune 125 paper company, an award-winning advertising agency and a metropolitan research university.
In my spare time, I enjoy visiting amusement parks, riding roller coasters, exploring cities, following urban development, running and cooking/eating food (I believe the last two cancel each other out).
I use digital and social media channels to market the Memphis in May International Festival events, which include the Beale Street Music Festival and World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest — the world’s largest barbecue cooking competition. I coordinate the festival’s digital presence including web and social media. I also assist with traditional media efforts, such as print, radio, TV and outdoor advertising buys.
An internship with Visit Lake County (the Lake County, Illinois Convention & Visitors Bureau) combines my interest in tourism with my passion for marketing and digital media. I work with the marketing team to use traditional and new media to promote the many attractions found in Lake County, which is just north of Chicago.
During my time at International Paper (IP), I wrote a variety of articles and stories about International Paper’s sustainability programs and initiatives, as well as general green and sustainability news. I learned a great deal about sustainability and how to best communicate a company or organization’s green endeavors.
Social Media Management
While at IP, I was privileged to be involved with the company’s social media debut. I learned the ground-up approach necessary when rolling out a social media presence for an established brand such as International Paper.
I also oversee, monitor and plan the social media activity for my amusement industry website, Coaster101.com. With more than 3,500 social media followers, creating and executing a social media plan has given me firsthand experience of social media management.
From starting my own website to helping develop a marketing plan for a startup company, I have years of working in with an entrepreneurial mindset. In the spring of 2014, I enrolled in the University of Memphis’ Entrepreneurial Journalism course where my classmates and I developed and pitched a concept for a “Where to Run” app.
My internships have also provided me with experience dealing with business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing and communications. B2B and B2C are very different, but both come with unique challenges and opportunities — working with both has given me with critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
WordPress, Content Management Systems (CMS)
Since 2009, I have used the WordPress blogging/content management system for a number of websites, including Coaster101, which I started in 2005. I also have experience with other CMS platforms such as Joomla and Expression Engine.
HTML, CSS, web design coding
I have an increasing familiarity with HTML and CSS coding, allowing me to look under the hood of many of the digital projects I am involved with to solve problems quickly.
As a journalism student, I write every day—for pleasure and for work. Nearly all of my internships and organizational work have involved writing in some capacity. I have been published in large newspapers, the University of Memphis magazine and other outlets. See samples of my writing here.
Public, Media Relations
As an intern at the archer>malmo agency, I worked primarily with the public relations team, establishing and building relationships with media contacts across the country for a variety of campaigns. I learned valuable communication, writing and relationship-building skills.
Leadership & Teamwork
I was fortunate to be a part of the University of Memphis’ Emerging Leaders scholarship program, an intensive four-year leadership training program that introduced me to leadership, team-building, communication and volunteerism education and practice.
Through extensive involvement in several student organizations at the University of Memphis, I was able to practice the fundamentals learned through the Emerging Leaders program. Learning how to lead and work well with others are both important skills that I will put to use in wherever I go next.
I am very passionate about community engagement, and I believe that volunteer work is an important component when connecting with a community. I have hours of experience working directly with several community organizations in Memphis, and I look forward to serving in the Nashville community.
I am scheduled to graduate from the University of Memphis with a master’s degree in journalism and strategic communication in May of 2016.
I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to begin a job at Journeys as a Digital Content Coordinator. I work with the eCommerce team to optimize and enhance Journeys website operation and increase online sales.
Coaster101, the amusement industry blog I started celebrated its 10th year online in June of 2015.
I began work at the Memphis in May International Festival as the marketing coordinator. The organization is responsible for world-renowned events such as the Beale Street Music Festival and World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.
During the summer of 2014, I worked as the marketing intern for the Lake County, Illinois Convention & Visitors Bureau outside of Chicago.
I began pursuing my master’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in integrated communications in August of 2013. I plan to graduate in May of 2016.
I began working as a graduate assistant for the Daily Helmsman, the University of Memphis’ independent, student-run news paper as an advertising designer. I worked with clients to design and insert print advertisements in the publication using Adobe Creative Suite.
I graduated from the University of Memphis with a bachelor of arts in journalism with a concentration in advertising. I was involved with a number of student organizations and was even honored with the title of Mr. University of Memphis. Go Tigers Go!
During my time at International Paper (IP), I wrote a variety of articles and stories about IP’s sustainability programs and initiatives, as well as general sustainability news. I was also privileged to be involved with the company’s social media debut. I learned the ground-up approach necessary when rolling out a social media presence for an established brand such as IP.
I interned in the public relations department of Archer Malmo, one of the largest advertising agencies in the Southeast. I worked primarily with the public relations team, establishing and building relationships with media contacts across the country for a variety of campaigns. I learned valuable communication, writing and relationship-building skills.
I started Coaster101.com, an amusement industry and roller coaster blog in June of 2005. Technically a hobby, having the website has taught me valuable coding, content strategy and social media skills.
I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.
From designing a simple logo to creating full-page newspaper print ads, I have an extensive background in graphic design and branding. I use Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to create visually compelling graphics and prints that will attract eyes. See examples of my work here.
I’ve been designing websites since 2005. And while the internet has come a long way since then, the basic principles of effective website design remain: information first, design second. Your visitors should be able to easily find the information or products they’re looking for, while enjoying an attractive and visually interesting website. I use the WordPress platform to design functional, responsive websites that are easy for you to use and maintain.
Along with web design, I have experience in optimizing and testing UX (user experience) design on websites and mobile apps. I can test your website, offer recommendations and restructure the organization of your content. This will improve your visitor or user’s overall experience, including ease of use — which can lead to an increased conversion rate.
I look forward to working with you on your next project, big or small. Whether you need help building a website, developing a social media strategy, designing a brand identity or writing copy, I'm here to help. Let's connect.Get in touch