Gleason PR
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Kerry T. Gleason

Resume / CV

 

Level: Marketing VP, Director or above

Marketing

Ideation for creating targeted, results-oriented communications programs that stimulate business growth and profits.

...more
Brand Building Strategic communications, PR and graphic design that bolsters top-of-mind awareness and loyalty for companies, products and services. ...more
Product Launches Building and utilizing multiple media platforms to introduce revolutionary innovations or product improvements, to educate potential consumers and to inspire first-time trial ...more
Writing The right words in the right place at the right time. ...more
Leadership Winning recipes for team-building, management and excellence ...more
Entrepreneurial Embracing change and inventing new approaches for business, communication, recreation and lifestyle ...more

 

 

 
Marketing
Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" campaign - Wrote nearly all press releases; design and copy for licensing collateral, coordinated media relations resulting in Clara Peller being featured on every major network talk and entertainment show except one, strategized Monday Night Football tie-ins and political campaign communications. All told, the 1984 campaign solidified Wendy's standing as the third-largest restaurant chain in the world (at the time) generating increased revenues of 24%. Executed daily account responsibilities for one of Burson-Marsteller's most demanding clients for three years (1984-86).
General Electric (Lighting Business Group) required an ongoing media presence for its extensive array of light bulbs and lighting products. As News Bureau Editor, I conceived topics, wrote articles and placed them in major magazines, local newspapers, trade publications, syndicated radio and televison. Results: 200-million impressions.
AT&T hired Burson-Marsteller to recommend a sports marketing venue in Hawaii that would bolster sales of its Long-Distance Gift Certificates back in an era before cell phones and free long-distance calls. I was put in charge of a full unit of professionals and given one day to assemble a report and recommendation for an event sponsorship that Burson would then manage. We learned there was no single sporting event that would accomplish AT&T's goals. I edited a 600+-page report compiled by my team within 24 hours. Our recommendation led to a Frank Sinatra concert, dubbed "The Event of the Decade," attracting a massive audience at Aloha Stadium with purchases of AT&T Long-Distance Gift Certificates.

Bausch & Lomb International received approval to market a specialty contact lens internationally. I wrote and supervised the design of a press kit to promote the new lens in 10 countries and with trade editors.
Bartenders Unlimited, a local, Rochester, N.Y.-based service for party planning and staffing, enlisted my services to attract business for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Under my direction, AdWorks created a multi-media sales kit with gorgeous video and testimonials to promote its Park City, Utah satellite. We distributed he mini-disc multi-media presentation to all participating National Organizing Committees. The effort resulted in BTU catered events in Utah for the U.S. Olympic Committee and Norway.

 

 

 

Brand Building
I have contributed, wholly and as part of a team, to enhance brand recognition and loyalty for many world-recognized corporations, including:
Coca-Cola Wendy's International AT&T
General Electric NutraSweet

Eastman Kodak Co.

Johnson & Johnson International Fiber Corporation USA for Africa
Treuthart's Rugs Better Contractors Bureau PGA National Resorts

 

 

When I first met with Scott Treuthart (pronouced TRUE-heart) to discuss marketing ideas for Treuthart's Rugs. I asked him what his company sold. He answered, "Carpets and carpet cleaning, rugs and hardwood laminate floors." I told him, "No, you don't." He repeated his claim, and again, I disagreed. A little perturbed, he assured me that it was a third-generation business that had been at the same location for 60 years, and that he should know what his company sold. Then I surprised him by saying, "You don't sell carpets or carpet cleaning. You sell beauty for prople's homes." I could see the light go on in his eyes, and we became a team for the next 10 years. I created the slogan, "Treuthart's -- You'll Love What We Do for Your Home. With a modest ad budget, we created a multi-media mix that built the locally owned company into one of the tops in the area with huge brand recognition.

Better Contractors Bureau - when I was first contacted by the BCB in 1996, Attendence at their annual home show had diminished to just over 4,000 and their contractor membership was about 160. They considered shutting "Remodelrama" down. Again, with a modest budget, we reconfigured their media mix the first year. Then, we added new features and innovative PR ideas, like Houses on Parade, where school classes designed imaginative miniature houses. Within a few years, we were drawing 15,000 people to the home show and had to double the exhibit space. Revenues for the home show tripled. Membership expanded to more than 400 contractors.

Product Launches
Johnson & Johnson Acuvue Lens
Shortly before FDA approval, J&J faced a severe credibility gap with eyecare practitioners who disbelieved health claims and could not see Acuvue as a profitable option. With Don Storch and a talented team, I embarked on a professional education campaign using a J&J advisory panel comprised of top O.D.s and M.D.s, white papers and eyecare trade media relations. Then, we spurred public demand for the no-care lens through an unprecedented consumer publicity campaign. The result: the first single-use lens in the U.S. became the most successful product launch in that industry's history. The lens became the best selling contact lens in the world within two years.
New Coke / Classic Coke
When Burson-Marsteller was called upon to introduce "New Coke" to the marketplace, our senior VP recruited me to assist with media relations. The launch, at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes, was extremely successful. But public outcry over the revised Coca-Cola formula forced to company to re-think the new product. Two weeks later, we did it again, re-introducing "Classic Coke," which has fared quite well ever since.
Wendy's Hot Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Wendy's launched their baked potatoes in 1985 with an ad campaign and a flurry of PR placements. At a time when Cabbage Patch Dolls were the rage, we encouraged consumers to adopt a potato. Our unique press kit mailing resulted in a flood of nationwide coverage. Sales of the spuds were so brisk that for several years after, the potato industry scrambled to provide quantities of the size and quality of Wendy's demanded for its Hot Stuffed Baked Potato. Supermarkets were left with smaller potatoes until growers could catch up.
Writing

Screenwriting
NORTH STAR: THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS
Winner, Best Screenplay. The Buffalo-Niagara Film Festival.

THE FEENEY LUCK
THE BIG HOUSE
BALLPARK!

 

Novels, Books & Anthologies
HEAVEN RIDE, Book 1: Sojourn of Souls
#1 New Technothriller for 3 weeks on Amazon.com

SCRAPING THE RED SKY, anthology by Colorado's Fresh Authors
Inclusion of short story "Ghost Squadron of Lowry Field"

ANGELS & ENEMIES
Projected Release Date: May 2017

MENTAL EFFICIENCY MOMENTS (co-authored with Seran Wilke)
Daily Devotional for confident productive thinking

 

Journalism
1st Place, Mark of Excellence Award, Best Spot News Story, by SPJ/SDX for investigative report of an illegal chemical dump site on the St. Bonaventure University campus.

2nd Place, Mark of Excellence Award, Best Graphic Design - Newspaper, by SPJ/SDX for The Bona Venture

Honorable Mention, The Sports Illustrated/International Paper Sportswriting Competition
Leadership

NY Newswire

When the local daily paper promoted a business editor who relied almost entirely on stories ripped from the AP wire, I needed to find an alternative for my clients. I established NY Newswire as an internet press release vehicle, which allowed us to bypass the gatekeepers. Solid SEO practices allowed us to generate local, national and worldwide coverage at a fraction of the costs previously incurred by PR firms.

PMQ Magazine's 2008 NY Pizza Show

Through editorial contact with PMQ Magazine, my professionalism was rewarded with a contract to promote the 2008 NY Pizza Show. Highlighting the pizza industry trade gathering was the international pizza-making competition call "The America's Plate" and appearances by the U.S. Pizza Team. The team had earned silver and gold medals in international competitions for twirling pizza dough in acrobatic displays. Utilizing a digital press kit on NY Newswire, we generated appearances and coverage on Good Morning America, the Today Show and with the NY Daily News. From that coverage, I received a call from a producer at the LIVE with Regis and Kelly Show. They wanted the dough-spinners, but only if they were the only NY media to have them. The other appearances were already committed, so thinking fast, I suggested the world's fastest pizza maker, also part of the team. With that, the appearance of John Howe III on the top-rated morning entertainment show was born. I'm especially proud of this placement because the show featured only a handful of interviews with non-celebrities each year. Afterward, producers said it was one of the more entertaining segments ever on the show.

If you need more toppings on your pizza show, we achieved a colossal success with the America's Plate competition. When the winner was announced, I quickly dispatched the news on NY Newswire, with photos. The favored Italians were upset by Jarmo Valteri of Finland and his reindeer meat and native mushroom pizza. This became huge news in Italian media, and Valteri became the media hero of the moment in Finland.

   
   
Entrepreneurial

The word "entrepreneur" is the most beautiful in the English language. It is overused and misused. It is not enough to merely start a business, or art piece, or other endeavor, to be an entrepreneur. One must break new ground, birth a fresh inventive spirit, introduce a revolutionary operational approach, invite and embrace change and tenaciously do battle with the status quo in order to be a true entrepreneur. At the age of 23, I was invited to the boardroom of the world's largest public relations firm because my universe and my way of thinking inspires, creates, builds and exalts. My career since has underscored my status as a creative thinker willing to venture bravely into unknown territories and come out alive. I am proud to be an Entrepreneur.

Catering Calculators
Tasteful Events Catering came to me seeking a competitive edge that would drive its sales to the next level. Our world-class website design (and logo design triumph!) had already separated this fine caterer from the fray. It was 2000, the new millenium, and I wanted to bring something to the mix that would improve the company's productivity and make it difficult for prospects to say no. We became the forerunner in online ordering in the catering industry with our Catering Calculators. Tasteful Events' extensive menus were built into point-and-click fields that generated an instant estimate without using a second of management's valuable time. That would be needed to manage the exponential influx of business our customer service tool generated. We empowered prospects with the opportunity to create their own catering estimate from their desktop at work, or in their pajamas in the dead of night at home. It was a revolutionary feat in the year 2000.

 

Tuesday Night Supper Club
My heart and soul was in the food and beverage industry, even though my bread and butter had become tied to home improvement companies and contractors. Personally, my social life suffered from all work and very little play. I developed a plan that would hopefully allow me to make new friends while introducing me to potential restaurant and beverage industry clientele. I called it the Tuesday Night Supper Club. It had a simple premise: build restaurant traffic on a traditionally slow night of the week, Tuesday, while creating an entertainment diversion that would bring strangers together for a few hours to see how much fun we could generate. Every other week, we featured a locally-owned restaurant, meeting with owners and chefs to create events that embodied their cuisine, locale and specialties. (Chefs seemed to love the chance to create something extraordiary for appreciative guests). It took every ounce of public relations ingenuity to get this off the ground, and help from my business partner Eddie Bell, Jr., but the very first event drew 32 people for cocktails and a custom menu at one of Rochester, N.Y.'s premiere restaurants. Word spread, and our events drew 25-60 people. We expanded to Buffalo, another city with exceptional and diverse food offerings. Dinners prepared by a James Beard Award winner. Dinners from almost every continent. We even took the big leap and organized an international food tour in Toronto, and then a Finger Lakes Wine tour and luxurious dinner for 70 people.

It was on the International Tour that I had the pleasure to work with Allan Lim and master Thai chef Sasi Mechai. I was hired as their "marketing mastermind" and their restaurant, now called Mengrai Thai, is regarded as Toronto's best Thai restaurant, rated #1 by some of the area's most highly regarded restaurant critics.

 

Colorado Stud
Every possible card game has been invented and played in a casino atmosphere, right? Not so! Good friend Craig Moody and I designed and are implementing a new casino table game called Colorado Stud. It is patent pending, so few details of the game can be divulged, except that:
It's a simple game that combines the best elements of poker, blackjack, craps and roulette while incorporating admiration and respect for Colorado's rich history of mining and mile-high adventures. We are working toward getting Colorado Stud into casinos as a field test to prove its popularity and viability.

 

Re-Pizza Delivery System
In 1993, a softball teammate posed a question about the inability to recycle pizza boxes. The led to the development of a unique "magic box" that would allow pizza emporiums to deliver their goods without the cardboard box. The cardboard pizza box, patented in 1960, has remained virtually unchanged in almost 60 years. Until the past few years, it was not viable to recycle pizza boxes and they were disposed in landfills as "contaminated waste." Dubbed the Re-Pizza Delivery System, my invention replaces the cardboard box with a re-usable, recyclable delivery mechanism that would eliminate tons and tons of cardboard waste from landfills. We jumped through hoops and crossed international borders to research and develop an environmentally sound way to deliver pizza. Right now, the progress of this multi-billion-dollar venture is on hold until I find a suitable manufacturing partner.

 

What You Should Know

Kerry Gleason is an intensely dedicated professional with enormous writing talent, management and people skills. He attributes his success to preparation and researches fastidiously, always striving to be the smartest person in the room. He has become expert in numerous industries, developing an uncanny ability to "speak the language" of his audience. He provides thoughtful, honest, on-target analysis and advice. He went from working with the largest public relations firms in the world to a start-up, AdWorks, in which he devoted his talents to providing world-class marketing expertise to entrepreneurs, owner-operated businesses and several national companies, eventually taking on international clients as well. The rapid growth of AdWorks International was diminished by economic downturns in New York State and the nation in 2008, and he moved his business to Colorado the following year. He has retained a select few clients while focusing on creative writing pursuits. These include a #1 novel on Amazon.com and an award-winning screenplay about the life of Frederick Douglass. He is also a two-time winner of the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards and winner of the International Association of Business Communicator's Iris Award for best product launch. The Wendy's campaign earned a regional Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America.