12 years, 12 projects, countless reasons to be thankful

12 years, 12 projects, countless reasons to be thankful

There are more than 30.2 million small businesses in the United States (that means one in 10 people in the U.S. owns a small business), and of those small businesses, a mere 13 percent make it to the 11-15-year mark. We are so proud and thankful to be one of them!

What started as a passion for writing developed into a writing company and now, more than 12 years later, a nearly full-service marketing agency. While our size and offerings may have changed over the years, one thing remains the same: our gratitude for our AMAZING clients who have come along for the ride and let us provide Crystal Clear℠ marketing communications for their projects.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we took time to reflect on the numerous projects we’ve worked on for organizations ranging in size from mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 100 companies and developed a list of some of our favorite projects (trust us, it was hard to pick just 12!).

Getting one company off the tee box with pro copywriting  
Two of our favorite things are ideation (yes, we really do start every project—no matter how small—with an ideation session) and helping new products and companies get off the ground, and that’s exactly what we were hired to do in 2006 by Phillip Beaver of StrokeSavers Golf.

As the name would suggest, StrokeSavers is a golf instruction company that promises to knock strokes off a golfer’s score by utilizing its proprietary instruction methods. Phil Beaver, the company’s owner, was a former fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force who applied a whole different—and quite mathematical—way of thinking to the game of golf. He teamed up with Writing by Design to sell his services using our marketing and writing expertise to develop a launch brochure and copy for his website. A very healthy golf instruction business was up and “swinging” in no time!

Tapping into the voice of the consumer for a powerful product launch
In 2009 we teamed up with Kimberly-Clark Corporation to help them position a new Depend® brief that was thinner, softer and, most importantly (as we found through talking with consumers), more discrete to wear. Writing by Design provided “writing-on-the-fly” services, joining the client in attending focus groups with consumers and even provided the final product names—Depend Silhouette® and RealFit®— to round out a very single-minded concept that launched with great success.

Showcasing mortgage expertise by blogging
Writing by Design was hired to develop a content calendar and blog content to support CitizensFirst’s (now Verve, a Credit Union) growing mortgage offerings from 2010 to 2012. As a leader in providing home loans, CitizensFirst looked to support its website with all things home-related and leaned on Writing by Design to develop monthly blog content to showcase its mortgage expertise. We used our journalism skills to conduct interviews and research a variety of home-buying and financing articles for the growing credit union, which helped drive traffic to the website, boosted SEO and positioned the credit union as an expert in mortgages.

Kicking off KickBack Checking® with a TV Ad
In January 2013 Writing by Design assisted CitizensFirst’s marketing department in scripting a TV ad for a new high-interest checking account, KickBack Checking®.

Writing by Design not only assisted with script-writing, but also helped conduct the local talent search and selection, and connected CitizensFirst with hair and makeup artists and a venue at UW Oshkosh for the shoot, relying on WBD’s strong connection with the UWO Journalism and Radio TV Film Departments. WBD also helped script a second TV ad for a RewardsFirst Visa introduced the same year and assisted with naming both products.

Captain Greg Karch teaches elementary school students how to fish

Helping get kids hooked on fishing using strong communications
Since 2015, Writing by Design has provided marketing communications support to local nonprofit Learn 2 Fish With Us. From year-end press releases to monthly newsletters sent to sponsors and volunteers to growing the organization’s Facebook page from 60 to more than 500 followers, Writing by Design helps the organization increase its volunteer and donor base to teach more kids a skill they can use for life and help more families spend quality time together.

Caffeinating communications with a shot of video
In the spring of 2017 Writing by Design partnered with NorthCoast Productions to write scripts and develop a series of videos for Little Chute-based coffee producer Trilliant® Food and Nutrition. With more consumers stocking their pantries via Amazon.com, Walmart.com and other online retailers, Trilliant jumped at the opportunity to satisfy shoppers’ appetites by serving up their products online—with a side of video. Writing by Design served as script-writers, while also managing the project, coming on site to align the actors with the script as it was envisioned and ensuring the project was completed on time and within budget.

Photo of someone scrolling through the Moraine Park Technical College Instagram feed with the words, "Imagine What's Next" overlaid

Bringing new radio ads to life using research, ideation, concepting, writing and production!
Moraine Park Technical College called on Writing by Design in the fall of 2017 to lead ideation (which we, of course, paired with research on the target audience), strategy, script-writing, sourcing voice talent and finding a production company to produce a variety of radio spots from start to finish. The result? Strategic ads that landed in the cars—and ears—of MPTC’s target audience.

A new website to help boost awareness and increase sales
Palisades Estates Condominiums needed a new website on a tight budget, so Writing by Design researched templates, conducted a quick competitive analysis, completed keyword research, took new photos, wrote fresh (and compelling) copy and implemented a new WordPress theme all in less than two months.

Building an explainer video to showcase benefits and features built on solid insights

A young company, QualVault, needed a short video that could communicate their new service in a clear, engaging way, so we worked with them to talk through their brand statements and pinpoint the new service’s features and benefits. We brainstormed the best ways to explain their services, and then designed an economical, straightforward two-minute Powerpoint video—complete with animations, background music and professional voiceover—that now lives on their website and gives visitors a quick, clear overview of what the new QualVault service is.

Taking care of business for one of our favorite clients—us!
After an “aha” moment where our owner sketched a visual of the innovation process and the concept writing services we provide throughout it on the back of a placemat at a restaurant, we decided that it was time to lean on our visual partners to get our selling points across. So, we wrote a script and teamed up with NorthCoast Productions to animate a video to explain the innovation process and how our concept writing services help CPGs get their new products through the funnel and on the shelf faster. Now potential clients “get us” at hello.

Providing just the right words for an international food company
Since 2016 Writing by Design has teamed up with an international food company on a variety of new products to comb through insights and drill down to one Crystal Clear℠ concept that sails through testing. The Writing by Design team has written hundreds of concepts, but this client provided two firsts for us—an international client (hello, 6 a.m. Skype calls) that needed concepts in more than one language. Thanks to them, we added translation services in early 2017.

Helping an auto transport company race to the top
In 2017 we worked with an international auto transport company to re-imagine their “How it works” page. Like all our projects, before we hit the ground running (or typed words on a page), we started with an ideation session to better understand the typical auto transport customer (hint: we identified three personas) and how our copy could make the company a trusted leader in its customers’ eyes. We provided copy that was grounded in strategy as well as optimized for search engines and included a mockup to help their graphic design team layout the page.


In 2017 we worked with an international auto transport company to re-imagine their “How it works” page. Like all our projects, before we hit the ground running (or typed words on a page), we started with an ideation session to better understand the typical auto transport customer (hint: we identified three personas) and how our copy could make the company a trusted leader in its customers’ eyes. We provided copy that was grounded in strategy as well as optimized for search engines and included a mockup to help their graphic design team layout the page.

With strategy and clear messaging at our core, we have the opportunity to bring our expertise to a wide array of projects. The 12 listed here barely scratch the surface of the work Writing by Design has been blessed with over the last 12 years, and as an employee at a small business, I am so grateful for the chance to work alongside our diverse and engaging clients and support them on the path toward growth and success.

Headshot of Kayde Kempen, SEO and communications specialist

Kayde Kempen joined the Writing by Design team in 2016 as a Communications and SEO Specialist and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She has written hundreds of blog posts and e-blasts, both for Writing by Design and its clients, is the lead content writer for Writing by Design’s website/SEO clients, and assists with press releases, concept writing, script writing and more. Prior to joining the Writing by Design team, she was an associate marketing manager at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where she worked for five years and led nearly 90 website redesign projects, wrote for the University’s alumni magazine and news website, and wrote and managed a variety of print and digital marketing projects.

3 Comments
  • Gary Springer
    Posted at 16:14h, 08 November Reply

    Hey, congratulations! It is really fun to see people put it all together and make it work!

    • Patti Purcell
      Posted at 20:34h, 08 November Reply

      Thanks, Gary! You’re definitely part of the success equation. I was fortunate enough to have some great training at K-C in your department to get me started. So much fun now doing similar work for so many different clients! We definitely love doing what we do. Thanks for the start way back when! (I won’t say the year if you don’t!) 😉

  • Rich Sumwalt
    Posted at 22:12h, 11 November Reply

    Very nice Patti! Love the little project flashback of 12 years. I’m honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to help you and your great team with your continued success. Here’s to another 12 years!

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