Always a communicator, with a few twists and turns ...
Business Writer, Content Creator, Communications Strategist
Plan, write and edit content for enterprises and publications
Bulk of work in feature articles, blogs, e-books, print collateral, newsletters and press materials
Extensive experience in employee communications and public relations
Published author and ghostwriter
Media relations training and spokesperson experience
History of volunteer work in athletics, voter participation and sustainability causes
2002 – Present Russ Klettke Business Writer/Content/Strategy
Develop copy and publications for clients in a broad variety of industries including financial services, professional services, manufacturing, consumer products, food manufacturing and retailing, cause-related organizations and trade associations. Includes press materials, newsletters, web content and book-length documents. Consult on overall communications strategies where required. Clients: BrightBulb Solutions, Major, Lindsey & Africa legal search consultants, Stryker Medical, Rasta Taco, Jensen Litigation Solutions, Guerrero Howe Custom Media, Martindale-Hubbell, Burson-Marsteller, Edelman Worldwide, Prevent Blindness America, Magnani Continuum Marketing, Karen Novick PR, CashNetUSA, Exelon Corp., Dome Communications, Trane Inc., National Association of Realtors, HairLoss.com, RealJock.com and others.
2005 – 2008 Feinberg School of Medicine/Northwestern University
Research assistant (part time), Study in Leg Circulation, investigating the effects of strength and treadmill training on leg function in individuals with peripheral arterial disease. Study was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
2002-Present Author, writer and speaker on nutrition and fitness topics
Published “A Guy’s Gotta Eat, the regular guy’s guide to eating smart,” (Marlowe & Co./DaCapo Press, NY 2004; with Deanna Conte, MS RD LD), a pragmatic translation of nutritional science into the language, lifestyle and attitude of men. Second printing June 2004.
Also certified as a fitness trainer (American Council on Exercise). Fitness trainer to an executive since 2005.
2001-2002 USG Corporation, Director of Internal Communications
Oversaw all employee communications (newsletters, intranet, town hall meetings, announcements) as the company simultaneously entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and marked its 100th anniversary.
1994 – 2001 Klettke+Associates, Inc.
Owned and operated a communications firm providing strategic communications planning, editorial and media relations services.
Client roster includes BMO-Harris Bank, Home Products International (HPI), USG Corp., National Society of Genetic Counselors, Tenneco Automotive, Andersen Consulting (Accenture), Miller Brewing Co., Viant Corporation, Bunge Foods Group, BrassRingCampus.com, Prevent Blindness America, Magnani Continuum Marketing and Human Rights Campaign.
Accomplishments: Readership of Harris Bank employee newsletter exceeded 70%; created new newsletters for Tenneco and HPI; developed entire PR function for Bunge Foods; placed genetic counseling features in major national media and established an ambassador network of 40 spokespeople; placed Miller stories in 60% of target publications in a single campaign; reduced negative media coverage of HRC from 22% to 3% over five years of programming.
Managed three staff writers and a stable of freelancers.
1990 – 1994 The NutraSweet Company
Public Relations Manager in marketing support and issues management roles. Directed external agencies in creating marketing support programs for several businesses: Simplesse (fat substitute), Equal sweetener and WellBridge Center, a club-based fitness facility focused on healthy aging.
1986 – 1990 Golin/Harris Communications
Account Supervisor on flagship McDonald’s Corporation business; primary focus on advertising-support publicity and issues management, included development of programs for use by regional public relations agencies, assistance in crisis communications incidents, and new project development on the account.
1983 – 1986 Din & Pangrazio
Account executive on various agency accounts in real estate.
1981 – 1983 American Lung Association
Special events manager (Buffalo) and interim public relations director (Chicago).
Syracuse University – S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; BS in Magazine Journalism; minor in Economics
Post-graduate coursework: Non-Fiction Creative Writing, Northwestern University, The School for New Learning, DePaul University
Activities, Interests and Certifications
Ambassador, Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program (volunteer community education)
Guest lecturer: Brandeis University/Genetic Counseling Program online course (media training for genetic counselors) and Columbia College (Chicago)
Community service: Illinois Leadership Committee and national Board of Governors, Human Rights Campaign; board member, Open Hand Chicago; various community-based sports events; American Liver Foundation, Hepatitis C awareness campaign
Grassroots political activities: including leadership roles in a non-partisan voter registration coalitions, town hall meetings on selected topics, lobbying and special projects for Senate and gubernatorial candidates, perennial phone bank volunteer.
Media trainer (pro bono): American Liver Foundation; Center on Halsted
Member, International Association of Business Communicators; past participant, Senior Communicator Forums
Veteran international-distance triathlete (59 races in U.S., Canada and Australia since 1987; qualified for the 2015 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Winner, 2015 Eddie Award from Folio magazine (article on Facebook's data centers/American Builders Quarterly October 2014)
Renovate homes and condominiums (five homes bought, renovated, then sold or rented between 2005 and 2014)