Snapshot

Curriculum Vitae

D. Kirkhoff Brainard is a writer, trainer and storyteller with twenty years’ experience developing content and engaging diverse communities to drive transactions. A generalist by nature, Kirkhoff holds advanced degrees in French from the University of Cincinnati and the Université de Paris-Sorbonne-IV as well as a B.A. in English and French from Hillsdale College. He has a background in journalism and the liberal arts with extensive experience in IT, multimedia content development, online marketing, and social media.

Kirkhoff specializes in helping you tune in to the most resonant aspects of your story. He excels at taking complex concepts and rendering them in clear writing that conveys your message while respecting the style and tone of your brand or corporate identity. 
 

Curriculum Vitae

Work Experience

Freelance Writer, BLogger, Life COach                                       2015 - Present

See Portfolio page for recent work samples.

 

Words for the People                                                                    2006 – 2015

Owner                                                             

Story: Kid from Flint, Michigan starts reading his horoscope. He gets curious: “How do they do that?” He figures it out and decides he can do it better than most. Creates website and develops a global following with 30,000 unique monthly visitors in 20+ countries.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Translating arcane technical knowledge into a series of compelling 125-word stories each week for a diverse global audience.
  • Engaging virtual communities through social media, online forums and membership programs, webinars, speaking engagements and in-person workshops.
  • Internet and email marketing and writing for SEO.
  • Creating and delivering training via webinar, teleconference, audio, video & multimedia.
  • Producing and delivering audio and video content for streaming and download.
  • Web development (HTML, CSS, PHP) and content management systems.

 

Freelance Writer, Construction Worker, Teacher                        2003 – 2006

Story: Our hard-drinking rock ‘n roll singer by night and hard-working corporate writer by day starts meditating. Decides current lifestyle is not sustainable. Takes time out to clean up his act and find himself.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Freelance writer (General Motors, Golden Trailer Awards).
  • School teacher, house painter and construction worker in post-Katrina New Orleans.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit, MI                              2001 – 2002

Copywriter & Editor

The Story: Helped develop “Blues & You” and The Unadvertised Brandmarketing campaigns. The Unadvertised Brand – created to encourage consumers to switch from brand-name to generic medications – saved Blue Cross more than $130 million in the first three years after launch.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Collaborating with designers, marketing department and other business stakeholders to redesign the BCBSM website and develop BCBSM member portal.
  • Writing, editing and final approval of all web copy.

 

Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Marietta, GA                                               1999 – 2000

Documentation & QA Specialist, Contract

Story: Everyone I worked with joked that the company must be putting something in the water. The Solvay campus was an amazingly mellow place to work.

Roles & Responsibilities: Performing quality assurance testing and creating end-user documentation for custom implementations of medical database systems.

The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, GA                                                   1998 – 1999

Multimedia Editor, Department of Training & Development

The story: (Set in a dystopian world much like our own.) As the daily acid rains eat away at the stone and steel edifices of commerce in Midtown Atlanta, armies of vegans, yogis and other health freaks threaten to wipe out America’s most profitable brand. Armed with only a style guide and as much free Coke as he can drink, our hero must wrangle together a rag-tag band of mercenaries to assemble a new supercomputer before time runs out. (Editor’s Note: If you’ve ever lived through a first-time SAP implementation at a Fortune 50 company, you’ll recognize yourself somewhere in this tale.)

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Collaborating with content develop teams, graphic designers, training developers, SMEs and internal customers on development and release of online and print training deliverables for custom SAP implementation.
  • Creating and maintaining departmental style guide.
  • Technical writing and technical editing (RoboHelp, Visio, MS Office).
  • Designing and delivering training to external consultants and content developers in Atlanta, Dublin, and Brussels. 

 

Institute of Industrial Engineers, ATLANTA, GA                                      1997

Copy Editor, Contract

Edited articles written by industrial engineers for publication in Industrial Management, IIE Transactions and iie.net.

 

The connection Newspapers, Reston, VA                                                 1990

Reporter

Covered business, police and education beats and wrote feature pieces for CentreView weekly newspaper, part of a weekly newspaper chain in metro Washington, D.C. with 100,000+ circulation.

 

EDUCATION

B.A., English and French, Magna cum laude, Hillsdale College, 1995

Diplôme de Magistère, Université de Paris-Sorbonne-IV, 1995

M.A., French, University of Cincinnati, 1995

 

AWARDS & CERTIFICATIONS

Operation Raleigh Venturer, 1988

National Journalism Fellowship, Fellow, 1990

Rotary Foundation International Goodwill Ambassador, 1993-1994

American Board of Hypnotherapy, Certified Hypnotherapist, 2009