Oakwood Country Club Bridal Packet Design

The front page of the Oakwood bridal packet.

Over the last year, I’ve helped client Oakwood Country Club with several of their monthly newsletters, direct mail pieces, print advertisements and trade show displays. In early November, 2011, Scott Creative designed of a bridal packet for the club’s ongoing marketing needs. This marketing piece provides more information on what this historic country club in the Kansas City area has to offer families in search of a venue for a wedding.

An interior page from the Oakwood bridal packet.

Complete with photos of previous engagements that show options for both outdoor and indoor receptions, the tastefully-designed packet is complete with more information on seasonal menu and buffet options, as well as more information on the venue. Eight pages in total, the full-color booklet folds to a finished, half-letter size (5.5″ x 8.5″) and was completed within a week of the staff’s request.

Millennium Plaza Billboard Design

Millennium Plaza Billboard Photo


Millennium Plaza Direct Mail PieceIn June, Scott Creative worked with clients ESI and Belgrade Company on a billboard design which focuses on office space for lease at Millennium Plaza (15858 W Dodge Rd, Omaha, NE). After careful planning, additional research and a photo shoot of the interior and exterior of the building, this final design and copy was developed. The billboard appeared near 149th and L Street, facing west. This advertising campaign also included a 6″ x 9″ direct mail piece advertising an open house event that was held at the end of July at Millennium Plaza.

Oakwood Country Club Newsletter Design

Oakwood Country Club July 2011 Newsletter Cover Page

Oakwood Country Club July 2011 Newsletter Page 2

Oakwood Country Club July 2011 Page 3

For several months, Scott Creative has been assisting Oakwood Country Club (Kansas City, Missouri) with their marketing and communications needs. My work for this client includes trade show banner designs, print advertisements and now, their club newsletter. In June 2011,  I began evaluating their newsletter and identifying areas of improvement in this vital piece of communication.

What I learned from conversations with general manager, Chris B., is that what Oakwood needed was a monthly newsletter with a professional feel that engaged their members. Once a new design template was approved, work on the July 2011 was underway. My wife, Sarah (S. Scott Photography) and I traveled to Kansas City to shoot staff photos for the newsletter, as well as photos of the course, clubhouse and surroundings for use in future marketing/communications materials.

This new design is intended to help Oakwood connect and communicate with their club’s members in a way the previous version was unable to. A clean, three-column layout includes staff articles accompanied by photos, information on upcoming events, photo galleries of previous events and a monthly calendar. Printed on tabloid size paper, the newsletter is saddle stitched, folded and then mailed to Oakwood Country Club’s members.

The Nebraska Your Senior Resource Guide

In April 2011, Scott Creative wrapped up another issue of the Nebraska Your Senior Resource Guide for long-time client, Chappelear Marketing Group. Scott Creative’s work on each issue includes sending out ad proofs to participating advertisers, providing assistance with ad design & revisions, the design & layout of each issue and then delivering the press-ready files to the printer for final production. My experience in publication design and layout allows me to provide CMG with a professional, organized and carefully executed design process from start to finish, and I have yet to miss a press date.

“Scott Creative has not only brought great value to my Company but has always exceeded expectations,” (Doug Chappelear, CMG Inc.).

The Your Senior Resource Guide – the YourSRG for short – provides a wealth of information concerning housing and health care solutions for older adults and their loved ones. Each guide is composed of relevant information regarding independent & assisted living, skilled nursing, adult day services, hospice and in-home care. Each guide is also made up of an extensive directory of hundreds of senior housing communities throughout the state of Nebraska, including phone numbers and addresses for each location. Production of the guide is made possible through the advertisements of some of the area’s preeminent senior housing and health care providers. The guide is distributed on a quarterly basis to hundreds of these communities and centers, including state area agencies on aging.

The Nebraska YourSRG is printed locally by Printco Graphics (Omaha, NE) on 50# offset paper, with an 80# gloss cover. Each quarterly issue is printed in black and white, with the exception of the cover and advertisements, which are printed in full color. For more information about the Your Senior Resource Guide, or for advertising inquiries, call 1-877-229-6238.

A Large Concern for Freelancers: Getting Paid

If you’re a freelancer, it’s more than likely that you’ve been burnt by a client at some point in your career. My latest burn constitutes finishing a large project on a tight schedule for a new client, only to be denied the second half of the payment due to me after the job was finished and off to press.

At first and against my better judgment, I wanted to give this client the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’ve fallen on tough times; Maybe there was some kind of emergency… anything to rationalize the behavior of an unprofessional client that was blatantly ignoring my attempts to touch base.

After failing to contact them by either phone or email over a months time, I decided to send a certified letter and enclosed my final invoice. I knew that the letter was received, being I had the signature to prove it, but another week came and went without a reply or a check in the mail. I contacted a lawyer that could help me to a point, but things could only go so far being I was not financially in a position to take things to court.

Through this recent experience, I’ve discovered a new-found dedication to reading the fine print of every client contract and the importance of assessing each client I take on at a deeper level before entering into a work agreement. In the process, I’ve learned what I thought I already knew: not all clients are good ones and not all projects are worth taking on. A client that doesn’t pay and a client that breaks their own contract is one that you’ll get absolutely nothing but a headache from – trust me.

Which leads me to my point. Where’s the line of defense for freelancers confronted with situations like these? Here in Nebraska, I have two feasible options: contacting the Better Business Bureau and filing a complaint (which never seems quite as satisfying as I’d like) or taking a gamble in small claims court. In the near future however, freelancers in other states may have the law on their side – thanks to recent actions by the Freelancers Union.

Let’s set the stage. In the past, the Freelancers Union has surveyed 3,000 of its members nationwide, asking if they have ever been denied payment for a project. An alarming 80% of survey participants have indicated their difficulty settling up with clients upon a project’s completion. Collectively, freelancers of all types make up nearly one-third of the US workforce, rendering the results of this survey as only a mere sliver of the enormous problem shared by freelancers: getting paid.

Confronting the problem head on, the Freelancers Union recently crafted the Unpaid Wages Bill (S8084/A11520) in an effort to grant independent contractors – such as designers and copywriters – protection against companies that don’t pay for completed work.

“There have been zero standards for freelancers, and that’s why this is so important,” (Sarah Horowitz, executive director of the Freelancers Union)

First introduced in the Senate earlier this summer, the bill aims to grant the New York State Department of Labor additional powers to take action against companies that violate work agreements made with independent contractors, or those that refuse to compensate freelancers within a “reasonable” amount of time. The aim of the bill isn’t to hinder small businesses that rely on independent contractors – only those who choose not to pay for work completed.

“We need solutions to help independent workers get paid,” says Sarah Horowitz. “New York State and New York City can lead the way for the rest of the country.”

While the Unpaid Wages Bill has failed to make it to a vote, the bill speaks for the need for similar bills to be introduced nationwide. An advocate for freelancers since 2003, this organization – 135,000 members strong – has made some significant strides for the 135,000 members they they support. One recent accomplishment includes winning tax cuts for freelancers in the organization’s home state of New York, eliminating New York City’s Unincorporated Business Tax (UBT) on independent workers earning less than $100,000 per year.