About Melissa Harris

Hi. I’m Melissa Harris, a strategist and copywriter with over 10 years of experience building meaningful brands, engagement programs, and communications. My work has always been in service of community. I truly care about the mission of my clients, and work hard to become an extension of their team.

Shoemaker’s Syndrome

As I blinkingly emerged from a series of projects that had consumed me for several months, I looked around and my sense of self-satisfaction was quickly replaced by a grimace. My house was a disaster, I hadn’t exercised in weeks, and my blog had been abandoned. As a mother of two young children, I can [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 May 16, 2017|Implementation|

Great Grammar Guides

I was the kid who thought diagramming sentences was fun. (Yep, I’m waving my nerd* flag.) I had a tremendous English teacher who drilled the fundamentals—but middle school was a long time ago. When my memory fails me, there are a few sites that put me back on the path of grammar righteousness. Perdue Online [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 January 19, 2017|Content|

The Rise of the Full-Time Freelancer

Four months into my journey as a full-time consultant and freelancer, Bernard Kavaler of CT by the Numbers gave me an opportunity to reflect on my move, and the implications of a growing independent workforce for individuals, employers and policymakers. Here's my "Perspective: The Rise of the Full-Time Freelancer."

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 December 4, 2016|News|

Brainstorm a year’s worth of blog content in one hour

Ready? Let’s do this. Get three pieces of paper, and the beverage of your choice. You can run through this exercise in about an hour, and generate enough content ideas to last you a year. The first piece of paper is for answering the big questions that will guide your blog. Big questions (20 minutes): [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 November 18, 2016|Content|

Put it to work. Give it a job description.

Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of writing a strategy document or project brief? You’re not alone. Over the years, I’ve found that many people feel intimidated by this process simply because they don’t have a framework to guide their thinking. So I started using job descriptions as a way to achieve the purpose [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 October 27, 2016|Strategy|

Are you really listening?

Our lives are so busy and filled with noise that it’s increasingly difficult to stop and listen. I mean be quiet, be still, focus, and really listen. From everyday conversations, to program development and communications, there are a lot of interactions and efforts that would benefit from good listening. Listening is how we learn and [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 October 17, 2016|Character|

A worthy investment of time

In college, I had an amazing philosophy professor who insisted that we be clear and direct in our arguments. He cautioned the Arts Honors students that flowery prose would not cut it in his class: “Don’t take me on a sleigh ride. Answer the question.” I’ve carried that lesson with me since. “I [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 October 9, 2016|Content|

Where to start? The brand audit

Maybe you’ve started working at a new organization, or maybe you’ve been somewhere for a while and are feeling scattered or underwhelmed by your brand. An audit is a great way to stop and assess what’s working, what’s not, and what to do next. Step 1: Gather everything you can find. Dig out your latest [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:36+00:00 October 2, 2016|Strategy|

Be human.

The first blog post is always the hardest to write. You’re trying to find your voice and set the stage for what’s to come. Plus, you may have a little bit of stage fright. At least I do. But that’s ok. Being human makes us better storytellers. All of the work I do is in service [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:22:37+00:00 September 25, 2016|Character|