What do you do Jean Railla?
I help organizations tell better stories about what they do. I conduct qualitative research, develop case studies, and analyze competitors. I consider context, platform and engagement while maintaining an overall cohesive brand narrative. I lead brainstorms, spearhead trainings and consult on brand strategy.
And sometimes I simply write copy.
My official title is Strategist/Copywriter and in this capacity I have worked with luxury brands, giant retailers, start-ups and non-profits.
Well, I am currently a part-time professor at the Center for Media, Culture and Communications at New York University, teaching courses on advertising and branding. Working in higher education and having to articulate my methods has been challenging and fruitful. I truly enjoy my students and their enthusiasm.
For my own projects, I am producing and directing a feature-length documentary and developing a web series. I always like to have a few side projects going to balance my client-based work. My daily indulgence is cooking dinner every night for my two teenage sons and my husband. I try to organize my time so that I can make that happen.
You have unconventional degrees for a copywriter/strategist/writer/filmmaker. What’s up with that?
It’s true. I didn’t study advertising or marketing or writing. I earned an MA in Food Studies from New York University and a BA in Women’s Studies and Cinema Studies from UCLA. I believe having a deep understanding of gender, cultural studies, semiotics, anthropology, sociology and research methods allows me to bring insight and cultural analysis to both my creative and commercial endeavors. I am interdisciplinary in my approach and am inspired by everything from cognitive science and design thinking to fan culture and punk rock.
OK. That’s, um, interesting. But can you deliver?
Well, take a look at a few case studies and see what you think.
And here is a quick visual snapshot of projects and brands I have worked on or with.