Craft matters

I help craft (and re-draft) notions of what is possible.

I have helped troubleshoot brainstorming sessions, and have been essential in many different types of small team environments, working at varying levels of media industry.

I also help develop and maintain consistency in premium brand awareness strategies, from professional individuals in music and art, non-profit organizations in healthcare and media, and academics in higher education. My talents may seem subtle but consistently have provided a flexible starting point for organic growth in mediated environments, both digital and analog.

Origin Story

I have been gradually moving east since being born in Twin Falls, Idaho, having lived in Colorado, Kansas, Ohio, New York, and now Georgia. From 2014 through 2020 I served as webmaster and media producer for the Peabody Awards while also moonlighting as a social media consultant.

Prior to my time with Peabody, I worked as research director for Beacon Initiative, Inc., a non-profit organization, which I helped develop. Our work was dedicated to synthesizing research on hate speech and bullying, to help develop educational materials for understanding, identifying, and demobilizing the spread of hatred, bias, and racism.

Additionally, I am an adoptee, having spent 23 years engaged in the search for my mother and father. I began blogging in 2002, and have been active online in some form since the days of dial-up as part of this search process.

Testimonials

"Wes, a deeply experienced social media strategist, joined the Peabody Awards team in 2014, went full-time in 2016, and consistently increased the reach of the program, as well as helping to professionalize its look and feel. In addition to social media, Wes helped out with web editing, email marketing, video production and editing, and the facilitation of submissions for the awards and their adjudication by the Peabody board of jurors.

"Over the years, Wes honed his video editing and production skills to the point at which he did the bulk of the editing for the full ceremony videos, as well as a number of other video interviews and editing down clips for social media use. He also supported student video editors, requisitioning and preparing video materials for interviews, sizzle reels, and issue spotlights.

"The results speak for themselves: when Wes began, Peabody had less than 2,000 followers on Twitter and no Instagram presence. Today, Peabody has 18,500+ followers on Twitter, and 6,500+ followers on Instagram. The social media and digital footprint looks dramatically different, both in numbers and in the tenor of our responsiveness, in no small part due to his work. Wes is a strategic thinker, an astute user and producer of digital content, who can bring a great deal of very real experience to the table."

-Charles Davis
Dean, Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The University of Georgia


"Wes Unruh was Digital Media Strategist at the Peabody Awards when I was Communications Director. We worked together on creating content and boosting the social media presence of the awards program. Wes has a keen attention to detail and organization. He understands the complexities of SEO and positioning a brand. Wes was able to develop workarounds to an aging website that were creative, engaging and functional. He was well-informed about the latest software developments in social media, video production and file storage that were critical for a nonprofit working with few resources. Wes acquired a deep knowledge of Peabody Award-winning media across platforms that made him an important part of the team. He was always eager to suggest storylines and identify social issues that were timely and relevant."

-Margaret Blanchard
Writer/Editor/Communications Consultant


"A major cultural organization like Peabody demands excellence, and Wes nimbly moved amongst the many roles he was expected to play – a testament to his numerous proficiencies, talents, and strong critical thinking skills. "Ask Wes how to ..." or "I bet Wes would know the answer" were some of the more popular refrains I would hear pinballing from office to office throughout suite on any given day. One, in particular, stands out, for that day Wes and I moved from prepping materials for the archive, to adjusting code for the Peabody iOS App update, to collaborating on research into critical themes of diversity in Peabody-winning materials. Beyond his technical and professional skills, however, Wes showed me immense kindness and gave me a sense of belonging, the personal significance of which cannot be overstated. Because everything else can be learned (and he's a proven quick study), for almost any gap Peabody needed filled, Wes was right for the job."

-Taylor Cole Miller, PhD.
Assistant Professor, University of Georgia


"Wes is an incredibly conscientious and considerate colleague. Being a fairly recent addition to Peabody, I have found Wes to be generous with his time, helping me to better understand complex processes and expectations. Wes always responds promptly and with remarkable kindness to questions or requests, and I greatly appreciate his calm presence in, what can often be, a high-pressure work environment."

-Michelle Bailey
Research Professional III at Carl Vinson Institute of Government


"I've been an Avid Media Composer Instructor and Adobe Premiere Instructor for many years, and I rarely see someone take to not only the technical, but the artistic elements of editing as quickly as Wes. In a high-pressure, quick turnaround atmosphere, Wes excelled at keeping all of his workflows, simple, efficient, and effective. It helps that he is intelligent, professional, and low-to-no drama as a person and colleague."

-James Biddle
Avid Media Composer Master Instructor. Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Certified Instructor, Adobe Premiere Pro Certified Instructor, Professor, University of Georgia


"The Peabody Awards is an 80-year-old institution with wide renown, run by a very small group of agile and dedicated professionals. A job title in this organization could never fully encompass all of the responsibilities that each team player is expected to perform, and that is certainly true for Wes. He has deftly managed Peabody's website, social media accounts, technical needs and support for the online submissions process, and audio-visual media for juror deliberations, among many other digital aspects of the program. He has coordinated all of this on a variety of platforms and has worked diligently to build systems that deliver content effectively and run smoothly in tandem, which is no small feat. In addition to his technical prowess and video editing skill, Wes brings a positive and supportive energy, responding with a can-do attitude and seeking creative solutions to complex problems. He helps to strategize a clear path through to each project's completion, and he comprehensively anticipates areas that will require troubleshooting."

-Molly Williams
Project & Events Management, Relationship & Community Building, Media Production


"Wes is a very strong player in the Social Media realm. He is truly on point when it comes to any questions from what tools to use, to building relationships, to anything else I can throw at him. A lot of people jump into Social Media from a business standpoint and fail almost immediately. Wes has the knowledge to build and grow a business in the right way across multiple platforms."

-Lauren Daknis
Manager - Digital Marketing and UX at CDPHP


"I have worked with Wes for close to a year now on a multitude of projects. He is always on task, researched, and ready to push forward. With him, we have created a number of sites utilizing cutting-edge marketing, SEO, design, and social media. Even when materials on a project are scarce or slow to come by, he has been able to generate impressive results."

-Andrew Domozych
UX and Service Designer