Damon Gitelman

Writer and Editor

Creative Publishing Group


September 1998 – September 2000

Quality Assurance and Editing – Responsible for layout, text, maps, graphics, and other Community Pages content for all Dex telephone directories

Copywriting – Developed Community Pages content and direct mail advertising for Directory Source products catalog, and promotion of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah

Swifter! Higher! Stronger!
U S West Dex Promotes the Olympic Winter Games of 2002

During my two years as a Quality Assurance Editor and Copywriter for the U S West Dex Community Pages, I was presented with the unique opportunity to help promote the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) had determined that placing a special 16-page section in all of the major Utah yellow page directories would excite residents of the state about the upcoming international sports extravaganza well in advance of the games. SLOC officials asked Creative Publishing Group at U S West Dex to assemble a four-member team to produce the special section, in conformity with the Olympic Organizing Committee’s demanding editorial standards.

A researcher, a graphic designer, a writer (myself), and an editor were selected, and we began corresponding with officials in Salt Lake City about just what kind of branding and marketing messages to convey. The assignment was especially challenging in that the games were two years away, and there were still a number of unanswered questions about venues, new events, schedules, and the like. But we had sufficient material on hand to begin the process—which was, as it turned out, the first major publicity push for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

There would certainly be many more publicity efforts as the games approached, but it was an honor to be selected as the first to get the word out.

As writer for the project, I worked closely with our team’s research leader, who provided basic information about what Salt Lake City would look and feel like when the games began. It was my responsibility to put that data into concise, compelling copy that was consistent with both the U S West Dex editorial style for producing the Community Pages and the Olympic Organizing Committee’s desire to inform residents of each city (Provo, Ogden, Park City, Salt Lake City) about the 2002 events.

The Olympic Guide contained:

Histories of both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and a sidebar about the Olympic flag, rings, and other well-known symbols

Visitor information regarding transportation assistance, and websites about Salt Lake City, Ogden, and surrounding areas

Ticket information and how to order early

Information on how to serve as a volunteer, with a sidebar about new events in the 2002 games

A daily schedule of events with photo captions describing various symbols of national pride associated with the games

Arts and cultural events scheduled to take place before and during the games

A section on the Paralympic Games—events to take place after the Winter Olympics that featured the accomplishments of athletes with mobility impairments

Children’s programs associated with the games, with a sidebar on the official mascots of the games (Powder, the hare, Copper, the coyote, and Coal, the bear) and the athletic virtues each animal represented

When we submitted our first draft of pages that had been carefully researched, written, designed, and edited, SLOC officials reported back to us that they were quite pleased with the look of the pages, and also with the style and tone of the writing. On our first try, we made a highly favorable impression on the organizers that required little in the way of editorial revision. This combination of marketing and technical writing suited the needs of our client quite well, and we took pride in our collective accomplishment. The special 16-page supplement was published in approximately 4.2 million Utah yellow pages directories in 1999 and 2000.

While writing about the Olympic Winter Games, I remembered something of great interest I observed at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games: the trading of official pins from previous Olympics. Collecting and trading pins became something of an obsession in Calgary and was covered with considerable interest by the local media. So, I wrote about the pin-trading activities in a sidebar, and photographed pins from past games with a 50-mm maco lens. We selected the best of my photos to accompany this sidebar, which ran in the special section.

Click on the image below to view the special section ...