Carleton is expert at communicating complex concepts clearly. He can write for every level of audience, from corporate executives to financial executives to line personnel to consumers, including engineers and technical decision-makers. He is especially knowledgeable in banking and financial services, and in all areas of high-technology, computers, software, even electronics and semiconductor technology, as well as aviation and aerospace.
Carleton draws upon significant experience in a broad range of communications disciplines working for a broad range of clients to produce clear, thoughtful, insightful communications to every level of audience. He thrives on tough communications challenges, especially writing about arcane subjects to either professional audiences or to lay audiences, being able to understand difficult topics but communicate about them in clear and compelling language.
While at UCLA, Carleton took a number of film classes, in keeping with his life-long love of the movies, and after graduating from UC Berkeley, he entered San Francisco State to pursue a Master's decree in film. He interrupted that pursuit when he was hired as an advertising copywriter.
Carleton started his college career wanting to be a high-energy particle physicist. He earned straight-As in physics, chemistry, and math in high school, but somehow between the time he graduated and the time he arrived at UCLA, physics got really hard!
Carleton switched majors to philosophy while at UCLA, then transferred to Berkeley because the program was stronger there with some of the most esteemed philosophers in the world on the faculty. He graduated with a BA in philosophy from UC Berkeley.
With his facility in all areas of technology, Carleton developed a specialized division at one of his ad agencies, which delivered integrated communications programs to clients whose needs extended beyond traditional brand advertising. As executive director and lead writer for this group, he wrote everything from detailed product-launch kits for new video-recording products to comprehensive worldwide company-repositioning campaigns that included advertising, collateral, corporate films, executive speeches, and sales meetings. He has also written annual reports for software companies, semiconductor companies, and biotechnology companies.
Carleton was principal writer for several major regional banks. Having run marketing for local, regional, and national financial institutions himself, he brought a unique perspective and insight to these assignments as a writer. He has written everything from small in-branch product flyers to complete brand advertising campaigns including integrated collateral, television and radio commercials, and print and outdoor advertising. He also wrote annual reports for a large bank for several years, including the introductory President's letter because, as the CEO said, "You write like I think." He has also written collateral materials, advertising, and white papers for regional accounting firms and law firms. And he has written brochures, advertising, websites, and executive presentations for two insurance clients specializing in the mortgage banking arena.
Carleton is a licensed Property/Casualty Broker-Agent, and has been involved with two start-up insurance agencies to create everything from their brand identity and logo to their advertising, collateral, website, trade-show displays, sales presentations, and public relations. He has also written articles on risk management for various industry and business publications, and has written newsletters and white papers on insurance, risk, and financial management.
At one time during his advertising career, Carleton was named creative director of the direct-response division of his ad agency. The founder of the division felt that Carleton had a "natural direct-mail writing style" that lent itself well to the discipline. Carleton wrote hundreds of direct-marketing vehicles, including direct-mail packages, direct-response ads, direct-response television commercials, and even direct-sales telephone scripts. As a consultant, Carleton has continued in this specialized area, having written direct-marketing programs for banks, healthcare organizations, non-profit groups, public utilities, and consumer-product companies.
Carleton spent 25 years of his career working for global advertising agencies as a copywriter and creative director. He has created print ads and radio and television commercials for dozens of clients, including some of the most prestigious in the world in such areas as consumer electronics, high technology, packaged goods, aerospace, and financial services.
Carleton has written and produced hundreds of radio commercials over his career and as a consultant, everything from highly promotional price-driven retail spots to evocative brand-building corporate spots.
Carleton has written brochures for a wide range of clients targeted to a broad range of audiences. Some were corporate-overview brochures that served to position the company within the market place and to differentiate it from its competitors. Others were product brochures that conveyed specific information on a particular product or service, often with some technical specifications or feature details, so that the reader could clearly understand what the product or service was, how it worked, and why it mattered. Still others were sales or presentation brochures that a sales person could use to walk a prospect through a pitch with the goal of closing the deal at the end.
Much of Carleton's career as a writer has been in the high-technology arena, and datasheets are the lifeblood of that industry. He has written datasheets for hardware and systems companies, for software and applications companies, and even for companies that manufacture semiconductors and companies that manufacture the equipment that manufacturers the semiconductors.
Carleton has written and produced presentations for a wide variety of applications, from one-on-one sales calls to 1000-person executive meetings. He has worked with sales, marketing, and executive staffs in developing these presentations, and has employed PowerPoint, Persuasion, and other programs to display the content. He has also written executive speeches that were supported by corporate films, which he also wrote, that were presented over a several-day period to achieve integrated communications goals repositioning the company, presenting a new identity, and launching a new global advertising and marketing effort.
Carleton has the ability to write in whatever style is appropriate to the application. So he can write awareness-building ad copy, sales-driving direct-response pieces, and motivation-creating presentations, but also information-giving public-relations releases. He has done this for a wide range of clients, from financial institutions to high-technology companies to non-profit organizations.
Carleton has written and produced films and video projects for a variety of clients in a range of applications. He's developed corporate films that were used in sales meetings and trade shows, high-energy motivational films to launch new products, movingly persuasive films to raise funds for non-profits, documentary films that celebrate the careers of long-term employees, and even "video annual reports" that tell both a financial story and a business story via interviews with key executives and department leaders.
Carleton has written newsletters often as part of integrated-communications programs in which the client needs to establish an additional, longer, more "personal" channel of communication to aid awareness, strengthen the relationship, and provide useful news and information.
Carleton has worked closely with senior corporate executives to write speeches addressed to a variety of audiences, including senior staff, sales executives, employees, and shareholders. Some of these speeches were informational, but most were designed to motivate the audience to achieve new goals or undertake new initiatives or respond to new challenges or seize new opportunities. He has also written such speeches for leaders of non-profit organizations often speaking to civic or political groups or in public forums. The challenge of writing speeches like this is always to write in the speaker's voice and to understand the content and the intended audience well enough to make the speech credible, relevant, and professional. Carleton has been acknowledged by his clients to be particularly adept at this skill.
Carleton's ability to understand, internalize, interpret, and communicate about complex subjects to a sophisticated and informed professional audience has led him to a number of assignments writing white papers for his clients. Sometimes these are published as PDFs and made available on client websites, and other times they have been designed and printed as hard-copy documents that have been mailed to clients, the press, and interested parties. As it is with writing executive speeches, the challenge of these communications is to be able to "absorb" the content and to understand the audience so as to be able to write a paper that is intelligent, original, cohesive, compelling, and technically rigorous. Carleton has the ability, experience, and discipline to execute these difficult projects successfully.
Carleton has written articles in industry and trade publications about specialized topics in finance, insurance, risk management, and mortgage banking, and has had several articles published in business magazines on topics for a broader business audience.
Carleton has created or contributed to websites and web pages for financial institutions, technology companies, and non-profit organizations.
Carleton has published two novels, both mysteries, one called CENOTE and other PRIMROSE, which are available on Amazon, and is in the middle of writing a third. He has also pitched several non-fiction book proposals to various clients to ghost-write books to serve as corporate-positioning tools or meta-PR vehicles, one of which is actively under consideration and will address the topic of genius both in our culture in general and in the world of business in particular.