Kris Obertas is alive and well...

and very busy with life and work including...

Freelance Copywriting

I write sales copy for people selling products and services to people. (Note the emphasis on people, no matter how big the business, the power of communication works best to build connections between people. After all, people build products for, provide service to, and sell to...other people.) My goal is to build words around what a business does to get its story into the minds of an audience with minimal friction.

My focus is clear, frictionless, and conversational communication. I write web site copy, emails, promotional collateral (including brochures, sell sheets, and flyers), whitepapers, Google ads, presentations, and sales letters. Over the past year I've worked on flyers, training manuals, executive summaries, business proposals, and web copy.

If you know someone who needs help with writing in their business, I'd appreciate the referral. I write new promotional pieces from scratch or bring fresh eyes to existing copy and content to make sure the right message is getting to the right people. Email me and let's talk about the project!

I offer a no-obligation conversation over a beverage (hot or cold!) to discuss what people want from their marketing efforts. Here's my guarantee--if a prospective client shows me what they are doing on the marketing fronts and I don't come up with new ideas for their marketing, the beverages are on me!

Photography

I'm shooting loads of photos and taking steps to get my work out in the world. If 1% of the photos are excellent, then I have a few hundred worth seeing! After years of people telling me "You should put those images in galleries and sell them," I'm doing what I can! I'm creating an online print shop and a physical portfolio. Then internet makes showing work easy, but nothing beats a real print for people to imagine what a photo would look like hanging on a wall.

I met two co-owners of Fidelis , a print maker on the the Photoshelter recommended vendors list. They do amazing work on paper and canvas and I'm excited to print and sell more photos using their fine art expertise.

And hasn't been bored for years.

Life is a candy store. I feel like a lucky kid with a pocket full of change most days.

When I wake up, the challenge is choosing what to do from all the options. Of course there are constraints and commitments, currently featuring the...

Healthlink B.C. website at: www.healthlinkbc.ca

I'm Web Coordinator and responsible for analytics and link maintenance along with general site maintenance with the Health Information Design and Delivery team in Navigation Services which also runs the 811 health information line. On the web and by phone, you can find information on a wide array of health topics. The website is aimed at both general citizens and healthchare professionals including the nurses who run the 811 telehealth line.

I formerly worked with the Community Healthcare and Resource Directory team.

We built CHARD, an online resource directory of public and private organizations, services, and practitioners for use by family doctors in B.C. The basic idea was that general practitioners with current and accurate information on how patients can access assessment and treatment for what ails them will save the healthcare system and taxpayers money.

I researched and wrote about a huge range of services related to issues and conditions treated by doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, kinesiologists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, psychologists, clinical counsellors, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists, dentists, and business owners providing products and services to people. CHARD shut down in August, 2013. The staff cost of maintaining the directory was high relative to the amount of usage by doctors so I imagine a manager looking for an easy item to cut from a budget would recognize the cost vs. value outlier in a list of expenses.

Our team won an Innovation award from the B.C. Ministry of Health in Spring 2011, so our hard work was recognized!

Before working in public service, I was part of a small team that brought Datawitness.com to market. Starting from scratch, we built a base of repeat customers. However, while the business continues operating, it didn't take off like the team and investors hoped, so the staff was cut to the minimal level needed to run the services. I'm proud of the work I did in sales, marketing, and training. I learned a lot about the time and money challenges of a technology startup and am better prepared to take on work which puts achieving business goals centre stage.

I find many ways to have fun.

I mentioned photography above, and that's my main creative outlet at the moment and a good source of exercise too. Try creeping stealthily through the underbrush following a snake or grasshopper, then holding a steady pose for the camera, then shifting to get diferent angles and as close as possible. It's part slow-motion dance, part yoga! For a tall guy, I scrunch up into a ball to present an unthreatening profile quite well.

Sportswise, mainly I swim and inline skate. When the weather gets wetter during Vancouver's cooler months, I run hills (no excuses, just have to step out my front door and go.) I live in a neighbourhood with a lot of shopping and services within easy cycling distance so I try to ride rather than drive when it makes sense. I'm looking forward to standup paddle boarding at Windsure in 2014. I have a dream to learn how to surf and my balance is great but figure SUPing will help train my brain and body!

Music

I can't play a lick of anything. Relaxation for me includes listening to vinyl and cd's while going through my shelf of music guides and tracking down music I haven't heard yet. Services like Emusic make it easy. I'm finding and downloading music I gave up tracking down on vinyl years ago and discovering great new stuff. I salute the myriad new artists who create and put their music out there in hope of finding a supportive audience. I have a lot of fun putting together mixes to share with friends.

Reading and writing

I'm a bookworm and always have been. When I can't learn something through direct experience, books fill the gap. At least until we have mind-sharing clones to send off in different directions to experience the many wonders available out there. If the library had a platinum card, I'd own it.

There's a book in my head but I haven't figured out the structure of the story yet. I need to just sit down, start writing, and see where it takes me. I've hung out with published novelists and know that sometimes that's what you have to do until a story and characters take on lives of their own. Although one of my writing heroes, Steven Pressfield would disagree. But even his one page plan for a project (literary or other) leaves room for creative discovery as you take an idea and flesh it out.

Organizations I support

Animal Rescue

We had a much-loved budgie growing up. My brother's macaw Pepe got me intrigued by birds again. I've volunteered hundreds of hours with Greyhaven for years.

I've also adopted several abandoned birds. My ragtag flock currently numbers three crazy lovebirds hens who've all laid eggs. My life is richer for the experience. People who have pets get it. And if you know birds, I don't have to explain. If you haven't lived with them, I'd be happy to talk to you about what you can expect from sharing space with amazingly clever and emotionally rich critters. They bond with people just like dogs and are just as excited when you get home from work!

If you're thinking about a new pet, and open to a bird, check out the birds for adoption on Greyhaven's web site. You can also join as a member. Whether or not you plan to adopt, the funds go to maintain Greyhaven programs and the fund for a permanent home for the sanctuary.

They also have fundraiser events like the gigantic Garage Sale my partner and I organized in Spring 2009. We raised over $2,000. Check the Greyhaven web site for their event and community calendar.

Canadian Blood Services

I've donated whole blood 60 times. And will continue as long as "it's in me to give."

I went to a donor recognition event in 2009 when I hit the fifty donation mark. I've always felt giving blood was a good thing to do. But it's been abstract. My blood helps somebody, somewhere. At the event I got to meet and hear first hand from people who have directly benefited from donated blood. The stories they told tend to be not needing a top up pint but long, difficult battles and recoveries from illness or injury where they need a lot of blood, over and over, to get them through it.

It's a simple equation. Give blood. Save lives. Help give young children a chance to grow up. It's easy to start and doesn't take long. Try one or more of the different ways to give. You may end up doing it for years and helping many people and families through difficult times.

Take a Hike Foundation

The Take a Hike Foundation (TAHF) runs an outdoor-centered program for at-risk high school students.

TAHF gives city kids in trouble a rich outdoor experience and steers them onto a new life path by keeping them in school and teaching them new skills through adventure-based learning.

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the woods growing up—locally in the UBC Endowment Lands (Pacific Spirit Regional Park) and at my great uncles' fly-in fishing lodge in Manitoba. Those times are among the best in my life. Out in the bush, you feel alive in ways that are easy to forget in urban settings. I live in the city now, but time outdoors and off pavement are part of my routine as an antidote to artificial indoor living. Carrying a camera everywhere is a big help for appreciating the urban nature we all have access to (see Flickr for examples.)

Interesting friends help

My circle of long-time friends lives in the 'burbs or away from Vancouver so our paths cross less as people rightly focus on families and careers and their own unique and diverse interests. But we do have fun when we gather--recent highlights--End of Summer picnics at Jericho Beach (10th annual coming up in September 2014! Will it be the last? Stay tuned...), a group trip to Indonesia, Jonathan's cruiser bike rides and assorted soirees.

Life keeps bringing new people into the flow. I've been lucky enough to find acquaintances and friends through day-job work, freelancing, the neighbourhood, and dating. Social life only gets dull if you let it.

If you are an old friend who lost touch, this should catch you up on the basics. Email or call if you want to reach me.

If you're thinking about hiring me to write and help you sell, this gives you an idea of what I can do beyond what I can portray with a resume, introduction letters, track record, and samples. There's information here about my writing skill, personality, and character.

If it helps you decide whether I am a person you could work with when the pressure is on, then hang out with later to celebrate what we accomplished, great!

Whatever the case, you can reach me at (604) 730-8478.

Other places to reach me or see what I'm up to: