R. Andrew Whitelaw

Communications Strategist

Chicago, IL



Strategic thinker, with a genuine curiosity for the consumer and the consumer experience.  A practiced background in client services and communications strategy, through significant experience with two well-established, communications design organizations, focused on the holistic brand experience.



Communications Strategist – Pro bono  (May, 2008 – Present)

  • Consulting with the non-profit organization in the reevaluation of their mission, vision, values and overall brand communications
  • Planning and writing primary research phase: conducting interviews with key stakeholders, synthesizing results and generating insights from findings
  • Creating a presence for the organization in the social media space and coaching the staff on effective promotion and management of the communications tools


Strategist  (January – December 2008)

  • Led the strategic planning and management of creative execution for primary clients, including:
    • Johnson & Johnson:
      • Designed, moderated and analyzed qualitative research and competitive analysis to investigate the attitudes and processes of health care professionals and sales representatives for J&J’s insulin pump franchise, Animas.
      • Revealed an opportunity for the Animas brand to be more effectively communicated throughout the education and sales processes
      • Led presentation of research and insights to client for discussion, introduced the team’s design exploration and recommended direction
      • Briefed and collaborated with design team to implement strategic direction in design phases and oversaw design execution and production of final deliverable
    • IBM:
      • Facilitated the identification and articulation of how a branding program for IBM Research would be executed and become a valuable asset for corporate IBM
      • Conducted competitive analysis and internal audit of the Research brand and all existing communication touch-points
      • Designed and co-led brand summit with IBM Research team, identifying primary points of differentiation, key audiences, essential touch-points and the priority of each
      • Led the development of the IBM Research “Design Principles,” articulating the brand’s positioning statement and verbal and visual design philosophy


Strategy Intern (July – December 2007)

  • Facilitated the design and analysis of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and intercept interviews, working closely with the consumer research and insights department
  • Contributed to the development of brands’ mission, vision, values and positioning

THE ALLANT GROUP –  Naperville, IL

Database Marketing Intern (January 2007)

  • Researched and analyzed data about prospective clients
  • Built a database to be used in evaluating, comparing and ranking the best targets
  • Gained perspective and insight into the effectiveness of “left-brain,” analytic marketing



BA, Communications – May 2007

Concentration: Rhetoric and Media Criticism, Studio Art, Consumer Psychology, Sociology, Economics


Beyond the professional, below are a few of the things that reflect who I am and how I got here…

  • Forced and recovered a fumble on the first snap of my freshman season at DePauw

  • Paintings and drawings featured in hallways and living rooms of friends’ and family

  • Former drummer for Chicago musician Trevor Menear

  • Contributor @ Rob Walker’s Unconsumption blog and co-creator of the Unconsumption Wiki

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