A Time Capsule for the Ages

Going to my grandparents’ house—which they built themselves out of cedar on a sweeping plot of land surrounded by forest—was one of the highlights of my childhood. (Yes, they lived in an actual log cabin in the woods, just like in a storybook!) 🌳🏠🌳

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My 2018 Year in Review

We’re a few months in to 2019, but I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the year behind us and plan for the months that remain in the year ahead. I usually like to make this post in January, but sometimes life has other ideas. Good thing there’s never a bad time for reflection and self-improvement! 😉

Notable Reads:

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Teachers, Simplify Your Lesson Plan: The Story Behind My Educator Guide

This summer, I placed the finishing touches on my website’s new Education tab. It focuses on assisting teachers, both as an author and public speaker.

Are you an English, history, biology, or art teacher? I have created an educational supplement to facilitate learning in your classroom!

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Sarah Mondello’s Publicity Portfolio for Dream Employer: Penguin Random House

In May 2016, I generated this portfolio in JMC 123: Public Cover PageRelations Writing, a journalism course at Drake University led by Dr. Matthew Thornton. The objective was to develop tactics for your dream employer, so I chose Penguin Random House. In this portfolio, I have combined research and written communication with graphic design elements that speak to a variety of external and internal audiences, from booksellers and readers to employees of Penguin Random House. Together, these elements make up 13 PR tactics that exercise AP Style. To culminate the course, Dr. Thornton mailed the portfolio to Penguin Random House on my behalf.


  • Stakeholder & Investor Relations
    • CEO Letter to Shareholders for Annual Report
  •  Research
    • Message Platform
    • Issue Brief
    • Infographic
  • Internal Communication
    • Employee Newsletter Article
    • Email Announcement
  • Consumer Relations
    • Magazine Article
  • Media Relations
    • Press Release
  • Graphic Design
    • Print Newsletter
    • Digital Newsletter
    • Magazine Cover Redesign
    • Event Poster
    • Bookmark


These tactics cover a breadth of communication styles. For example, I conducted a study on the print and digital prices of 100 YA Penguin Random House novels sold on Amazon. This original research infused my issue brief and an accompanying infographic which demonstrates my findings at a glance. I then adapted the findings for an employee newsletter article to be distributed via an email announcement I crafted.

On the publicity side, I chose a prominent client, international bestselling author Richelle Mead, most known for her YA urban fantasy Vampire Academy series and spin-off series Bloodlines. I devised several tactics for her promotional campaign. These include a magazine article spread geared toward readers (which addresses a consumer topic that’s current on social media), as well as an event poster featuring a Midwest tour and a bookmark to brand both of her series. A fantasy world of twelve books can be a mouthful to recall, so the bookmark allows both devoted fans and first-time readers to retain the most important facts: cover recognition, series synopses, and order of titles. Also on the design side, I developed a newsletter featuring popular and new YA releases from Penguin Random House, adapting it for both mail and email recipients. I then selected a magazine cover from Writer’s Digest featuring YA contemporary romance author Sarah Dessen and gave it a makeover.

After studying annual reports from Bertelsmann, I focused on only one division of the German multinational mass media corporation, Penguin Random House, and devised a letter from CEO Markus Dohle to shareholders accordingly. This letter serves to spotlight major accomplishments over the past year and ongoing trends in a clever and compelling way. It also affirms stakeholder confidence in the organization and its future.

Thanks for stopping by my PR portfolio for Penguin Random House! Please contact me directly for an updated cover letter, resume, or references.

~ Sarah