Gary James

“Don’t Be a Cow!”

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Authors George & Rachel Barker shed some light on “Finding Your Own Path” to Happiness

Tallassee, AL (May 2, 2017) – Taking a cue from the ups and downs of their own path to happiness, George & Rachel Barker have penned, “Don’t Be A Cow! A Collection of Daily Observations and Lessons For Discovering True Happiness.”

“The title came to me while I was working with high school seniors at church and we were trying to come up with a way to teach them about not following the crowd,” George said.

I recalled driving through the countryside (Tallassee is just outside Auburn, AL) and observed that in the middle of a cow pasture there was a worn-out path down the middle, but lush green grass surrounding it, and I thought, the cows can go anywhere but they follow each other in a straight path.”

Inspired, that created the metaphor of not being a cow, but instead finding yourself and being individual.

“Years later we would run into some of the teenagers we had first introduced the idea, and overhear them talking about ‘not being a cow,’ or that a ‘friend had been a real cow,’ and that’s when we realized we could take this teaching moment to another level, a book, which could help people of all ages,” Rachel said.

George said he began by writing a list of life lessons – things that Rachel and he had gone through in life while raising their blended family of four children – and when he finished the list, there were 31.

The authors, through the characters Joe and Jane in the book, take you on a journey of awareness, personal reflection and sharing in discovering true happiness. Each day features a thought-provoking illustration by Pat Achilles, game exercises, and soulful enlightenment in song and quotations relevant to that particular day’s journey. Along the way you’ll be inspired by famous (and not so famous) people such as Deepak Chopra, Mother Teresa, Gretchen Rubin, Thomas Jefferson, Kris Kristofferson, Katy Perry – even Samuel Jackson. The appendix features a section where you, the reader, create your own list of inspired quotes and songs and an explanation “Who’s who” of those quoted throughout. “We really wanted to make this an interactive book, a stepping stone, for an individual’s own journey in finding one’s path to happiness and celebrating our uniqueness,” George said.

“Take some time to reflect on who it is you are,” George said. Are you doing the things that make you who you are? And, what you enjoy? If not, figure out what are the things you would change or do differently, and work through it,” he said.

“Believe us when we say, we have lived this book and not just written it,” adds Rachel. “But, through it all, it was also fun. We didn’t sit down and write together,” she said,” but did our parts and saw the big picture. In the end, hopefully our fun, light-hearted approach inspires others on their path of personal growth.”

The Barkers also have a big love of the outdoors. Rachel has a degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture and George has a degree in Forest Resource and Conservation. Their passion for the environment lead them to dedicate their book to Mother Nature, “who provides us with a great playground,” with their non-profit organization Land and Trees Unlimited receiving a large percentage of the books proceeds.

In addition to the book, you can share in the discussion on their website,, on the blog, Cow Talk, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

“Life really is a collaboration and sharing what works and doesn’t work is what it’s all about,” she said.

The book is available through and the website.

About George and Rachel Barker: “Don’t Be A Cow! Find Your Own Path: A Collection of Daily Observations and Lessons for Discovering True Happiness!” is their first book, and is currently available on and the website, Rachel has a degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture; George has a degree in Forest Resource and Conservation. They dedicate their book to Mother Nature, “who provides us with a great playground,” with a portion of the book sales being given back through their non-profit organization, Land and Trees Unlimited (LandandTreesUnlimited.Com)

George Barker
LTU Publishing
(334) 324-4914







Copywriting vs Public Relations – Brand Incorporated – Medium

This article from “BRAND INC” may help clarify those two very distinct services.

When you hire me, you hire an experienced copywriting/creative director and an experienced public relations professional. My background and career have allowed me to integrate both and I can wear either hat when needed.

Source: Copywriting vs Public Relations – Brand Incorporated – Medium

Five Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Just came across this article from Forbes and it is a great explanation regarding the differences between an advertising agency and public relations. Even though Public Relations has become more integrated with marketing, more so with the advent of the Internet, a good way to understand the differences today is: most people are looking to “pull” information (public relations) rather than be “pushed” to buy (advertising). Yelp & Trip Advisor, reading an article vs. seeing an ad on television or Facebook (unless it’s a time sensitive offer)

Source: Five Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Cancer Support Foundation

Herme’s Award 2012 – Gold (pro bono)

The organization worked to change the rules in Maryland for people in cancer treatment to receive disability or paid leave. And, at the same time, wanted to get the message out that cancer isn’t always untreatable.

My slogan, “We can change the rules about cancer” was meant to focus on both these objectives.

The 8-page brochure contained letters of appeal, testimonials and a call to action, and was designed by Jamie Jones, when he was creative director at Tapper Communications Group, Maryland.

With whom I’ve worked

by Gary James

As a copywriter, creative director, public relations director an employee or consultant, some of the clients with whom I have created branding, advertising and public relations solutions, tactics or strategies.

Web content and/or Web design consultation
– Don’t Be A Cow – LTU Publishing (WordPress site and book editing/production)

Cancer Support Foundation
Watershed Associates
Tapper Communications Group
Clary Hood
– Our VoYce, Weaverville, NC
Tim Kenney Marketing
A Kiss From Alexander and Facebook for Alexander
Prime Ribbing: A NEWSICAL revue Facebook
John Cannon Homes, Sarasota, FL
*Also Facebook presence

Financial, Business and Management/B2B

– NACHA (Direct Deposit/Direct Payment), Washington, DC
Simon and Simon Resources
Rieger Imaging, Clarksburg, MD
– Sharemedia, Rockville, MD
Clary Hood
North American Roofing, Asheville, NC

Real Estate
– John Cannon Homes, Sarasota, FL
– Preserve at Misty Creek, Sarasota, FL
– Cedars Tennis Resort of Longboat Key, FL
– Arvida Corporation, Longboat Key, FL
– Harbor Oaks, Longboat Key, FL
– Arvida Real Estate Commercial, Sarasota, FL
– Buyerside® Real Estate Services, Sarasota, FL

Arts and Museums
Smithsonian Institution Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, DC
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, DC
Smithsonian Institution, DC
Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington
Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA
Charles Darwin Foundation/
A Kiss From Alexander
– License to Bash satirical revue
Folgers Shakespeare Library
PRIME RIBBING: A Newsical Revue

National Automobile Auction Association, Frederick, MD
Sunset Chevrolet, Sarasota, FL

Health, Food and Neutraceuticals
Manatee Glens Corporation, Bradenton, FL
– Clozaril®
Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Butter Buds®
Sweet n’Low®
Chromium Information Bureau

Real Estate
John Cannon Homes, Sarasota, FL
Preserve at Misty Creek, Sarasota, FL
Cedars Tennis Resort of Longboat Key, FL
Arvida Corporation, Longboat Key, FL
– Harbor Oaks, Longboat Key, FL
– Arvida Real Estate Commercial, Sarasota, FL
– Buyerside® Real Estate Services, Sarasota, FL

Travel and Hospitality
– Horsefeathers Restaurant, Sarasota, FL
Manatee Civic Center, Bradenton, FL
– Buyerside® Real Estate Services, Sarasota, FL
Hyatt Sarasota
– Buccaneer Restaurant, Longboat Key, FL
Harrah’s Resort and Casino, Cherokee, FL

–  iBodyScience, Minneapolis, MN

– Stephan’s Furniture, Sarasota, FL
Beall’s® Florida Bradenton, FL
– Sarasota Main Plaza
Sarasota Square Mall
– Helmsman Marine, Sarasota FL
– Our VoYce, Weaverville, NC

Pro Bono
Cancer Support Foundation, Ellicot City, MD

– Youth OutRight
– Manatee Council on Aging
– South Florida Museum
– Sarasota AIDS Support
Alexander’s Ford at the Nature Preserve
– Asheville Humane Society (through AAF Asheville)

Agency Web Presence:
– Synergy Point Interactive, Asheville,NC
– Tim Kenney Marketing, Bethesda, MD
– 12Twelve Collaborative Solutions, Weaverville, NC
– Tapper Communications Group, Columbia, MD

Smithsonian Institution


Project: Create a print advertisement promoting the entire Smithsonian Institution just one month after 9/11.

Execution: Reminded people that this is America’s attic of treasures – without referencing 9/11 directly.

Creative: Copywriting, Positioning: “Where everything old is new again.”

Result: The healing began; people started to come down to the National Mall again.

Newspaper, Local Washington, DC magazine

(as Creative Director, copywriter, Tim Kenny Marketing, Bethesda, MD)


Backstory: Flavorx had been highly successful in providing flavorings for children’s medicines and had developed a range of flavorings for the veterinary market to make medicines palatable to animals.

Situation: Their research had shown that a very lucrative market was the pet industry and the difficulty in getting “pets to take their medicine.” They wanted to market this flavoring kit via veterinary product representatives to vets worldwide.

Creative Solutions: Giving the vets a sample seemed an obvious way to get the product into the hands of the vets – the flavors would be purchasable through representatives that dropped off the samples. The kit would include POP display posters as well as the flavorings. We developed a ‘sampler leaflet’ that provided a small vial of one of the flavors, like a perfume sample card. (Shown here).

20 of the sampler leaflets would then be placed in a Flavorx branded box to provide the veterinary reps with a supply to hand out to their veterinary customers. A branded calculator was included in each box as a gift for the veterinary reps. The promotion proved extremely popular with both the veterinary reps and the vets.

Using the visual approach and marketing messages from the sampler, a trade show display, an advertising campaign to appear in veterinary magazines and a poster campaign for veterinarian waiting rooms to increase product awareness among pet owners was developed.

Flavorx, which had been sending their vets a small monthly newsletter took our direction and created a full-fledged four-color quarterly news magazine featuring success stories, follow ups, “how-tos” from other vets and “letters to the editor.” This quarterly newsletter became their number one sales tool.

Results: Sales skyrocketed;  the popular “Flavorx” is now available at vets throughout the country.

(Gary James/Patrick Ind, creative/ art directors; Gary James, lead copywriter (ads), Patrick Ind, POP/newsmagazine; Jamie Stockie, graphic design)
Tim Kenny Marketing, Bethesda, MD; ICBM, Washington DC

POP | Branded promotional items | Trade show display | Newsmagazine | Posters | Print advertising |

our voYce

The concept was simple.

Everyone should vote on lots of stuff, and often.

A focus group was held at the offices of TopFloorStudio, here in Asheville, to see what people thought of the concept. The website was designed around some of that really great input. We also got a good understanding for the need of a “here’s how it works” graphic video presentation on the landing page.

Steffi Rausch ( did the design of the web site and I did the content writing.

This is the embed presentation for the landing page (it lived in that grey box to the right on the home page) that I wrote and art directed, including the search for istockphotos. From the script I timed the visuals and used powerpoint to move through the presentation. I then handed over the assets to Indy film producer  Marcus VanWormer, who took time out of his busy schedule creating exceptional promotional videos to build the graphic presentation. The voiceover was through a production house in Michigan.

Unfortunately, our voYce had a brief life. I thought it was a great concept.

UPDATE: There is a online site that captures the essence called Check it out.

Web content | Project management of Video | Art Direction | Focus Group assistance | Public Relations