The (Writing) Life and Times of Jerry Battiste


I am Jerry Battiste and this is my site. I am the author of "The ABC's of Social Media Management" and a short story collection called "8 Lucky"; a professional blogger, short fiction writer, social media manager and all-around digital media story-teller. If you need help with your social media marketing efforts, or just want to learn more about me, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Elance and LinkedIn.

 You can also visit my company web site:

If you are looking for a sample of my writing, try a simple Google Search. You can also find my YouTube channel here.

You can also get my latest book "8 Lucky" a collection of short fiction, now on sale at

I currently blog as the Starved Writer and Social Media Maven.

Here is a little (or a lot) about me and my background:

I started my illustrious journalism career in 1986, working for The Bagpiper Newspaper at Daytona Beach Community College. Unfortunately, I was the only one who fit the mascot costume. My editor at the time Ron Hurtibise can vouch for my dedication and commitment to the cause. (By the way, the argyle socks were mine, not part of the costume.)

I covered a few stories for The Bagpiper, but it was soon decided that as a news reporter I made a great columnist. I wrote my first "Just Jerry" column at The Bagpiper and carried the tradition with me to every other paper I worked at.

My first full time gig at a regular newspaper was working for The Muncie Option, Muncie, Indiana. It was a weekly paper published by the Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Indiana. I wrote feature stories, shot my own photos and also wrote a weekly humor column.

 I parlayed my experience at The Muncie Option into a full-time gig at The Greensburg Daily News as County Reporter. Under the careful guidance of Publisher (and former editor) Jeff Emsweller I learned AP Style, and started writing news stories. I continued to shoot my own photos and quickly discovered that being able to produce all facets of my story--photos and text--I had much more control over the finished product which made me more valuable in the newsroom.

 The best part about working at The Greensburg Daily News was being able to enterprise my own stories. Every day was a new adventure. I would check in at the newsroom then hop in my car, camera in hand, and drive around Decatur County looking for stories.

I love covering aeronautics; airplanes, experimental air craft, space technology; and once dreamed of becoming an astronaut. The closest I came was interviewing former NASA astronaut Ken Reightler. Every opportunity I get to hop into a bi-plane, helicopter or other flying craft, I take it. (Always as a passenger though, not yet as a pilot.)

At The Republic newspaper, in Columbus, Indiana, I honed my skills as a news reporter and photographer, but continued to produce features and columns at a daunting pace. I expanded my repertoire of journalism skills under the watchful eye of editors Bob Gustin and John Harmon, and worked alongside skilled reporters such as city editor Boris Ladwig and features editor John Clark. (Later, when social media and online reporting began to prove more lucrative, Clark would be promoted to online editor.)
You can find my Republic stories here. (Click "Online Archives" and type in "Jerry Battiste")

I am always game for an adventure, including being among the first to test a new homemade, indoor skydiving free fall facility in Greensburg, Indiana. I survived the experience and produced a great feature story for the front page of the business section at The Republic.

My skills as a reporter and photographer at The Republic, coupled with my ability to produce massive amounts of copy in a short span of time, lead to the creation of The Seymour edition, a weekly paper which covered primarily Jackson and Jennings counties in southern Indiana. I was again able to employ my columnist skills, which meant I was writing two weekly humor columns, one for the feature section of The Republic called ZONE, and one for the Seymour Edition, as well as producing between 6-12 feature and news stories every week, with photos.

After a few years at The Republic, I moved on to a newspaper closer to my home base in Indianapolis. At The Flyer Group, publishers of The Hendricks County Flyer and the Westside Flyer, I covered the west side of Indianapolis, which included the 2007 Indianapolis 500 and the expansion of the Indianapolis International Airport. Occasionally I covered the Indianapolis Colts, especially back-up quarterback at the time, Jim Sorgi, who often visited schools in the area. I also wrote a few columns while there.

At The Flyer Group I also had the privilege of flying along with the Red Baron Pizza Squadron. This was a great trip that made for a great story. I endured my first backward loop-the-loop and Immelman Turn. Great stuff!
You can find all my stories from The Flyer here.

In 2008 I went to work as the Social Media editor at The News-Banner in Bluffton, Indiana, under the guidance of editor/publisher Mark Miller. Although he didn't realize it at the time Miller was on the cutting edge when it came to print media embracing digital media simply because he hired me. Within weeks I created an online community which reached more than 10,000 people, using Twitter, Facebook and a series of community blogs. We issued video cameras to all staff reporters and I created a YouTube channel so we could post our news videos. We increased the reach of our paper by a factor of three using digital media and attracted the attention of the Hoosier State Press Association and the Associated Press for our outstanding digital media tactics.

I continue to publish a weekly humor column at the Bluffton News-Banner. You can read those here.

I have created a series of blogs including Space Blog Alpha, The Starved Writer and Social Media Maven, all under the umbrella of Dandelion Digital Media. I have also written some comic book reviews for Lost Man Comic Review. I am a big comic book fan and dream one day of writing my own book. (If only I could draw.) You can read my reviews here.

Today I am a professional Social Media Manager and founder of Dandelion Digital Media.  We handle a variety of social media marketing tasks, including Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts; YouTube channels and blogs. Our clients span the globe; ranging across the United States, UK, Russia, India, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

Below are some examples of the way I utilized video story-telling while at the News-Banner. I like to maintain a conversational tone with my viewers. I was not a videographer and I didn't pretend to be. I was a print reporter with a video camera so my video was posted raw. The readers responded very positively to this. Eventually all reporters at the News-Banner were issued video cameras and we began posting regular video pieces with every news story we wrote.
You can find my YouTube channel here for even more videos.

Remember, if you need help with your Social Media Marketing, find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Elance and YouTube!