Communications expert Garland Pollard is a writer, web content editor and search engine strategist who believes that the word is the center of any online project or effort. An editor and a business and travel writer, he has two decades of experience across all media, including newspapers, TV, radio, magazines and the web, and is communications director for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. His website BrandlandUSA chronicles the history and embraces the future of America’s great legacy brands. He works full-time as director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.
Started at an NBC Affiliate
After summer internships at the Portsmouth NBC affiliate WAVY-TV 10, he began in newspapers at Richmond’s Style Weekly, where he wrote a pop culture and local interest column, as well as features. After Style Weekly, he revived the 150-year-old broadsheet newspaper The Richmond State, which was a leading newspaper in Richmond from the Civil War until the early 20th century, when it was merged into The Richmond Times-Dispatch. The boisterous State, co-founded with Richmond attorney Benjamin P. A. Warthen, covered politics, society and culture in Richmond.
He has worked as a staff editor at The Progress-Index in Petersburg, where he redesigned the weekly real estate section and edited the business page. He covered the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Langley and Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding as transportation and technology reporter at Dolan’s Virginia Business Observer in Norfolk.
After a respite from journalism at the buildings and engineering department at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, he went back to writing where he dug into real estate and urban planning at Richmond’s Inside Business, the weekly Virginia business journal. There he explored issues like diagonal parking and New Urbanism. He also dabbled in gutsy environmental writing, daring to assert that suburban development had cleaned up Virginia’s Lynnhaven River. He enjoyed ripping Richmond Renaissance and the City of Richmond for their Albert Speer-worthy eminent domain practices, and the city’s twisted ability to purposefully kill expensive and rare daffodil cultivars just before Easter.
Award-Winning Business Writing
At Inside Business, he won numerous Virginia Press Association awards; his two largest achievements were launching a comprehensive survey of Richmond Brand Names, as well as writing a definitive history of the Reynolds Metals EXO headquarters building that helped bring attention to the value of the Gordon Bunshaft building, which was under threat of demolition for a big box store. The modernist gem of Skidmore Owings and Merrill building is now the headquarters of Philip Morris U.S.A.
In Virginia, he was the launch editor of Virginia Living, the magazine about Virginia that debuted in November 2002. The magazine proved the viability and relevance of old-style, large-format magazines like Look and Life in a time of web ascendancy.
Revamp and Web Launch
He was also senior editor for the Visit Florida family of products at Miles Media in Sarasota, Florida, where he revamped their 60-year-old Official Florida Vacation Guide and a some ancillary publications. He also supervised the editorial side of the re-launch of their multimedia website, VisitFlorida.com, including pilot videos and the hiring of a slate of multimedia blogger reporters. After leaving, he started the blog FloridaSnapshot.com, where he posts travel tips about his adopted state. He works as a web consultant for non-profit and corporate clients, working on issues such as banking, pharmaceuticals, medical recalls and ICD-10, and served as web content manager for Capital One in Richmond.
His volunteer interest is historic preservation and historic brands, and speaks regularly to groups on these subjects. He has had a long support of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, where he served on the board of its Historic Richmond branch. With the critical support of the APVA, he helped to save two important neo-classical Richmond buildings, the neoclassical Second Baptist Church and the gilded age Hotel Richmond.
A life-long Episcopalian, he is the Director of Communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida under Bishop Dabney T. Smith. He believes there is no higher honor than working for the church.
Branding History Expert
In his study of branding, he set up the website BrandlandUSA.com to help the American public and branding community assert the value and tradition of America’s legacy brand names. The site gets over 10,000 unique visitors each month.
A native of Virginia Beach, he attended The Norfolk Academy and graduated from Woodberry Forest School. He attended the College of William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.