Karen Crocker Snell
Content Digital Strategist
Karen Crocker Snell has spent more than 15 years as a journalist, consultant and corporate communication leader, but learned one of her most profound lessons in effective communication while hitchhiking with her husband across Mongolia.
It all began with a Mongolian nomad riding into their campsite on horseback. Overcoming a profound language barrier, they managed to conduct an entire conversation by making gestures, trading expressions, and drawing pictures in the sand. “Where are your livestock?” the nomad wanted to know. “How many children do you have?” The conversation went so well that, the next morning, the nomad returned bearing gifts of tea and bread.
To this day, Karen tries to keep communication as simple and to-the-point as possible, often using images when they convey more than words alone.
“There’s more than one way to tell a story. I first focus on identifying the audience and the outcome we want to achieve, and then on the best way to achieve it,” Karen said. But whichever medium or channel is ultimately selected, she tries to be concise and compelling – a legacy of her early work as a TV reporter, when she rarely had more than 90 seconds to communicate who, what, where, when and why.
Karen joined the ROI Communication Team in 2017 from eBay, where she served as the company’s Head of Community and led a wide range of initiatives to help small business owners use eBay to grow their businesses. Earlier, she served as eBay’s Senior Manager for Global Corporate Communication, a role in which she helped media, analysts and influencers understand the company’s evolving business.
Prior to her tenure at eBay, Karen worked in a range of corporate communication roles at Cisco. Among other responsibilities, she produced and managed the company’s award-winning external news site, which was grounded in brand journalism, visual storytelling and social media. Earlier in her career, she worked in media relations at Santa Clara University, and as an on-camera reporter for several New England TV stations.
Over the years, Karen has won many awards for her work. Most recently, these included recognition from both PR News and Bulldog Digital Social/PR Awards for creating the “Best Online Newsroom,” and Bulldog’s Grand Prize for “Best Use of Digital/Social in a Campaign.”
A graduate of Mills College in Oakland, California, Karen also earned an MS in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University. She is a proud member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, and enjoys helping judge annual entries for its coveted Webby Awards. When she’s not advising clients, Karen enjoys hiking, songwriting, and spending time with her husband and three children. She lives in Scotts Valley, California.