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  • Writer's pictureJake Klug

An Interview with Jessica Shely

On Thursday, November 17, we had the opportunity to speak with Jessica Shely to gather her thoughts on GPD’s collaboration with NEO throughout the fall semester. As a digital marketing strategist and creative entrepreneur, she offered powerful insight into business development and its connection with data analytics.

How did GPD get its start?

After completing an 11-month mission trip around the world starting in January 2014, Jessica reflected on her experiences and asked herself, “How can I package this experience and form it in a different way to serve others that I’ll be interacting with more now that I’m back in the States?” Upon returning to Cincinnati, she founded GPD Creative Agency to answer that question.

With the goal of serving small businesses and nonprofit organizations to have an aesthetically pleasing brand, GPD enhances the visibility and credibility of its clients in an increasingly digital economy. Using her backgrounds both in design and writing, Jessica works with each business to determine the message it wants to communicate and the right approach to effectively convey it.

In 2020, Jessica shifted her full focus onto GPD and expanded it from a startup into a robust marketing firm. “Because of the experience that I had in 2014, I knew that I wanted to come back in service of other small businesses,” she shared. “That was the mission behind creating the business… Once I got the divine push into full-time entrepreneurship in 2020, I just hit the ground running.”

How does GPD work with clients?

GPD’s core services lie in web builds, videos, and social media marketing. “Working with the NEO team has also helped me to… really pinpoint what our core services have been based upon what our clients are telling us,” said Jessica.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020, GPD worked with the Cincinnati NAACP. “It was this time of digital transformation but also social transformation…” Jessica recalled.

At that time, the Cincinnati NAACP did not have a way to accept donations online. “We were able to step in and build a website for them,” she said. “People could feel secure about putting their credit card information in and donating, having a place to come.”

Within the first month of launching the new website, the Cincinnati NAACP was able to garner over $150,000 in donations, and it saw a 256% increase in memberships. “We like to design meaningful and memorable digital spaces… It was meaningful, impactful, and memorable because it came right on time when they needed it,” Jessica remembered.

How has GPD worked with NEO?

Throughout the fall semester, NEO has worked with GPD to understand its impact on clientele. “Having the assistance from NEO has really helped to organize the data [and] uncover areas that I didn’t realize were really critical,” said Jessica. “They’ve gone through and assessed all of our proposals, both past and current, to understand [the] businesses that we’ve been able to convert versus not…”

NEO has also helped GPD to understand its online footprint. “We had Google Analytics connected on our website, but I really wanted to understand what that data meant… That’s something that we were able to accomplish,” she said. “Also, we were able to take a look at our social media as well – understanding how our platforms, content, and messaging are performing online.”

“NEO has been transformational for GPD.”



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