Creating audience-centric content

Sunday, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

In 2017, Ohio State began taking a more audience-centric approach to content creation. The process involved establishing an overarching content strategy; identifying which owned channels were best for reaching key audience segments; leveraging data insights to drive content decision-making; then crafting content that was suited to meet the audience needs per channel. This shift led the marketing department to increase content production by more than 30 percent and also the creation of new channels that enabled the organization to more broadly share content with new audiences while improving engagement with traditional audiences, such as alumni and prospective students.


Jay Hansen, Director, Brand Journalism, The Ohio State University

Kristen Convery, Senior director, marketing content, The Ohio State University

Monica DeMeglio, Content strategist, The Ohio State University


Do Ask, Do Tell: how one shop creates shared messages for alumni AND donors

Sunday, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Communicators often find themselves solely asking for fundraising support or primarily inviting alumni to events and reunions. That was the case for the University of St. Thomas until a re-structuring resulted in a new department that now handles all communication for.  We will share our integrated approach to development and alumni engagement communication. We’ll include an overview of the good moments and challenges as we navigated new processes, new expectations and new opportunities for communication. Participants will get an inside look into our biggest projects, and new ideas for all types of donor and alumni-related communication pieces and tools.


Joanne Pauley, Director, Advancement Communications, University of St. Thomas

Jamie Proulx, Associate Director, Advancement Communications, University of St. Thomas


Using Your Smartphone for Video Projects

Almost every single one of us is carrying an HD video camera in our pocket. So why don't we use it for our university's video projects? The quality and ease of use is better than you think with your smartphone. Having a fully funded and staffed video crew is always helpful when trying to create a film for your marketing purposes. However, sometimes these types of video shoots can be cost prohibitive even on the small scale. Here is a simple and cost effective way to get great video on a tight budget.


Tristan Riddell, Digital Content Producer, Northwestern University


A Methodical Approach to Creative Content

Monday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

You want your readers to love the stories, posts, and ideas your institution shares. But if you're stuck in a creative rut, everything can start sounding and looking the same, and your readers will lose interest. This session will share step-by-step approaches, and tools to turbocharge your creativity. You’ll learn how to develop stories and art that achieve your goals and delight your audience without sky-high costs. You’ll come away from this session with a robust story toolkit, including fresh approaches to creative and compelling art, dozens of storytelling elements, and a playbook to refer to anytime you’re feeling stuck.


Kat Braz, Senior Director, Creative Communications, Purdue University

Erin Peterson, Owner, Capstone Communications


Building a Toolkit for Major Gift Proposals

Monday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Proposals can be critical in successfully advancing major gift solicitations. The best proposals are highly customized, professional, and time-sensitive. Accomplishing these objectives can be challenging. At Northwestern University, we conceived and implemented a multi-faceted proposal toolkit for gift officers and communications professionals that incorporates these key needs while allowing for customization and speed. Putting the tools directly into the hands of gift officers allows them to more quickly create proposals that are easily approved, on-message, on-brand, and polished. This presentation is for gift officers, communications professionals, and anyone interested in the process of creating effective proposals.


Jennifer Beck, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Northwestern University

Natasha DiPrima, Assistant Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Northwestern University


Developing and Managing a Comprehensive Annual Marketing Strategy

Monday, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Many of the sessions do a wonderful job outlining the process for organizing annual fund, giving days, alumni events, etc. This presentation will discuss the larger communications planning process involved with making those events all work together in one communications strategy. Emphasis on planning and integration.


Anthony Fossaceca, Director, Advancement Marketing and Communications, Cleveland State University


Be “SUPA” in your communication efforts

Monday, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

In this interactive session, let’s talk about how to be strategic and organized in testing, measuring, and improving our multi-channel comm flows. This session will be a mixture of examples, strategies for analysis and improvement (plus tools to help), and collaborative work to get our creativity going!


Will Patch, Digital Strategist, Manchester University


Mindset over Matter Developing Alumni and Donor Segments based on How People Think and Feel (versus what they give)

Monday, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

In 2017 Ohio University’s Division of Advancement undertook a groundbreaking project to rethink how it looks at alumni and friends and to develop a segmentation strategy driven more by how people think and feel about the university. This new set of six archetypes focuses on beliefs, values and motivations rather than more traditional metrics that rely on generational cohort, demographics and giving history. This new segmentation scheme – which has segments like Observers, Jugglers, and Enthusiasts – was developed using cluster analysis and will help the University tailor messages and channels based on audience mindset.


Bill Faust, Managing Partner, Chief Strategy Officer, Ologie

Jennifer Bowie, Assistant Vice President of Communication and Chief of Staff, University Advancement, Ohio University


Magazines 101

Tuesday, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

This nuts-and-bolts session covers everything you need to know to produce a magazine that meets your institution's goals, makes your boss and the president happy, and is welcomed and read by your readers. Learn how to create an effective and time-saving editorial plan, make the case for more resources, work successfully with your designer, and take the magazine from concept through production. We will use the Carleton College Voice as a case study, but also examine several college and university magazines that are doing it right — and few who could be doing it better.


Teresa Scalzo, Director of Creative Services, Carleton College


We've been Jane-washed. Now what?

Tuesday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

In 2003, Rockford University’s most illustrious graduate, Jane Addams, embodied the mission, vision and strategic direction of the institution; an identity that lingering for more than a decade. After a defining name change in 2013, the university has evolved its brand and image in many ways. This presentation takes an honest look at the challenges faced by a small team of four to move an institution from what had become a stale and unrelatable brand to a stronger and more compelling identity, including 9 key lessons learned that can have immediate effects and outcomes for diverse and growing messaging needs.


Rita Elliott, Director of University Communications, Rockford University

Nellie Miller, Former Director of Marketing, Rockford University