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 approach grew out of the establishment of Ohio State's stand-alone marketing department, and an organizational commitment to content marketing as a strategy to help achieve institutional goals. 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.

Presenters

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.

In the field of Advancement, communicators often find themselves solely asking for fundraising support or primarily inviting alumni to networking events and reunions. That was the case for the University of St. Thomas until a massive re-structuring resulted in a new department that now handles all communication for donors, alumni and friends. The initial shift had its pain points. We had to define roles and responsibilities; content strategy; and processes. In the end, we can report results that include more strategic communication and more targeted outreach. We were poised to better promote our message of giving and philanthropy in communications to alumni, without having to reserve that for typical solicitations or development-related events.

In this presentation, 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, including our annual giving event (Tommie Giving Day), and gain new ideas for all types of donor and alumni-related communication pieces and tools.

Presenters

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

Sunday, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

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 cost prohibitive even on the small scale. Here is a simple and cost effective way to get great video on a tight budget.

Presenter

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 that you can use to turbocharge your creativity to develop stories and art that achieve your goals and delight your audience—without sky-high costs.

Presenters

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 alike that incorporates these key needs while allowing for customization and speed.

The toolkit consists of a content library, design templates, tips for writing effective proposals, and sample budgets to include in proposals. Putting these 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. They can do so independently or by working with our marketing and communications team, depending on the size and complexity of the proposal. This presentation is for gift officers, communications professionals, and anyone interested in the process of creating effective proposals.

Presenters

Jennifer Beck, Associate Director of Executive 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.

Presenter

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 comm flows. Let’s be SUPA – Strategic, User-centric, Personalized, and Authentic. This session will be a mixture of examples, strategies for analysis and improvement (and tools to help), and interactive work.

Presenter

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, donors and friends of the institution and to develop a segmentation strategy driven more by how those people think and feel about the university. This new set of six archetypes focuses on people’s beliefs, values and motivations rather than more traditional metrics that over-rely on things like generational cohort, demographics and giving history.

This new segmentation scheme – which has segments with names like Observers, Jugglers, and Enthusiasts – was developed using cluster analysis and will be using going forward to help the University tailor its messages and channels based more on audience mindset – how they currently think and feel about Ohio University. But it was also designed to work in conjunction with existing database systems used to track alumni engagement and actual giving behavior.

Presenters

Bill Faust, Managing Partner, Chief Strategy Officer, Ologie

Jennifer Bowie, Executive Director of Development for Advancement, Communication and Marketing , 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.

Presenter

Teresa Scalzo, Creative Director, College Communications, Editor, Carleton College Voice, Carleton College

 

We've been Jane-washed. Now what?

Tuesday, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Back in 2003, Rockford College® was all about Jane Addams, our most illustrious 1931 Nobel Prize winning graduate. Jane embodied the mission and vision as well as the strategic direction of the institution at that time. Today, fast forward to 15 years later and after a defining name change in 2013, Rockford 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. We will engage in a conversation about strategic and tactical lessons learned in a challenging and lean environment. This general presentation was shared at a Chamber of Commerce event with our community. The resulting feedback and ongoing questions cemented our belief that the increasing needs of marketing and messaging strategies are now, more than ever, vital elements of a strong brand.

Presenters

Rita Elliott, Director of University Communications, Rockford University

Nellie Miller, Director of Marketing, Rockford University