MOCAD

OVERVIEW

From August 2013 to November 2015 I was the Web + Digital Media Manager at  the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). I managed the museum’s social media channels, launched the e-newsletter, handled content development and management for the  website, worked directly with press and media to cover our events, oversaw print and graphic production, orchestrated the annual art auction, facilitated membership drives and events, and generally assisted on anything that might have been needed at the museum on any given day. As a non-profit that worked to bring contemporary art to Detroit it was a sincerely rewarding and educational experience. I was able to propose and launch marketing and communications ideas. I worked on photo and graphic editing. I grew as a communicator and as a marketer and am thankful for the opportunity.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

Click for Full Report

Through my time as the Web + Digital Media Manager I was able to successfully grow the social and digital footprint for the museum while also unifying the voice and tone across print and digital work. I worked closely with the graphic designer and program directors to create event specific flyers and creative and grew the reach of the museum through digital and social marketing. I also launch measurement metrics reporting and increased our newsletter and social channels throughout my time at the museum. From 2014 to 2015 we saw increased engagement and growth on nearly all of our channels and increased reach across all platforms for the Museum. Please click here for the full year over year analytics report.

Click for full enewsletter

I also launched the e-newsletter campaign in 2013 using previously separated email lists into one, cohesive, Mailchimp system of  supporters, fans, and members. I learned a great deal about open rates, A/B testing, and web graphic design for the web while further developing the MOCAD style guide. We worked on newsletters detailing each exhibitions schedule of events, sharing fundraising efforts, and as needed important news and articles pertaining to the Museum.

MEMBERSHIP AND FUNDRAISING

One of the most successful campaigns I worked on was fundraising for the building to receive a new mural painted on the Woodward facade. We worked with artist Andrew Kuo and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign. Once we secured funding and began work on the mural I managed PR and communications around the update to the museum and even got a feature in T Magazine.

 

As a non-profit museum membership and fundraising is vital for the continued work within the Detroit arts community. I worked tirelessly with the team for three very successful Art Auction and Galas which are the single largest  fundraiser for the museum. From managing tickets sales and enewsletters to handling the art auction with our partners at Paddle8, it was one of the largest projects I worked on and one of the most rewarding.

WEBSITE MANAGEMENT

Throughout my time at MOCAD I maintained and updated the website for the museum. I even developed a micro-site for a special exhibition series, DETROIT CITY AFFINITIES. One major caveat was that due to funding and creative resourcing we were using a hard coded website without a content management system. I worked to create a workflow and wrote a number of grant proposals for website development to no avail during my tenure.  Although it was difficult at times, having to backup and understand basic web coding it was a good learning experience and made me truly appreciate previous content management systems I had grown to take for granted.  Thankfully, shortly after I left my position MOCAD was able to secure proper funding and get a professionally developed website.

Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability Launch

MMPGS logo

MMPGS logo

Working for Michigan Energy Options through the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability, a HUD/DOE/EPA federally funded grant, we launched the portal site hosting the information regarding the nine projects in the MMPGS. MEO runs the lead on two projects, one being an energy audit of buildings in the Michigan Avenue/Grand River Avenue corridor, and the other to create an online portal to engage Mid-Michigan citizens. After competitive bids to build the site my supervisors chose Gravity Works Design and Development and we worked with them over the past 6 months to create the portal site. In combination with the web service MindMixer were we launched the community forum last year we are proud that on May 1st 2013 we launched the MMPGS site. Below are some of the finer points from the project along with photos from the respective pages.

Note the photos are a gallery and you may peruse through all of them, links to the respective pages are provided in the descriptions

MMPGS HomepageThe process working with Gravity Works, my supervisors, and the partners within the MMPGS critically taught me how to manage many opinions with the technologies and time available. I worked closely with the Gravity Works team through the information architecture phase by mapping the site and its purposes. I insisted upon creating a fully responsive site to allow for numerous access points for the Mid-Michigan residents and if you visit the site on any browser and any device you will see it properly works with some small adjustments to allow for load times and size of display.

I worked together with the graphic designer to create the official logo set and worked with the wire framing of the site with the lead designer to make sure Gravity Works understood the feel, flow, and depth of what we hoped to get from the site. Over three months time they built out the back-end and they utilize the DotNetNuke content management system. During that three month window I learned the behaviors and best practices for DNN, thankfully after my work with WordPress and Joomla the learning curve wasn’t too bad.

MMPGS-mapMy main work after the back-end was built before launch was to create and manage the appropriate content for every page on the site. I was tasked with finding and mapping all points on the Interactive Map. We created sorting features and I chose the logos, color schemes, and then hand imported geo-tagged locations with the pop-out information and the proper links to all the places mapped. We also included and events category that automatically fills in as the community calendar is filled.

MMPGS NewsAdditionally the site needed a catalog of content that users can explore when they visit the site. Namely I post related news articles on the News page and worked with Gravity Works to create categories for users to filter the news. Once the site went live I have focused on creating traffic to these news articles via our social media strategy utilizing Facebook and Twitter for the most part. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the growth of our social media and web traffic since we launched just over a month ago.

MMPGS Timeline

One of my favorite projects was creating the Timeline content for the interactive timeline. Using the Timeline JS open source scripting I was able to easily import new content and create interactive content for users to learn where the program came from and where we’re going. The timeline is another great example of how we wanted users to be able to interact with the site and also allowed us to be able to continuously import new content and create a more dynamic experience for the users once they’re into the site.

MMPGS Partners

Our Partners page was highly important to make sure we properly highlighted the MMPGS partner organizations, supporters, and of course recognize the work of the entire program. After working with Gravity Works to create custom responsive columns I was able to fit in all the logos that reworked the secondary level partners into equal sized logos, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission as the main fiduciary partner at the top, and then the supporters of the project along the bottom. It is always a tough call to create some sort of space for the partners to be highlighted and as you’ll notice on the homepage and in certain sidebars we have a great rotating image gallery showing each logo briefly so that users know who is involved with the project, even if they never visit the Partners specific page.

This project was so large in scale it really taught me how my studies prepared me for large scale projects. Setting out with a clear vision, working though wire frames, user experience testing throughout the process, and making creating all the original content has me appreciate full on launches so much more. With the State News redesign we were fortunate that the content was consistently being created and we just had to lay over the new design, with this project I can now say I’ve worked through a launch from start to finish and for that I am very grateful.

Michigan Energy Options Newsletter

During my internship for Michigan Energy Options the communications team was tasked in creating the quarterly newsletter.  The organization had previously sent out one other E-Newsletter and had created an account with MailChimp.  Being unfamiliar with the program I immersed myself in the forums and learned just how tough it can be to work with newsletter clients.  In the previous newsletter they had had issues with delivery and content.  That is to say they had written articles and delivered it exculsively in email format and for my opinion I do not read full articles in my email, let alone 5-6 articles.

Therefore I came up with a plan proposal for Executive Director John Kinch and the rest of the communications team to reinvent how we send the newsletter.  I offered up to create a new template in MailChimp which would give snippets of information and then link over to a PDF full text document.  Initially it was rejected but after convincing them that users don’t read past the first two articles with some impromptu user testing I was allowed to continue.  With that I did just what the plan prescribed.  I took the content we had after it was finally edited down and built out a full PDF with relevant images, formatting, and newsletter look and feel in adobe Acrobat.  I then took those articles and edited them down for the email version that would be sent out to people on our list serve. You can click the image for a full sized version.  I redesigned how layout of the article by putting the “call-to-action” buttons along the top of content and then used images and a slightly altered color scheme to have a “Read More” button that would then direct users to that article’s page in the PDF hosted on the Michigan Energy Options site.

View Full PDF 

 

 

 

Michigan Energy Options Communications Management

During the fall of 2012 I was brought on as an intern for the non-profit Michigan Energy Options (MEO).  The primary goal was to work in communications and development for the organization as a whole and for the new project, Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability.  These two projects have been the focus of my internship course as well during my last semester at Michigan State.  I joined the communications team of Tim Nester, Becky Jo Farrington and Katey Joe Desantis at the beginning of September.  Since that point I have worked with the social media (links below) and helped to manage the official site. (Linked above.)  MEO uses the Joomla content management system which has been extremely helpful to learn since many non-profits work with that CMS.  Additionally we have created a comprehensive media plan and social media strategy for the organization which has slowly been rolled out at the end of this year.

Official Facebook

@MiEnergyOptions

As a social media coordinator I have helped facilitate an fairly impressive amount of growth over the past four months. We have consistently posted related articles and news to energy, sustainability, Michigan current topics, and of course our own original content.

This internship and working for the communications team has taught me that you have to be on your toes at all times and ready to work.  That means meetings, web site updates, quick take-downs of spam posts, and  to have consistent messaging.  It has been a very rewarding internship and I will transition into a full-time employee after graduation with MEO.

 

 

Writers’ Bloc Social Media Management

The student board for Professional Writing is known as Writers’ Bloc and as any student group needs a fairly involved social media manager to convey messages to fellow students, organize media, and continuously post.  I was elected into the student board during the 2011-2012 school year as a representative for the Digital and Technical field with the Professional Writing program.  Following a good year learning the structure of the Board I was promoted to social media coordinator for the 2012 school year.  Since taking over the Facebook page I have been able to greatly improve the audience and reach of Writers’ Bloc through the metrics provided by Facebook. (See Below)

Along with Facebook I also have managed the Twitter account which unlike Facebook doesn’t have consistent metrics.  Managing both has taught me that there are numerous messages and voices even from the same organization.  Twitter constrains the abilities of people’s posts on purpose to force users to be as terse as possible while Facebook allows for great deal of information with links and events.  This has been a valuable learning experience since I have learned how to utilize HootSuite an online service meant for managing multiple social media accounts.  Also valuable has been learning how posts and regularity are key to growing audience, even if it isn’t necessarily original content. Reposts and Retweets for other organizations can result in very strong links with those organizations that will become your megaphone when you post your own content.  I will continue to grow this skill and plan on being a social media coordinator for whichever company I work for in the immediate future.

Middle of the Mitten Events Communications

For the past year I have worked for Middle of the Mitten Events (MOTM) in a number of capacities.  MOTM is a 5 year old group that has put on concerts focusing on mid-Michigan rock and folk music.  From the initial Middle of the Mitten concert to this year there has been immense growth from a one evening jam session of numerous bands to a three day festival spanning across East Lansing and Lansing. Last year I volunteered for the marketing team working on communications and viral marketing.  I also was able to garner over $100 in donations towards the cost of running the festival such as printing tickets, handbills, and t-shirts.  The festival, which is always held on the last weekend in January, was the highest attendance to date for MOTM. I also assisted in creating the press release for the organization for MOTM 4.

MOTM additionally works on a benefit show every spring for the past two years.  Using the bands we network with during the festival MOTM has held a tsunami relief concert called “Jam for Japan” in 2010 and a relief show for the victims of the Dexter tornado in 2011.  After the last relief show I was asked by Joel Heckeman, President of MOTM, to join the group as an official Board Member along with Dan Nufer, Jon Ritz, Kyle Brown, and new Board Member Alyson Gines.  During these past few months we have gone through the process of becoming a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  It is our hope as a Board that we will be able to expand beyond two main events and become a fully functioning concert organization that focuses on local music and won’t have to be constrained by profits to create amazing shows.

Since becoming a Board member I have worked with MOTM as a team leader managing the media team.  We have created numerous media pieces like the  logo you see here for MOTM 5 which will be held this year at the Record Lounge, S(CENE) Metrospace, and The Loft for the three days.  It has been extremely rewarding process and learning experience as I have been part of the festival from so  many vantage points – volunteer, social media coordination, viral marketing, Board member, and team leader.  I hope that from this experience I’ll be able to create my own version of MOTM in the future, or expanding it to a state wide festival.

More information available below:

Official Website

Facebook Page

Tumblr

Michigan Environmental Council Newsletter Article

During my internship with Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) I was asked to write and coordinate articles for the quarterly newsletter that is sent out both electronically and in print form.  The article I was asked to write specifically was based on the study done by MEC towards the feelings of the new taxes for infrastructure.  Overall the survey found favorable results of people who wanted to pay more in taxes for improvements to roads, public transit, and most importantly light rail systems.

MEC Newsletter Article This article shows how I was able to take dense data and findings and put that into a detailed yet easily digestible piece for our readers.  I also learned how to craft articles in the proper tone to match the overall narrative of MEC and was able to receive some accolades from my superiors when the final version was printed.  I also created the infographic on the side of this article and our communications director chose the stock photo for the highways.

Full view

The Ave Communications Strategy

The Ave

One of the most rewarding and research projects I have worked on was a comprehensive communications strategy for The Ave community project. The Ave is the brain child of professors John Monberg, Vincent Delgado, and designers at Red Head Design Studio.  Meant to do many things this project had three main audiences and purposes.

  1. Create a vibrant community between students at Michigan State and the corridor of Michigan Avenue
  2. Connect the artists of the greater Lansing area
  3. Be a major linchpin for the businesses of Michigan Avenue and build viral marketing

The Ave

This project was worked on by a fantastic and talented team consisting of Rebecca Zantjer, Jamison Sheppard, Emily Dixon,Laura Allen, and myself.  Using multiple methods of research we worked for two months straight on developing out this communications strategy.  Starting with ethnographic research and stakeholder interviews we were able to get a feel for the organization and where the stakeholders mentioned above wanted the project to move towards.  Taking this into consideration we developed a strategy that used the already existing goals but focused on creating personas, place-making, and network building.  The entire project culminated in the document you can view below and is one of the most comprehensive projects I have had the privilege of working with.

Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing Social Media Strategy

During my time spent at Michigan Environmental Council I was also privileged to work with the health group and specifically is Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing (MILASH).

Working communications with MILASH was very rewarding in learning about non-profit alliance building and development.  We set out to redevelop the site and I made the site (linked above) more W3C compliant.  Though built on Google sites due to its complete lack of funding we were able to drive traffic back up to closer to non-profit industry standards.

Before I finished my time with MILASH I created a social media strategy so that people who take over the internship in the future would be able to continue that growth.  Developing a consistent and thoughtful digital identity is extremely important in non-profit work for two main  reasons in my mind.

1. The affordability of social media allows for rich and well developed content for minimal to no fees.

2. Keeping a consistent identity in the digital spheres makes donors, volunteers, and supporters feel a part of the non-profit.

Having the social media strategy allowed for the MILASH Facebook page grow in reach from 15 “Likes” to 35 during my one month working for MILASH.  Currently there is an intern working to continue the growth who I’ve been in discussions on how to keep up the work I started.

View full PDF (large file) 

Powerpoint Guidelines

During my communications internship for Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) during the summer of 2011 I was tasked to creating a standard Powerpoint for the organization and in doing such realized there was a vast array of levels of comprehension with Powerpoint.  I firmly believe in the use of presentations and visual and design rhetoric but when you see some very unprofessional presentations it only makes sense to create a standards document.  As such I did just that for MEC for all the people who needed help with creating effective powerpoint presentations.

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