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.

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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.

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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.

Turntable Lab Review

Preview Picture of TTL review

During the month I spent in New York City I was privileged to have an independent study based  around the hip hop culture currently in the city.  New York is and  always will be the mecca of hip hop, from its roots with Afrika Bambatta playing street parties, to the Brooklyn and Queens legends that have shaped our culture in America.  I have always been interested in the 5 pillars of hip hop:

1. BBoying

2. DJing

3. Graffiti

4. MCing

5. Knowledge and overstanding

For my independent study I was able to visit a number of places and conduct reviews and interviews.  Previous to visiting NYC I would shop endlessly on the Turntable Lab website and I had to visit and, admittedly, spend too much money. I wrote up a full review of the shop and created it into a full PDF article for easy distribution.  I hope you enjoy.

To read my entire review of the shop please click here for the PDF Turntable Lab Review