Involvement Content Strategy

Campus Involvement Content Strategy

Each semester new students step onto campus craving connection – to their peers, upperclassmen, and mentors that can bring them into the fold. The first step is always the hardest, and no one understood that better than the current student body president whose entire college trajectory branched from the first club meeting he showed up to. That’s why we focused on his story as the center of our student organization involvement campaign.

We utilized print, social media, web banners, ads, and email, adapting our message for each channel.

Instagram Story & Print Handout (front)

Ian’s story was captured for a news story earlier this fall, so I reached out to him again to ask him to gather a few friends for a photo shoot. We knew that his personality would shine through best if he was surrounded by close friends. Once we had great photos, it was a matter of drilling down into the elements of his story that would resonate with new college students most.

Print Handout (backside)

Instructional print pieces can feel obnoxious to a web savvy audience, but this particular sign up required multiple steps and a wait time. You can be in love with every word, but I never use eight words if seven will do; meaning that instructions should be concise and essential. We also brought over some basic content from the themed front side in order to carry the personal story through the whole piece.

Ads, Headers & Web Banners

Our hope was to echo our primary channel messages through secondary channels – student newspaper ads, email, and website images. When it comes to these mediums, less text is always better, so our focus was the call to action. These clickable ads took students to a landing page with more information about how to sign up.

Visual Style Guide

Great content and quality art direction sent this campaign to the next level. After the initial concept was developed, it was important to give future designers and content developers direction to carry the theme through other pieces.

Adapting Over Time

The mark of a great concept is when it lives beyond the subject, writer or designer. Humans want to see themselves in the stories of others. While this campaign centered on Ian, it is a concept that can be recycled and utilized again and again, because his story represents the return of connection on that engagement students crave.

Role call: Content strategy, writing and concept development by Hailee Tavoian. Design and art direction by Erika Clusman. Photography by Akira Jakkson. Strategy deployment by Chloe Ruffenach and Alexandria Polanosky. Ohio University brand developed by Truth & Consequences.


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Retail Branding

Retail Brand Development

Online retail sales have exploded over the past decade, causing brands with primarily brick and mortar establishments to adapt in order to remain competitive. Our goal for The Bobcat Store was to conduct robust audience research to inform the development of a new logo, style guide and marketing strategy that balanced customer needs with store goals.

My small team analyzed website traffic, sales numbers, email response rates and social media engagement, and combed through peer and competitor online retail websites to complete a thematic analysis of existing brand overlap and niche insights. Using the existing data as a benchmark, we then collected audience feedback through a combination of in-depth interviews and customer surveys. Questions focused mainly on consumer behaviors, website functionality, website personality, and purchasing preferences.

Armed with the meaningful audience research conducted during discovery, my art director and I set to work developing The Bobcat Store Audience Research and Analysis Report, which contained all data collected, as well as a comprehensive thematic analysis and specific, actionable strategies for the new brand.

In addition to the final report, deliverables included a new logo, style guide, website with new product photography and content on every page, brand positioning statement and adjectives, and design templates for email, social media, print advertising, and packaging.

Role call: Audience research, analysis, strategy and brand development by Hailee Tavoian and Kailee Slusser. Visual brand, logo, photography and web design by Kailee Slusser. Website build by Neil Mohr. Brand deployment by Kate Robey, Michele Frick and Kyle Lindner.


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Social Media Content Strategy

Socializing Safety Campaign

College students’ social lives, academic trajectory and well-being were enormously impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. When planning for a safe return to campus, among the greatest concerns for Ohio University administration was student adherence to public health and safety guidelines.

Armed with my previous experience with alcohol and sexual health education, I led a cross-team collaboration to develop a variety of content across various channels with the goal of normalizing safety practices. I was deliberate in adding a bit of whimsy and humor that have proven successful with safe sex campaigns.

Content variations were used across all channels – in-person posters, banners, digital screens, student newspaper print edition and website advertisements, and of course, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. What resulted was highest rates of engagement compared to other previously shared public health and safety direction, as well as some chatter across influencer channels and peer institutions about the cheekiness of the campaign. Our goal of garnering attention and generating peer-to-peer dialogue about the issues was achieved.

In addition to the one-liner attention grabbing content, we followed up with our email and social media audiences with student dialogue videos (both short- and long-form) that featured user-generated quality student zoom conversations about issues of health and safety on and off campus.

60-second version used on social media channels with a link to long-form video discussion below.

As many professionals experienced during the pandemic, this project was something I never thought I would do, but I feel a high level of satisfaction with the result. I was reminded of how quality work is achieved in a high pressure environment – with confidence in your team members and a level head – one step at a time.

Role call: Design by Nicole Lovins. Writing, video and art direction by Hailee Tavoian. Social media deployment by Alexandria Polanosky and Steph Fiorelli. Creative consultation by Kailee Slusser and Aaron Harden.


Social Media Consolidation

Social Media Consolidation

Communication fatigue is a real challenge for anyone aiming to connect with college students. My team undertook an 18-month project to measure online engagement across all student affairs social channels in order to effectively streamline and strategize future messaging.

pie chart detailing social media engagement by topic, such as career, involvement, services, parents, recreation, etc.
Graphic above demonstrates social media engagement over a one year period segmented by channel subject matter.

Discovery included a situational analysis of social media channels, metrics, audiences and generational uses of each platform. My team reviewed university, division and individual departmental priorities, as well as peer institution channels. Through longitudinal social listening and thematic analysis of the available data, we developed a consolidation strategy and implementation plan to reduce 72 channels down to a strong thirteen.

Each remaining channel was provided a brand positioning statement and adjectives, and design templates for stories, posts and advertising.

Students looking at phones

This project reminded me of the importance of patience during a hard slog. This type of work is often skimmed over, fast-tracked by skipping important steps, or improperly documented for the sake of time, ego or lack of by-in from leadership given the resources it requires to do it right.

I was very fortunate to have a solid team running day-to-day social logistics in addition to my strategy and analytics crew. Both are essential to properly assessing the space you want to occupy and measuring a channel’s potential for growth. Assessment takes time and resources, but it is well worth it if you hope to establish a following with any kind of longevity.

Role call: Audience research, analysis, and consolidation strategy by Steph Fiorelli, Amanda Moline and Hailee Tavoian. Student social media interns: Haley Bender, Hannah Browsky, Allan Dalton, Sami Morsink, Anna Wise.

Consolidation Outline

PlatformConsolidated ChannelsNew HandleMessaging
Instagram@ou_imsports, @ou_aquatics, @ou_campusrec, @ou_outdoor, @ou_WalterFH, @ou_birdarena, @ou_pingcenter, @ou_gtc, @ou_pingfitness, @ou_clubsports@BobcatWellBeingMental, physical, emotional and social well-being resources, stories and programs
Instagram@bobcat_depot, @thehungrycatou, @OUDining, @bobcats_helping_bobcats@OHIOFood_Campus dining features, employee stories, quick and easy recipes, and nutrition tips
Instagram@margaretboydscholars, @oueventservices, @cldc_careercloset, @ohiostuaffairs@OHIOStudentLifeCampus culture, involvement, respect, health, safety and university programs
Instagram@ohiou_housing@OHIOHousingOn-campus living, updates and resident events
Instagram@ougreeklife@OHIOGreekLifeSorority and Fraternity Life recruitment and community programs
Twitter@OHIOStuAffairs, @OHIOFoodPantry, @OhioParents, @boydscholars, @oueventservices, @BobcatDepot, @OHIOCLDC, @OU_CommServ, @OUSAP, @OHIOCSSR, @OUDining@OHIOStudentLifeCampus culture, involvement, respect, health, safety, student and university events
Twitter@OU_involvement, @OhioGreekLife, @ouperformingart@OHIOInvolvementStudent organization involvement and programming
Twitter@OU_IMsports, @OU_PingFitness, @OU_WalterFH, @OU_CampusRec, @OU_outdoor, @OU_BirdArena, @OU_Aquatics, @OU_ClubSports, @OU_PingCenter, @OU_gtc@OHIOCampusRecFitness, club sports, outdoor recreation and facility updates and events
Twitter@ohiou_housing@OHIO_HousingOn-campus living, updates and resident events
Twitter@CPS_OHIO@OHIO_CounselingMental health resources and programs
FacebookParent & Family Programs, Career Center, Bobcat Depot, Culinary Services, Dean of Students, Event Services, Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, Student AffairsOHIO Bobcat FamiliesUniversity updates for parents and families across all categories
FacebookGolf & Tennis Center, Intramural Sports, Aquatic Center, Outdoor Pursuits, Ping Center, Campus Recreation, Bird Arena, Fieldhouse, Fitness, Club SportsOHIO Campus RecreationFitness, club sports, outdoor recreation and facility updates and events
The table above outlines the consolidation breakdown by platform, original handle, new handle and messaging strategy for target audiences.

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Personas Research

Personas Research

Elusive behaviors of transient customers frequently leave marketers and the businesses they serve scratching their heads. This is why business owners often stick to targeting marketing efforts toward the most engaged customer. After all, that is the personality type you know the best. In many industries 80% of sales come from 20% of your audience. For some, this is enough. But not for me.

graphic of a plant

I want to know how that momentary customer found us, what they thought of the product and their experience, and why they haven’t been back since. Through effective research and the establishment of audience personas, businesses can understand the complexities of their customer base, and expand their reach into secondary audiences, all while continuing to keep that 20% “in the tent” base happy.

The visuals below showcase one of six personas developed for the OHIO Alumni Association. In partnership with Ologie, our team conducted pioneering, robust, qualitative and quantitative research to section and articulate audience groups, as well as identify attitudinal and behavioral elaboration likelihood for each type.

graphic contains two figures with clothing, accessories and objects that suggest they are very busy, distracted, family-oriented, hard-working and highly engaged with technology.
Illustrations created in-house by Kyle Lindner

What resulted was a greater understanding about primary and secondary audiences, as well as actionable marketing and programatic formulas for more effective segmentation and measurable engagement.

Final deliverables for the project include six audience personas with robust trait analysis, key characteristics, statistics, lifestyle and online behavioral preferences, propensity for engagement and giving, and corresponding opportunities, roadblocks, sample engagement scenarios, journey mapping and conversion pipelines.

Three roadblocks include: limited time and attention, lack of focus, and busy lives.
Three opportunities include: short, scan-able content, in need of escape, and focus on family events.
Blank worksheet to fill in engagement scenarios include space to address persona's question, habit or goal, and another space to address answer, solution or support.

The project has been used to inform future strategy and brand evolution, and enables more deliberate content development with greater audience awareness.

From the experience I learned to collaborate effectively with agency partners, as neither of us had undertaken this type of project or something to this scale before. It is unique to be on the cusp of applying what you know to be marketing best practice to an industry like higher education.

It was a project that took a great deal of time and energy, and much of the work is unseen (as strategy work often is). I was fortunate to have such a professional, energetic team of creative professionals to work with, and in the end the visualization and final report made all the difference to administrative buy-in and support of our efforts.

Role call: Audience Research conducted by Ologie, Jennifer Bowie, Hailee Tavoian. Synthesis, Content Development and Segmentation Strategy by Hailee Tavoian, Kailee Slusser, Jennifer Bowie. Original Illustrations developed in-house by Kyle Lindner.

Illustration by Kyle Lindner