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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Social Media Engagement

#OHIO6Words Social Media Campaign

Alumni engagement is measured through sustained interest, involvement and/or investment in alma mater. Social media presents an opportunity to engage with alumni with low stakes and establish cross-generational connections through shared experience.

Early submissions were printed and displayed in the student center during Homecoming Week.

The association’s goal was simple: increase engagement on Instagram. This idea was successful because we focused on the why – why would an OHIO alum care to post about us, tag us, or engage with our content? The answer for me was Homecoming. The annual celebration at OHIO is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Bobcats show up by the thousands, a little bit for football, but mostly because of the way they feel when they are back on campus. The energy is palpable, the memories are visceral, and of course, the drinks are flowing.

I knew that if we could find a way to translate that experience even slightly to our online audiences, they would be ecstatic to go back into a Bobcat state of mind and feel part of the party.

Inspired by Ernest Hemmingway’s six-word story, the #OHIO6Words instagram campaign called for participants to share their own six-word story on Instagram, coupled with an image that represented their OHIO experience. Winners were selected each day of Homecoming Week to be featured on the main @OHIOAlumni Instagram channel and were mailed various Bobcat swag for their engagement.

The outcomes far exceeded engagement goals, and received international recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). It received the Silver Award in the category ‘Best Uses of Social Media for Alumni Relations,’ which recognizes innovative uses of new media by educational institutions across the globe.

Alumni Submissions

Role call: Concept development by Katrina Heilmeier, Kate Erlewine and Hailee Tavoian. Campaign writing by Hailee Tavoian. Social media deployment by Kate Erlewine. In-person displays by Katrina Heilmeier.


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Feature Video Series

Breast Cancer Video Series

Nicole Phillips, wife of Ohio University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Saul Phillips, and their three children were floored with her breast cancer diagnosis. It came less than a year after they moved to Athens. Watch Team Phillips demonstrate how it takes an entire community to beat the odds.
For 12-year-old Jordan Phillips, her mother Nicole’s breast cancer diagnosis was a call to action. Partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Jordan has used her sewing skills to raise funds and spread awareness for breast cancer across the United States.

Cancer is a word that means many things to many people – it is simultaneously a reminder of the frailty of life and an aggressive call to action. It is a term loaded with emotion, experience, memories good and bad, and it makes for challenging subject matter. When I first met Nicole and took on the assignment of capturing her story she was newly cancer free and moving into the reconstruction phase of her recovery. She welcomed me into doctor’s appointments, physical scans and even her home during the days after her procedure. As both a writer and a videographer, it is very rare that I am able to have the level of access to the intimate moments that Nicole so generously gave me.

In between takes we talked about my experience as a young woman during my own mom’s diagnosis with breast cancer. Nicole wanted to know how I coped, how I struggled and how I felt more than a decade into her fortunate remission. This personal connection we made helped to put the entire family at ease, and resulted in a more authentic, rich story for print and online.

This was a project that I was very grateful to have both mediums to tell the story. Navigating what content was covered in my strict two-page spread word count for print is always easier when I know that the story can continue online in video form. What started as a single video merged into three – two relating to different aspects of the family’s journey through breast cancer and the third was a social media cut for promotion.

Screen shot of story above as it appears in the print magazine.
© Ohio Today magazine | Winter 2017 issue

From this undertaking I learned to approach my video storytelling with still frame and written word in mind as I captured motion, audio and interactions. I also learned the importance of compromise with your editor. My initial story only had a couple of basketball puns, but my editor liked them so well he wanted to work that theme throughout the entire story with subheads and additional references to the basketball team. While I wanted the article to center on Nicole, he helped me to understand that our readers were interested in Nicole because of who she was to the Bobcat community. This process and compromise showed me that it takes diversity of thought and an editor that will challenge your perspective in order to grow as a writer and tell stories that will resonate with your audience.

Role call: Storyboard, directing, production and editing by Hailee Tavoian. Assistant production and editing by Mallory Golski.


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Narrative Video

Slam Poetry Video

This project was such a pleasure to produce. Our goal was to work with a student poet to fuse together their experience with words from iconic OHIO songs in a message of gratitude for alumni support. What resulted was beyond my expectations, thanks in large part to the tremendous talent of our subject and writer Yaphet Jackman.

Through audio challenges, script drafting, equipment limitations and a tight timeline, my small team was able to achieve our mission under budget without compromising quality. The piece was received with high praise by alumni across the globe, which prompted a screening during the Ohio University Board of Trustees meeting by special request from the University President Roderick McDavis.

Role call: Words and performance by Yaphet Jackman. Storyboard, production, and art direction by Hailee Tavoian. Editing and assistant production by Jarrett Lehman. Concept development by Jennifer Bowie and Hailee Tavoian.

“Hailee is a multifaceted titan with a humble heart of gold. My time with her has shown me her great attention to detail, reservoir of patience and her ability to remain calm and focused in high stress situations. Her kind spirit is an asset as a team player and leader.”

Yaphet Jackman, featured slam poet

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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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