Below you will find just a few of the many projects on which I have worked during my career.
WEB AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA
Radford University Virtual Tour With increased attention on non-resident and international recruitment and outreach, RU worked with a vendor to develop a new, robust virtual tour. The tour allows prospective students to "visit campus" from a remote location using a desktop computer or an Internet-enabled mobile device.
This virtual campus visit includes the ability to see campus buildings inside and out, hear testimonials from students and faculty, and experience interactive features that provide a sense of being on campus without actually traveling to Radford.
The content management system used to host the tour will allow RU to add additional multimedia to the tour on an ad hoc basis. The tour includes 21 guided stops plus supplemental multimedia to enhance the experience. Additionally, the tour has been translated into Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.
Radford University Website As the Director of Web Strategy and Interactive Media for Radford University, I am responsible for the strategic direction of the university's web presence, including its website.
Content Management System Implementation During my tenure at Radford, I led the roll out of the university's first content management system (Adobe CQ5, now named Adobe Experience Manager). As part of that endeavor, I drafted a roll out strategy and communications plan; created and implemented web guidelines; and led a team in the overhaul and migration of nearly 200 official university websites into the content management system. The migration project was completed approximately nine months ahead of schedule. My team currently maintains top-level sites and is working on completing redesigns/overhauls of sites that were completed during the early part of the migration project.
Search Engine Optimization As part of this project, my team completed a two-phased Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. The project involved making strategic SEO enhancements to nearly every page of the site and offering SEO workshops to content administrators. As a result, traffic from search engines rose from roughly 4% of total traffic to 31%.
Workshops and Training In addition to the SEO workshops mentioned above, I offer to the campus community workshops on Google Analytics, writing for the Web, website best practices and using social media, as well as content management system training.
Note: The design of the website was established before I was hired to lead the team; a redesign will roll out in September 2015.
Radford University Mobile Website As mobile traffic to the Radford.edu website increased, it became clear that the university needed a mobile website strategy -- and fast! In August 2012, I was given a $10,000 budget and was tasked with developing a mobile website. A further complication: our programming staff was unavailable to assist with the project.
Unsatisfied with mobile websites that present only a portion of a site's content in a mobile-optimized format, I worked with our vendor to implement a mobile website strategy that resulted in all of the content housed in the CMS being optimized for mobile devices. The project rolled out in early 2013.
The mobile version of the site is viewable by visiting www.radford.edu using a mobile device. Tablets do not render the mobile view.
NextBus Bus Tracker In early 2012, the RU president asked the Division of Information Technology to work with Radford Transit to identify a way to provide to students real-time bus arrival predictions. Over the course of the following six months, we worked to identify a vendor and collaborated with Radford Transit to roll out the system.
As part of the project, we integrated the bus tracker into our website and mobile app. We also created a multichannel marketing campaign and a video that demonstrated how to use the system.
Initially the bus tracker was located on a top-level site, but changes within the parking division led us to integrate it into a new Parking and Transportation website maintained by Parking Services. Visit www.radford.edu/nextbus to view the web portion of the system.
Viral Marketing Happy Halloween from Radford University On Halloween 2011, my team replaced the four student profiles on the university's main website with four monsters—students transformed by their classmates using costumes and makeup. The team also created a “Happy Halloween from Radford University” website featuring a profile of each monster, a video featuring the monsters and their faculty mentors, and behind-the-scenes, time-lapse footage showing their transformation.
The project’s goal was to showcase student work, drive traffic to the Radford University website, raise the profile of the university and lighten the mood on campus midsemester.
The project showcased the work of Radford University theatre students and gave them an opportunity to apply their skills under relatively “real-world” conditions. The students spent 60 to 90 minutes creating each monster. The monsters were photographed in settings that matched the tone of their profiles: Michael Monster, Vanessa Vampire, William Werewolf and Zelda Zombie. Participating students also were videotaped sharing what they like best about Radford and how the university has welcomed them to campus.
The project more than doubled the typical number of daily visits to the Radford University home page and boosted new visits by 88 percent and received coverage in the Washington Post and on the local CBS affiliate station.
The project received an Award of Excellence from CASE Region III.
April Fools' Day from Radford University Continuing what has become an April Fools’ Day tradition, Web Communications injected a little humor into the university’s website on April 1, 2013. Four “memes” took the place of the four student profiles that normally rotate on the homepage.
The goal of the project was to lighten the mood during the middle of spring semester, as well as drive new traffic to Radford.edu. The project resulted in 76 times the average number of visitors from social media, 8 times the average number of new visitors and 52% more traffic to the website in general.
In addition, social media was flooded with comments from students, faculty, staff and alumni. As one student said: “Everyone loves Radford's homepage today. It makes me proud to say I'm a Highlander!”
Social Media I took over management of the university's Twitter, Flickr and YouTube accounts and became an administrator of the Facebook account in 2011. I took over complete management of the university's social media presence in 2012 and drafted the university's first social media plan and social media guidelines.
The social media plan was designed to improve engagement with our audiences on Facebook and Twitter (phase I). The strategy contributed to a 60% increase in Twitter followers and a 35% increase in Facebook followers over Fiscal Year 2012.
View the university's social media directory to find links to the official pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+.
UW Oshkosh Today When I joined the Integrated Marketing and Communications staff at UW Oshkosh, the university did not have a comprehensive media relations strategy nor an online vehicle to tell the university's story. Having created a daily news site in 2004 at my previous institution, I was keen to develop such a product for UWO.
UW Oshkosh Today provides news and feature articles designed to not only inform but also engender pride in UW Oshkosh among both on- and off-campus constituency groups. During my time at UWO, the site garnered four industry awards.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, my last at UW Oshkosh, 359 stories were posted in UW Oshkosh Today, demonstrating a commitment to telling the UW Oshkosh story.
Overcoming "UW Zero" When I joined the Integrated Marketing Communications staff at UW Oshkosh, the university was suffering from significant issues in the the marketplace, including a poor institutional reputation. Derogatory terms such as "UW Zero," "Sloshkosh," and "OshVegas" were frequently used to describe the campus. Meanwhile, communication was fractured, there was no consistent visual identity and no brand identity beyond "third-largest institution in the state."
While at UW Oshkosh, I served as a key member of the university’s rebranding team for an effort completed entirely in-house. My role included conducting research, drafting portions of the brand platform and guidelines, leading focus groups, developing an award-winning rollout strategy and co-leading workshops introducing the brand platform to the campus community. The brand guidelines document is available below.