VMI Alumni agencies
As Digital Content Manager, I oversee the design, direction and implementation of a digital strategy for the fundraising and alumni arm of the Virginia Military Institute.
I am also a manager for one employee – the team’s Social Media Strategist. My role is to make sure institutional prioritizes are emphasized on each of our platforms.
My projects have included a website consolidation, redesign and management, as well as video production to share the impact of philanthropy.
Stories like Mark Searles’, posted on VMI’s platforms for the 20th anniversary of 9/11, is informing, engaging, and inspiring alumni and friends. Its goal is to keep people connected to VMI and remember the important role the Institute plays in developing leaders of character.
Challenge: The three distinct arms of the VMI Alumni Agencies (Alumni Association, Foundation, and Keydet Club/Athletic Booster Organization) had three different online presences spread between two web servers. To make it more challenging, two of the three organizations’ sites were hosted on a site we did not have direct access to, which led to static, outdated content.
Solution: I was responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and recommending website developers who could help us bring all three sites under one umbrella. My responsibilities included conducting focus groups with alumni, creating the site architecture, orchestrating content reviews, and spearheading content creation for the new site.
Results: My demonstrable web experience allowed us to negotiate more than a 30% reduction in price. Analytics, shown below, also described a redesign that was incredibly successful:
By the Numbers
December 2019 v. December 2018
Increase in Users
Increase in Pageviews
Increase in Pages/Session
Crisis Communications Planning
Challenge: Virginia Military Institute fielded multiple damaging news reports about racism on campus. In response, the university president stepped down, and the state ordered an investigation into the school’s culture.
Solution: Initially, I assisted in the creation of a comprehensive communications plan which was focused on communication with alumni, parents and friends of VMI. The plan outlined consistent communication featuring unifying content from alumni and current students that focused on the positive outcomes happening on campus.
I also was responsible for maintaining a specialized news center on our website, which provided as a repository for all communications.
Results: During an alumni engagement conference the following year, 96% of respondents said that the cadence of communications during the initial months of turmoil at VMI was “just right.”
Brand Improvement Video Ads
Challenge: VMI’s reputation was damaged during multiple news cycles as the state ordered an investigation regarding racism on campus.
Solution: As part of a larger digital brand campaign, I created multiple digital advertisements focus on points of pride, including our high ranking as a public liberal arts college, commissioning rate for the U.S. military, and return on investment. Another version featured alumni who spoke highly of their VMI experience.
Results: The entire campaign generated nearly 500,000 impressions online, with engagement exceeding the national average by 11%.
Brand Improvement Landing Page
Challenge: Challenge: VMI’s reputation was damaged during multiple news cycles as the state investigated incidents of racism on campus.
Solution: Create a landing page that served as an easily digestible way to understand VMI’s unique strengths, highlighting talented students and alumni.
Results: The average time spent on the landing page was 2:45, which is 89% higher than the average site visit during the same time period, indicating content that resonated with visitors.