Something from Nothing: Simple Ways to Look Sharp When Time is Short
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Something from Nothing: Simple Ways to Look Sharp When Time is Short

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HigherEdWeb Michigan 2014 Rapidfire presentation by Kendall Arbogast-Wilson, Creative Director, WTW Design Group. Delivered May 23, 2014.

HigherEdWeb Michigan 2014 Rapidfire presentation by Kendall Arbogast-Wilson, Creative Director, WTW Design Group. Delivered May 23, 2014.

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  • Hi everyone, thank you for coming today. <br /> <br /> I am Kendall Arbogast-Wilson, founder and creative director of WTW Design Group here in Ann Arbor <br /> <br /> My presentation today is <br /> <br /> Something from Nothing <br /> <br /> Let’s get started <br /> <br />
  • Who can identify this guy? <br /> <br /> This is Darren Stevens, iconic advertising man from the Sitcom “Bewitched”. <br /> <br /> Other than having occasional arguments with his boss, <br /> <br /> Darren’s only real problem was coping with his wife’s use of witchcraft. <br /> <br /> There was never an advertising problem that Daren couldn’t solve by spending some time at his drafting table in the den. <br /> <br />
  • On the other hand, this guy, whom I am sure you all can identify, is just the opposite. <br /> <br /> In the span of an hour he smokes, drinks, womanizes, alienates clients and coworkers, <br /> <br /> and most times, saves the day at the very last moment with a brilliant pitch. <br /> <br />
  • So what is the difference between the two?
  • Drama. <br /> <br /> What really defines Don Draper is the drama that seems to surround him at all times. <br /> <br /> Sure, he always manages to succeed in the end. But anyone who has followed this show would agree <br /> <br /> that his lungs, liver, and relationships have all suffered as a result.
  • Vices aside, how much is your typical day like Don’s or Darren’s? <br /> <br /> I would say that although we aspire to have a happy, predictable, planned and productive Darren style workday, <br /> <br /> more often than not, it is the Don day that prevails. <br /> <br /> Why is that? <br />
  • This graphic from Michigan Creative came in my email a week ago, and kind of brought this point home to me. <br /> <br /> It elegantly illustrates the content creation process in very simple terms. <br /> <br /> In a perfect world, this is indeed the process we should all be following. However
  • Not many of us live in a perfect world. <br /> <br /> Not many of us get the big “blank canvas”. <br /> <br /> Many of us have short timeframes, limited dollars and staff, branding rules and guidelines to follow, and levels of approval. <br /> <br /> And lots and lots of requests
  • We have to recognize that in these instances of on-demand marketing, <br /> <br /> when things like time, resources, approvals and branding are not on our side, <br /> <br /> The ideal process may not fit <br /> <br /> <br />
  • A process that recognizes your constraints might look something like this <br /> <br /> 1.) GATHER Pull together assets that already exist, <br /> and have already been approved for some prior purpose <br /> <br /> 2.) REVIEW Take enough time to become familiar with the items you’ve collected, <br /> sort and remove those not fitting your project. <br /> 3.) IDEATE Work within what you have assembled to create attention-getting content <br /> that reinforces the brand and supports the message <br /> <br /> 4.) DESIGN Combine, build, and produce the content in its final form
  • So, in honor of our 10 minute rapid fire session today, I’ve developed a handful of 10 minute “prep steps” to help you prepare. <br /> <br /> No matter how busy you are, you can always find 10 minutes to devote to getting ready for the next urgent situation. <br /> <br /> These prep steps can help you build a library of content to draw from when time is short.
  • Your university brand is a wealth of resources for developing content. <br /> <br /> ogos, colors, styles, fonts, tone, and messaging are all there for your use, and often require little to no approval. <br /> <br /> Spend 10 minutes familiarizing yourself with what your organization has to offer, <br /> <br /> where you can find it, and how you might employ it in your own circumstances.
  • At U-M, the Global Communications website is a great place to spend a little time discovering more about the Michigan Brand. <br /> <br /> vpcomm.umich.edu/brand/style-guide
  • I return to this site over and over as I work on projects for my U-M clients. <br /> <br /> One of my favorite pages is the colors page.
  • For a recent conference promo item project, we used a simple U-M logo on a card that attached to lanyards we already had on hand. <br /> <br /> The visible side had the brand, and the other held a discount offer. <br /> <br /> This promo has been repeated several times and has become a standard giveaway item at conferences.
  • Here’s an example of the new U-M color palette in action. <br /> <br /> For this website redesign, each of the 3 engineering divisions had a different flavor of U-M blue <br /> <br />
  • As marketers and communicators, our first goal should be to tell an authentic story, <br /> <br /> and nothing says more than great photos. <br /> <br /> For this step, spend 10 minutes planning where your photos are going to come from. <br /> <br /> I advise my clients to make “image capture” a routine activity.
  • Custom photography is best, but if you don’t have the time, <br /> <br /> you can look for stock photos from your school, flickr, instagram, or commercial stock…as a last resort. <br /> <br /> I also advise my clients to get photos “pre-approved” and organized with dates, times, and even captions. <br /> <br /> This will put you in a much better position when you have to move fast.
  • This email marketing message used photos collected over three different photo shoots. <br /> <br /> We were able to capture students not only enjoying class, but also relaxing in an informal networking after-hours, and during a stadium tour. <br /> <br /> The headline simply restates the story the photos have already conveyed.
  • In this email marketing message <br /> <br /> The photos were screen grabs from a program video that the client had already produced. <br /> <br /> High definition video now makes it possible to harvest good quality images.
  • Having a source of historical information and photographs can be invaluable in a pinch. <br /> <br /> At a former job of mine, there was a published history of the college that we used many times for a photo or bit of text. <br /> <br /> For this step, take 10 minutes to locate historical resources and make a plan to start your collection.
  • If you don’t have access to historical information in your school or department, check libraries such as U-M’s Bentley.
  • This spread in a recent U-M School of Kinesiology magazine employed a photo titled Student “pushball” contest, 1918. <br /> <br /> Found online at the Bentley Library archive, it was the perfect contrast to the foreground personal training image.
  • This postcard concept uses a photo of Henry Ford receiving an honorary degree from U-M. <br /> <br /> It underscores the headline perfectly. <br /> <br /> This photo was also from the Bentley.
  • We are really good at making lists, and organizing them by category, and sub category, and sub, sub category. <br /> <br /> But how often do we view the “buckets” themselves as content? What happens when we focus on making the menu, the content? <br /> <br /> Take 10 to imagine how you could say more about some of the categories you work with.
  • For instance, this first iteration of the Six Sigma certifications landing page was merely a collection of bulleted course lists.
  • The next iteration went further to explain and call out the program categories, <br /> <br /> making them more obvious and visual for viewers.
  • This page for a five year combined bachelor and masters degree called “SGUS” <br /> <br /> took what started as a bulleted list, <br /> <br /> and turned it into a visual process.
  • Big numbers, words, and symbols always get people’s attention. <br /> <br /> And they are an easy way to convey information in a graphical format, without a lot of preparation. <br /> <br /> What’s more, you likely have some of these stats and factoids close at hand and already approved. <br /> <br /> You just need to decide on how they are presented. <br /> <br /> Take 10 minutes to collect a few meaningful statistics, and do a thumbnail sketch of how they would look.
  • These two infographics are available for download from the Victors for Michigan Campaign HQ site. <br /> <br /> This is a tremendous resource for graphics and information all available for U-M units to use and share.
  • This page spread from the Chelsea School District viewbook demonstrates the power of big numbers. <br /> <br /> All the information on this page was derived from a 1 page black and white bulleted handout prepared by the district.
  • Large format numbers in this web-based dashboard user interface make it easy for plant operators to gauge their performance at a glance.
  • We need to work toward less drama and more design. <br /> <br /> You’re always going to have to deal with the last minute, unexpected, put-out-the-fire projects that are dropped on your desk. <br /> <br /> But with a little thoughtful preparation, <br /> <br /> you can turn each one into another opportunity to promote your school, college, department, division, or organization.
  • Thanks!

Something from Nothing: Simple Ways to Look Sharp When Time is Short Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Something from Nothing: Simple Ways to Look Sharp When Time is Short
  • 2. DARREN
  • 3. DON
  • 4. VS
  • 5. DRAMA
  • 6. Planning LaunchContent Design Developme nt
  • 7. RESOURCES APPROVAL TIME BRAND REQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTSREQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTS REQUESTS
  • 8. Developme nt Content Planning LaunchDesign APPROVAL BRAND
  • 9. Gather Review Ideate Design
  • 10. 10 MINUTE PREP STEPS
  • 11. UNDERSTAND THE BRAND PREP 1 STEP
  • 12. vpcomm.umich.edu / brand/style-guide
  • 13. LET PHOTOS TELL THE STORY PREP 2 STEP
  • 14. CUSTOM UM STOCK FLICKR STOCK
  • 15. MAKE HISTORY PREP 3 STEP
  • 16. GET CATEGORICAL PREP 4 STEP
  • 17. THINK BIG PREP 5 STEP
  • 18. leadersandbest.umich.edu
  • 19. LESS DRAMA MORE DESIGN
  • 20. THANK YOU