The Barren, Hart and Metcalfe County, Kentucky Alliance for Substance Abuse Coalition (BHMKYASAP) came to WKU’s Imagewest at the end of 2015 with the goal of increasing awareness of the coalition and the goal to reach their teen target audience. I was the lead account executive on the project. With this client, I was able to be involved in the project from concept to near completion. From acquiring the client to executing strategies we have developed and gathering data to determine how successful the campaign is, I was involved.
When the client first came to us, we had no prior knowledge of who they were or what they do. We began with researching who they are, as well as other successful groups with the same goals (competitor analysis). Then, we performed an audit on their current communication touch points. This included their social media presence and their existing website. This served as our starting point from which we determined what would be the best plan of action to meet their needs.
The audit made it clear that assistance with their Facebook and Twitter pages and updating their current website was needed. In addition to those items, BHMKYASAP wanted to do something with the tagline: Stay Strong Stay Sober. This tagline was to be targeted towards the teen or youth population of Barren, Hart and Metcalfe Counties.
In order to reach that target market, social media account devoted to the Stay Strong Stay Sober campaign would have been ideal, but because of the fact that there is one person responsible for BHMKYASAP creating additional accounts was not practical. With this being said, a Stay Strong Stay Sober website was declared necessary. This website would be kicked off with a t-shirt design contest for the students in the BHMKYASAP districts with voting taking place on the website. With the Stay Strong Stay Sober campaign, branding materials including a logo, color palette, and fonts were needed.
In addition to the edits to the existing BHMKYASAP website, a blog was also suggested to the client. We proposed a blog because it would be a way for their to be new content constantly added to the website and provide a place for BHMKYASAP to give their followers and the community new information. A years worth of content would be provided to the client and set up to automatically publish to the website so that the client would not have to do anything with it.
An e-newlsetter to go out to the community with announcements, events and general information was also purposed. We decided to create 6 months of content. This e-newsletter was sent out monthly via email. Also, a billboard for BHMKYASAP was needed. The client had already bought space but needed a design. An 4 to 8 page annual report for 2015 was also a project that the client wanted.
After the client approved the proposal, work began. The first task I started on was creating a survey for the Barren, Hart and Metcalfe County communities aimed at determining their awareness of BHMKYASAP and their thoughts on drug use and abuse in their communities. Aside from creating the questions, and the cover letter for the survey, ensuring that the survey followed the guidelines set by the U.S. Office of Human Research Protections and getting the survey approved by the review board on Western Kentucky University’s campus was also part of developing the survey. The survey was given to the client to distribute to the community in December and January. This distribution only resulted in less than 50 responses. The superintendents suggested waiting for back to school time when paperwork is sent home. This time would produce more responses because parents would already be filling things out and would be more likely to complete the survey. While having the results prior to developing messaging for the BHMKYASAP campaign would have been beneficial, one of the many things that this campaign has taught me is that somethings are out of your control and despite how much it would help to have something from the client, it does not always happen and you must move forward.
From there, I moved on to determining specific changes that needed to be made to the BHMKYASAP website. The initial communications audit provided a starting point for these changes but I made a comprehensive list of specific changes and what was needed for the website. Next, I had to discuss these changes and communicate to the web designer what I was envisioning for the website and make sure that I answered any question that he may have had.
The addition of the blog to the website was also something that I played a part in. We wrote a years worth of blog posts for the client.
Creating a social media plan and content was started at this point. We quoted the client for 6 months of content for Facebook and Twitter. This meant 180 tweets and 72 Facebook posts. Content wise, the content varied from general awareness of BHMKYASAP and its website as well as the Stay Strong Stay Sober website, to Drug facts and how parents can talk to their teens about drugs. The client choose to post these at their discretion instead of having Imagewest post them. With this being said, the posting of the content we created did not begin until April 2016. We provided the client with general tips for Facebook and Twitter for her to use to make the most out of the accounts.
As the social media content was being created, Stay Strong Stay Sober branding materials were in the works. The graphic designer team began with researching the teen demographic and the types of colors, fonts and designs that they respond to the most. Color theory, font theory and more were explored prior to them putting their pencil to paper to begin sketching. My place in this process was making sure that the designers were staying on track with the timeline of the project as well as ensuring that the clients wishes were being met. The client was then sent a complete logo package and style guide (click on logo above to see).
Content for the Stay Strong Stay Sober Website was also being curated at this point. Beginning from scratch, meant that all the copy was needed for the website. To get an idea of what kind of content other related groups put on their teen focused sites, research was completed first.
The design of the website was also researched prior to being implemented. Research exposed that clean, simple design that displays well on mobile devices and larger screens alike. The Stay Strong Stay Sober branding was pulled throughout the website. Once again, communication between myself and the web designer was necessary to ensure that the project remained on track to be completed prior to the design contest being started. (The design contest was something that the client implemented and set the dates for.) See the Stay Strong Stay Sober website by clicking here.
The client came to us with already having paid a billboard service for future use. It was up to use to determine the copy and the general direction in which the billboard would go. The client did not have any specific direction that she wanted to go with the billboard messaging. This was exciting since we had creative freedom with the messaging, but proved to be difficult because we found ourselves trying to figure out what they could possibly want. My team and I determined that we wanted to develop three options for messaging on the billboard in hopes to meet the clients undisclosed wishes. We began by brainstorming ideas for what we thought would be something good to communicate to the audience. This was followed by researching other billboards that have been created to communicate similar messages; from those we were able to determine an area that has not been widely explored, but that we could flourish in. The messaging that we pitched to the client was as follows:
This project exposed me to many components of being an account executive. From communicating with the client and maintaining a positive relationship to communicating with graphic designers and web designers, being able to get my point across in the best way possible was demanded. I was able to get expierence with maintaining a timeline to meet deadlines on multiple tasks within the project. I had two graphic designers, a web designer and two other account executives who were helping me with projects if they had time, that I had to communicate what was needed to. I was able to be a part of the design processes for branding a campaign, designing a website and creating graphics where needed within the campaign. The amount of writing that I did for this project has also allowed me to improve on my writing skills.