Fall of 2015
“Creativity for Strategic Communication”
Level of creativity: off the charts
Level of stress: overwhelming
Every year, the Strategic Communication cohort gets together for one gargantuan group project that focuses on improving communication for a local non-profit.
This year’s client was Harper’s Playground, a local organization that is changing the world one playground at a time. They create amazing playgrounds that are accessible to people of all abilities and ages. (Yes, I absolutely climbed and played all over the playground. That grass hill is the most amazing slide!)
I got assigned as the Creative Director for the project, with the task to come up with a visual brand that represents the strategy. Since I do not have any design experience (unless you count the Photoshop work I do swapping people’s faces…), I had to learn InDesign and Illustrator pretty quick. Lucky for me, we had a Design workshop that term, where I learned enough InDesign skills to get myself started.
The ‘White T-Shirt Project’ has been one of the most fun things I’ve ever done as a student. The task was to create a brand with only one type of product: white t-shirts. After that, the sky was the limit.
The class got divided into two teams of four. Our team came up with a premium white t-shirt delivery service. Much like Birchbox, customers would receive products from different brands, giving them the ability to try different styles and fabrics. The beautiful thing about Chemise is that parents could schedule the delivery to arrive at their child’s growth rate, making sure no growth spurs would leave them shirtless.
My job was to be part of the strategic team and visualize our ideas. I won’t lie; it was incredibly cute to look at baby photos every day.
Our second term in Graduate School welcomed us with interesting and exciting classes. We divided our time between Marketing and Quantitative Research Methods.
I will lay it to you straight: I love surveys. At a first glance, it may sound self-centered since most people like them because it gives them an opportunity to talk about themselves (which I don’t mind). But it is more than that. As a lover of human research, I believe surveys are absolutely necessary for a variety of reasons (and when combined with qualitative research, the result is a lot more than the sum of the parts).
We had the opportunity to design and conduct a survey in the city of Portland. My team and I decided to compare the opinions and attitudes of customers at Voodoo Doughnuts and Blue Star Donuts. As the Team Leader, is was my job to make sure all the surveys were valid and input and analyze the data. Second confession of the day: as much as I am a message driven communicator, I absolutely love spreadsheets. Having real data in front of me and finding unique correlations was one of the most thrilling moments of this class (yes, I am a dork and I OWN it).
Here are some of the charts I made for the project. Not surprisingly, Voodoo was a tourist hotspot while Blue Star was the local favorite.