Digital Strategy

Alexis Turns 30 — A Social Experience

The table was set. The N’Harmonics knew their cue. They would all be dispersed around the entrance to the bar and when I went up to Alexis and wondered aloud if anyone would be willing to help me sing “Happy Birthday” to her, they would… well, just watch and I think you’ll understand.

Leading up to Alexis’ 30th birthday I was very perplexed about what to get her. Gradually a plan began to evolve in my head. I wanted to take her to the Book of Mormon, but once I looked at ticket prices, I knew that was out of my range. Or was it?

Since I was successful using a Fundrazr campaign to solicit gifts — funds to help me get to my friend’s wedding in Wyoming — for my birthday earlier in the year, I thought the same formula could be used again. It had a somewhat oblique application to mine, but I thought it would still be respected. I would ask Alexis’ friends from near and far to donate to her birthday to help buy her ticket to the show and I would pay for my own.

In order to do this, I would need to take over her Facebook page so that I could appeal directly to her friendship network. After consulting with the tech support folks at Fundrazr and really delving into Facebook’s privacy settings, I knew that was my only option. Fortunately she relented pretty easily. Once the page was active, donations began to steadily stream in. I know Alexis has a lot of really good friends, many of whom I count among my own friends, but it was impressive to see the generosity up close and personal.

Now that the tickets were in the works, I started to think about how to say thanks to the people that helped to fund the birthday present and also how to deliver the tickets to her. I knew that she really like a cappella singing and that’s when the idea popped into my mind to try and find a singing group to serenade her using a flashmob style. Then I would present the tickets. And finally, to close the loop, I would film the whole thing and personalize the piece by adding a note of thanks from the both of us at the beginning of each video.

I took to searching the internet for a local a cappella group and came upon a group of singers from NYU called N’Harmonics. I reached out to them and was happy to hear back from Francesca. She helped me coordinate the effort, culminating in a meet up around the corner from the Swift Hibernian Lounge where I had stationed Alexis with a good friend and co-conspirator, Danielle.

To watch us thank our friends, click here>

Logo Re-Design for Youth Leadership Development Academy

Young Leaders Dialogue with America Logo

The Young Leaders Dialogue with America is sponsored by the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. It is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), and provides strategic opportunities between emerging leaders from Central Europe and the Baltic States and their U.S. counterparts on issues of mutual concern.

The program connects young leaders from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, with young leaders from across the United States to exchange ideas and information as it relates to three “dialogue” themes: New Challenges in Transatlantic Security, Climate Change and Environmental Issues, and Tolerance and Diversity.

Working closely with IIE staff and Program Officers at YLDA, a graphic solution was achieved and implemented as a way to quickly communicate the goals and ideals of the Academy. Different versions of the new logo are used throughout YLDA’s website, in print publications, and during conferences.

Digital Asset Management Solution for IIE

IIE Media Port Interface Design

The Institute of International Education is a large non-profit organization that administers over 200 programs serving more than 20,000 individuals each year. IIE provides a wide range of services to and manages or administers programs for many corporations, foundations, government partners, and international agencies.

In order to provide a safe, user friendly environment to upload and share photos, documents, and videos I was contracted to help implement a new system from the ground up. Working closely with our hosting partner, Widen, IIE Staff and I created IIE Media Port to reflect the Institute’s branding and mission.

In less than a year since its inception, IIE Media Port held more than three thousand digital assets with over 700 users worldwide. The social sharing site was used to collect hundreds of photos from students all over the globe during the 2nd Annual IIE Photo Contest. The contest was much easier to run due to the central, easily accessible nature of the site.

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