MSA Alumni Association
Mississippi School of the Arts Alumni Association (MSAAA) had been struggling to gain momentum with its alumni base who were scattered all around the US. Though the association was a mere 10 years old at the time, it was important to activate the young alumni in order to get donations for the school, which underwent many budget cuts year after year.
A big part of its relevance was its digital presence on Facebook, however it wasn’t branded to appeal to its audience. By creating a logo mark of the school’s mascot, the Phoenix, I knew that an artistic or more expressive direction would be attractive to the vibe and interests of the alumni. I wanted it to feel cool with a sense of motion since “Rising from the ashes” is part of the school’s tagline. The new logo was designed to go on promotional items, like t-shirts and stickers.
But even with a renewed sense of interest in the alumni audience, a new logo wouldn’t be enough to really get alumni involved. After reviewing some of the alumni comments, I realized that there also needed to be a way to get the news and events out to them. That’s why I created a team of alumni to help create the Phoenix Quarterly digital newsletter. As the one in charge of art direction and content management, I wanted the feel of the newsletter to be like a magazine and take advantage of the artistic freedom we had. The newsletter contained different Alumni Spotlight articles, alumni work, and event information. The goal of the newsletter was ultimately to open doors for our artist base of alumni by either being featured in the newsletter or by gaining experience by participating in our newsletter team. A couple years later we went on to win an international gold award, the Hermes Creative Award for our work on the newsletter.
The result from all the excitement: MSAAA increased its participation online and at events, and it also increased its contacts database because of the generated momentum. During all the changes, the young association also became a non profit, and was able to raise money because the fundraisers were more successful than ever due to increased participation. Not only that but MSAAA was able to generate excitement to create their own scholarship.
As a young alumni association, whose alumni were scattered across the US, alumni were not engaged or involved at the level needed to give the association a deeper purpose and support the school. Donations were few, and people generally had a lack of interest in the association all together.
By creating new branding that promoted the association as its own separate entity from the school, this would feel more intimate to the alumni audience. Also by having graphics designed for social media and an official newsletter, alumni would be more activated and aware of events.
MSAAA increased its participation online and at events and its contacts. During all the changes, the young association also became a non profit, and was able to raise money because the fundraisers were more successful than ever due to increased participation. Not only that but MSAAA was able to generate excitement to create their own scholarship.