There are many ways beyond my primary job responsibilities that I endeavored to improve the lottery's performance. As a self-starter, I initiated projects to develop systems to enhance the quality of our internal and external communications.
Internal Communications Campaign: Team 520
Just a few months into Fiscal Year 2015, the state legislature notified the lottery that we were to increase our projected revenue for education. I heard the executive director was looking for a way to motivate the entire organization to achieve $520 million in earnings for education.
I came up with Team 520, which featured a military-inspired badge design utilizing the lottery's brand colors. The badge was printed on buttons that all employees wore. I designed mounted posters, that rested on easels at key locations in headquarters and at regional offices, that showed the progress being made. I repurposed those graphics and drafted language for intranet updates. We hit $521 million.
My experience helping develop this successful internal communication campaign inspired me to request I take the lead on the lottery's FY15 annual report, which tells the story of the organization-wide achievement. I developed the style for the entire publication, designed the cover and provided guidance to the design team on page layout. I also wrote most of the features and took most of the photographs. It was a treat for me to build a lasting tribute to the employees in every division who made it happen.
Lottery Funds for Education to Specific Programs by County
Since 2006, billions of dollars in lottery funds for education have been distributed to specific programs in each of North Carolina's 100 counties. An innovation I proposed and led transforming the way the lottery communicates this information online and in print by drilling down to the county level so that customers and other key stakeholders get a clear picture the difference lottery funds have made where they live.
To do that, we first had to get the data organized in a way that makes sense. While we received annual reports from the fiscal research division of the state legislature, the information was not consolidated in one spreadsheet and broken out by year, program and county. So I built that and had our department of finance audit it to ensure it matched the source reports. When that was confirmed, I coordinated with the lottery's senior web developer to get the data into a CSV format that our website could interpret and pull into county-specific pages. I used the same file to execute a data merge to pull the data into county-specific brochures that I designed. We also used the data to create one-sheet summaries to use as a leave-behind in legislative relations, to respond to media inquiries, and distribute at civic talks.
A key way I supported the lottery's communications team is by developing systems and documents to plan and track our work. I created a customized content calendar - nicknamed C3PO - to map out our external, internal and social media content. Our agency's social media account manager used the C3PO as a template for other clients. It has rows for media releases, blogs, intranet updates, as well as the active social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (and Instagram which is planned for launch this fall). The calendar also had rows for events related to product and promotion launches, the lottery's marketing partnerships, and broader popular culture for the purpose of identifying and taking advantage of intersections between our key messages and what was more broadly relevant and being discussed. Altogether, this made it possible for our team to get a comprehensive view of what content needed to be ready and deployed and when, improving our efficiency and performance.
Social and Traditional Earned Media Audience Tracking
Measurement is essential. To track the effectiveness of the lottery communication team's efforts, we used media monitoring tools such as Meltwater and Critical Mention. I customized the Boolean search terms to limit false positives and capture all mentions in the media of the lottery and issues of importance to the lottery. I built a spreadsheet - nicknamed the STEM report for Social and Traditional Earned Media - to record estimated audience and advertising equivalency value (AEV) on a daily basis for data to be included in the director of communication's monthly report to senior leadership. Other numbers we recorded on a monthly basis in the STEM report were Facebook reach, Twitter impressions, blog page views (using Google Analytics), and YouTube views. By tracking these numbers, we were able to report that our combined traditional and social media efforts reached an audience of 37 million in one year.