USQ Update

USQ Update

Communications Department 2019-20 Season Recap

Recap of strategic planning initiatives accomplished by the communications department for the 2019-20 season.

USQ is doing a multipart recap series for the 2019-20 season, focusing on strategic plan goals, additional highlights, and what’s coming next for the 2020-21 season. We are currently in year two of the latest strategic plan focused on retention, recruitment, and reach. This is part two in the series.


The communications department consists of several teams - social media, video/photography/livestream, public relations, graphic design, and merchandise. Staff in this particular department have always worked very collaboratively with one another. While some volunteer titles are specific to one team, it is common for communications staff to help on other teams as needed. For example, someone who mostly focuses on social media may do graphic design, or someone who does a lot with public relations may also assist with editorial.

Employees:

  • Mary Kimball, executive director (ED)
  • Megan Anderson, strategic planning manager 

Volunteers:

  • Paul Bovarnick, video coordinator
  • Faby Echeverria, marketing coordinator
  • Alex Henson, merchandise coordinator
  • Lacey Hoffman, graphic design coordinator
  • Lily Neumann, social media coordinator
  • Michael O’Connor, livestream coordinator
  • Tom ‘Chiddy’ Powers, photo coordinator
  • Annabel Russel, marketing coordinator
  • Gerry Taylor, video coordinator
  • Madison Vaughn, public relations coordinator

Communications Department Updates

Outlined below are the specific goals from the strategic plan each team under the communications department is currently working on and the progress that has been made in the 2019-20 season. 

Social Media

The social media team focuses on public communications and editorial features across three main platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Reach Expand engagement on social media. Developed a new social media calendar in January 2020
Reach Expand engagement on social media. Hosted livestreams of regional championships on USQ social media accounts
Reach Expand engagement on social media. Incorporated content that encouraged interaction between USQ and members, such as calls to share photos or answering a question
Reach Expand engagement on social media. Introduced USQ feature to Instagram and Facebook stories, highlighting different members of the quidditch community
Reach Expand engagement on social media. Grew number of followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Video/Photography/Livestream

This team is tasked with both the creation and curation of photography and videography projects. They also help to facilitate multimedia coverage of USQ events. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Retention Make USQ-hosted events more meaningful to participants. Hosted a livestream of at least 1 pitch at all USQ regional championships
Reach Expand engagement on social media. Built out USQ photo archive to include shots from non-USQ hosted events, which were then used on social media

Public Relations

The public relations team writes press releases about major USQ events and programs. They also communicate with external and internal media partners. 

Overall Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Reach Increase interactions of players & non-players with the league through marketing and public outreach efforts. Started a monthly eblast series recapping major announcements and important reminders
Reach Increase interactions of players & non-players with the league through marketing and public outreach efforts. Continued the “Follow the Action” series that ran in the days leading up to all USQ hosted events

Merchandise/Graphic Design

This team creates merchandise products and graphic design assets with a consistent look and feel that is bold, clean, and professional. 

Overall  Goal Strategy Year 2 Strategic Plan Goal
Retention Make USQ-hosted events more meaningful to participants. Added youth sizes to more merchandise products
Reach Increase interactions of players & non-players with the league through marketing and public outreach efforts. Created a line of graduation themed merchandise

Additional Communications Department Highlights

As mentioned in the Office of the ED recap, we onboarded 30 new volunteers this season, the most ever in five years. The communications department benefited hugely from that; eight new volunteers joined this department alone. In terms of operation this season, as a result of this growth we adjusted our internal workflow for graphic design and social media projects specifically. We transitioned everyone to a single graphic design platform for social media, which has helped create more visual cohesion on our newly added engagement initiatives. 

What’s Coming Next

USQ is beginning the process of identifying year 3 strategic plan goals. Some initial goals that have been identified are highlighted below.

  • Create a long term communication strategy for the league
  • Expand media coverage at USQ events, including previews, on-site coverage, and recaps by external media partners
  • Increase livestream opportunities at both USQ and non-USQ hosted events 
  • Improve livestream operations at USQ hosted events
  • Expand merchandise offerings
  • Update branding graphics on USQ social media channels
  • Continue to increase followers on all social media channels

Questions?

Any questions about this article can be directed to strategicplanning@usquidditch.org