Monday, April 19, 2010

Stopgap Measure or Elegant Solution?

Sometimes my clients come to me and want something now. The ambition of the project they describe within the timeframe they propose will not produce the quality they want and we both know it. I can either say no to the work, dive into the equivalent of a professional “all-nighter” or come up with an option that is not exactly what the client first imagined but can be done well within the timeframe – an elegant solution. I've recently found myself casting about for a similar solution to something I want done right now.

Jane Friedman wrote an excellent post last week about not being able to do everything you want all at once. She was talking about her fiction writing but the lessons are universal. I can relate. In a perfect world I would continue to do the exciting work I’ve been doing with my clients, finish the book I’m working on as well as two others I have in mind, have fun with the family I love, practice yoga every day, write a daily blogpost and keep up with my colleagues on Twitter and Facebook, take my own advice on how best to position and market my business, teach more writing workshops, travel more for pleasure and learn two more languages. I can’t do it all (at least not at the same time) so I do what I love and need to do most right now: work, family, book #1, yoga.

All this is a long way of zeroing in on keeping the blog promise I made awhile back – too long ago in bloggertime. I promised to begin posting my portfolio through my blog. Despite writing one of those posts and gathering gorgeous photos of the work from my creative partners, I have yet to begin the series. But many of these projects are already being showcased on client and partner sites. So in this single post I've created a stopgap measure -- links to several recent projects with a little bit of background on each. You can decide if it is also an elegant solution.

Scripps College
Over the last several months I've been honored to work with my alma mater Scripps College on the inauguration of the college’s eighth president Lori Bettison-Varga. My role was to work with the college to develop the inaugural theme which resulted in "The Genius of Women." I was also delighted to work with President Bettison-Varga on her speech and with Michael Bierut of Pentagram Design, who designed the emblem for the occasion. Here is the story of the emblem that I also wrote.

Yale University
One of my great pleasures over the last two years has been working with Yale Undergraduate Admissions to conceive of and write a new viewbook and a companion book showcasing Yale as a science and engineering innovation incubator, and to translate the voice and persona of those print publications to a forthcoming undergraduate admissions website. The Yale publications have been another opportunity for me to work with the incredible Michael Bierut. The viewbook has been lauded by AIGA and Higher Education Marketing.

NYU Abu Dhabi
Another Pentagram project that was fascinating to work on was for NYU’s new Abu Dhabi campus. My role was to help craft and write a vision piece for the campus that does not yet exist to be used with multiple audiences -- prospective students, faculty, parents, and partners. I can’t share a link to that piece at the moment, but here’s the curriculum guide we also did. (Be warned this is a fairly long pdf download but it's worth it to see Michael’s brilliant use of the NYU torch on the second page.)

Middlesex School
I had the fun of teaming up with Middlesex School director of admission Doug Price, with whom I worked at Episcopal High School a few years ago. Doug hired Pentagram and me to create a new student recruitment series. You can see the viewbook here. The advancement team, Pentagram and I are now working on the school’s capital campaign.

University of Pennsylvania
Over last summer and fall I partnered with CCA to create Penn’s Your Ivy campaign which included a search publication and microsite. My role was as message strategist, writer and interviewer for the storytellers featured on the site. I’m excited to be working with the CCA team again on a new brand campaign for the University of Delaware.

Some of the most gratifying and successful work I’ve done is in collaboration with Liza Fisher Norman and her team at Turnaround Marketing Communications. The firm specializes in independent school marketing. Here are a few of our recent projects and some of my enduring favorites.

William Penn Charter School
The William Penn Charter campaign series. I love these little books, which won a CASE silver award and were featured in CASE CURRENTS magazine as a unique and innovative case statement solution. After having worked with Penn Charter on a viewbook and several other projects over the last several years, in 2009 Turnaround and I created a new brand campaign – “Reinventing Classic” and a viewbook to tell that story. It’s one of my favorites.

A few of the other award-winning projects on which we have collaborated include Cheshire Academy recruitment, Chestnut Hill Academy recruitment, Germantown Friends School capital campaign, The Orchard School recruitment. We had the fun of presenting the Germantown Friends strategy at the 2010 Annual CASE/NAIS conference.

Carnegie Mellon University
A highlight last year was working with director of central marketing Marilyn Kail at Carnegie Mellon University. I was wowed by her team's depth and breadth of message and marketing savvy across all platforms. The great Rick Landesberg of Landesberg Design and I worked with the university to develop its campaign communications including a case statement. Rick and I got to team up again last winter as faculty members at the CASE Annual Publications Conference.


r.hardy said...

Andrea, your work is so impressive! Thanks for sharing it. It was especially interesting to see your wonderful work with the schools. Speaking of which, was Middlesex School used years ago in the filming of Harrison Ford's "Regarding Henry"?

Andrea Jarrell said...

Rick - Very kind of you to say. Funny you should mention Regarding Henry. That was Millbrook School and I only know that because they are another client - a wonderful school.