How It Works
From start to finish, and everything in between
When an office asks for our help with a project, we like to start with a conversation that helps focus the ideas.
Here are some of the questions we discuss:
(click the questions for details)
Who is the audience?
Middlebury has approximately 10 audiences: current students, faculty, staff, potential students, parents, parents of potential students, alumni, higher-ed peers, friends/supporters, and the general public.
What is your message?
It could be as simple as “please donate by June 30.” Or it could be more esoteric, such as “Middlebury is breaking ground in experiential learning.”
What is the project’s purpose or desired outcome? How will you know if your project has been successful?
Discussing these questions can lead to unexpected places. Sometimes the direction of the project changes as a result. A brochure might morph into an HTML mailing instead. Straightforward reporting about an event might become an audio slide show. Or, the message itself might be refined and retooled.
When applicable, we look for a hook that allows us to tell a story rather than to expound about a topic. For example, if someone says, “We would like to publish an item about the importance of financial aid,” that’s a topic. It might be more effectively conveyed if we could find a story or several stories over time that illustrate the topic.
After the initial conversation, these steps generally follow:
- The creative team brainstorms
- We propose the approach we recommend to the requesting office
- A production schedule is created
- Work on the project begins (write, design, edit, research, fact check, get photography and/or art)
- We present a draft to the requesting office
- We listen to feedback
- Present again
- Proofread all text and correct any errors
- Client signs off on project
- Finished product is ready
- Evaluate how the project went and how well it met its goals