The Human Project has an ambitious goal: recruiting 10,000 New Yorkers to help solve our community’s biggest challenges by sharing the bits of information they create from moment to moment, every day. The study has the potential to make groundbreaking discoveries that extend and improve lives — from preventing diabetes and asthma to improving schools and relieving financial stress.
The opportunity to be part of such a pioneering research initiative is inspiring, but it is not without risk. The study directors are committed to being leaders in the ethical conduct of big data research. They will never sell or give away participants’ personal data. No researcher, government entity, or company can take a participant’s personal information. And they are taking unprecedented steps to be transparent about potential risks to participants. While protecting participants’ data and privacy is the study’s top priority, part of that protection extends to making sure that participants know exactly what they are signing up to do when they agree to join the study.
To achieve that goal, I led scriptwriting and development for an innovative online consent system that translates complex legal forms into engaging animated videos with simple language and interactive quizzes to facilitate understanding. Unlike the dense agreements consumers routinely skip reading when turning their lives over to Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook, each video is written at a sixth-grade comprehension level, with adaptations geared to teens and younger children aged 7-12. Whether providing a general study overview or walking participants through data risks and security protections, the videos ensure that participants are truly informed and comfortable with everything that study participation entails. Each video also reminds participants how the data they are sharing may help to build a build a better New York for everyone.
In the video below, for example, we go over the specific types of data that will be collected using the study’s smartphone application. The video reassures participants that we won’t be looking at the content of their emails and social media posts, or know which websites they visit when online. Rather, we’re interested in understanding their digital “habits” — the amount of time they spend visiting websites or how often they engage with friends and family through text messaging.
As part of The Human Project’s recruitment strategy, we partnered with Ogilvy and Lonelyleap to produce a video series featuring everyday New Yorkers sharing their stories and their hopes about how we can come together to build a better New York of the future.
A 90-second hero video introduces and frames the campaign.
In 2017, I led a complete overhaul of the existing Human Project website. We threw out all content and developed a streamlined mobile-friendly platform with messaging to inspire researchers, journalists, funders, and the broad public. The website was framed around our new brand narrative and upgraded to incorporate our beautiful new logo and visual identity, developed in partnership with Ogilvy.
The goal: building trust and enthusiasm about a pioneering research initiative with the potential to solve some of the toughest health and policy challenges we face today.
In addition to the main Human Project website, we are planning a multimedia microsite that will engage and educate prospective participants as they consider whether to join the study.
One of the biggest challenges for The Human Project is persuading 10,000 New Yorkers to share a wide range of their personal data, from medical and financial records to geolocation and metadata generated from moment-to-moment as they go about their daily lives. To achieve that, we need to paint a picture of the better, brighter New York City that might be made possible through the simple act of sharing that data — most of which is already being collected, bought, and sold without compensation or awareness.
At the same time, prospective participants are undoubtedly wary about the prospect of a data breach. To reassure them, we need to educate participants about the unprecedented steps The Human Project is taking to protect their privacy. Put simply: data security is The Human Project’s top priority, and their information would be far more secure in our database than in any other system where it is already collected and stored.
This document outlines the recruitment and enrollment strategy I devised for The Human Project and the many marketing resources I created to execute it, including the presentation template itself. It encompasses everything from the new visual and narrative identity we developed in partnership with Ogilvy to our planned print and digital advertising campaign and community outreach efforts that are already underway as we test the entire strategy in fall 2017.
In 2016, I led a comprehensive rebrand at New Leaders. This encompassed development of the brand strategy, producing a new suite of marketing collateral, and overseeing development of a new website: NewLeaders.org.
New Leaders got its start recruiting principals to work in America’s highest-need schools in 2000. Today, the organization trains education leaders at every level — from teachers up to superintendents. The rebrand was intended to catch New Leaders’ reputation up with its current scope of work, while conveying the vital impact of school leadership.
We anchored the brand strategy in a new tagline, “Leadership Changes Everything,” which enabled us to highlight compelling alumni stories that showcase how strong school leaders elevate teaching, accelerate learning, and build brighter futures for students. Those stories featured prominently on the new website and in print collateral. We also created a living library of alumni profiles representing the full range of programs New Leaders operates and the many cities in which the organization works. Each profile stands on its own, but together, they show the wide-ranging influence of a great school leader.
Another key component of the rebrand was development of a 200+ slide “master deck” intended to make it easy for staff members to build compelling, brand-aligned presentations. It took me just a few minutes to create this sample presentation to pitch the Emerging Leaders program to a prospective new partner. The master deck not only saved considerable time for staff throughout the organization, but also ensured that presentations were consistently polished, professional, and included the latest program outcomes data.
In 2015, I oversaw publication of Untapped, the most successful report in New Leaders’ history. Untapped transformed a dry program evaluation into a compelling, public-facing report making the case that quality, job-embedded training was essential to unleashing the transformative potential of teacher leadership.
To promote the report, I partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to launch Untapped at a Teach to Lead summit in Washington, DC, with a panel discussion featuring top officials from organizations like the Center for American Progress and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, among others. This collaboration ensured a splashy release as audience members live tweeted the conversation. By the end of the event, #Untapped was a trending topic on Twitter and more than 1,000 people had downloaded the paper.
In 2013, TNTP decided to consolidate its network of Teaching Fellows programs under a national brand umbrella: TNTP Teaching Fellows. At the same time, it was essential to retain each program’s “local flavor.” The result: a new TNTPTeachingFellows.org identity and website.
As the primary platform to recruit Teaching Fellows candidates, a key priority was distinguishing the program from the field of organizations competing for the same talent, including traditional universities and alternate route programs like Teach For America. We approached this challenge by building our brand around a central premise: We don’t train teachers — we train GREAT teachers.
Our campaign, “What Will You Teach?” highlighted the power of amazing teaching and the fullness of its impact, emphasizing that our training would prepare teachers to put children on a path to academic success while also equipping them with key skills for success in life: resilience, curiosity, creativity, pride.
We built a unique, but aligned brand identity for each of our local programs, retaining the equity in their existing names and logos, but drawing on the overarching strategy to convey that they were all part of the family.