American Cancer Society

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Being the father of a cancer survivor, it was a natural fit to work for the American Cancer Society. As VP of Strategic Marketing, I oversaw and planned digital marketing initiatives for the Great West Division.

In several cases, I worked on national projects — or, in the case of the More Birthdays iPhone app, divisional projects that became national projects. Here is the video demo of that application.

The More Birthdays app is one I am proud of because it was the first major iPhone or mobile application ever developed by the American Cancer Society. I created the initial vision for the app and then worked with WeLikeSmall to have it developed.

A few other projects with ACS:

  • Social media strategy
  • Email marketing for recruitment
  • Facebook application (in development)
  • Negotiation on external community (in development)
  • Internal community for problem solving (in development)

A key project I worked on during my final months with ACS was a turnkey solution for email recruitment. Previously, the vast majority of recruitment to find volunteers was done in person and over the phone. An easier, faster, more efficient method was needed that could reach thousands of people at once.

What I did was create a system by which anyone in the division could choose to run a recruitment campaign using a landing page and email that I developed. The process works like this:

  • Quality of life manager determines they want to launch “X” campaign
  • QOL manager given choice of dates to launch the campaign
  • QOL manager determines a target audience
  • Campaign runs on pre-determined date
  • Templated email sent to target audience
  • Audience directed to a landing page to provide more info
  • Central person runs daily reports, providing list of people to be contacted to those responsible
  • Potential volunteers contacted

It is very easy for the Quality of Life manager. No need to worry about creating the email or the landing page since a template had already been created. Just notify the proper person of what campaign they want to run, when and to whom. That’s it.

So while previously we may recruit a handful or maybe a dozen of volunteers in a day, we were suddenly recruiting upwards of 100 or more. And while some may have taken the step of running an email campaign in the past, it was inefficient — they would go through the process of developing the messaging, and often used ineffective methods to collect data. It’s been a very successful tool.

While there were significant obstacles in terms of resources when developing a digital strategy in the non-profit world, it was rewarding to know that my work was making a difference in a fight that is very important to me and my family.