From the Nominator
Johns Hopkins University communicators were challenged to increase engagement with the university president's annual end-of-year thank you message. To do it, we created a multimedia campaign focused on a Hopkins-centric, hard-to-solve crossword puzzle worthy of the Sunday edition of The New York Times.
The puzzle was part of a creative communications campaign leveraging digital, print, social, video, email, an in-person event, and coverage by major media outlets. The project touched every discipline within communications, from web designers and programmers, to print designers, videographers, photographers, writers, social media editors, media relations staff, and internal communications managers.
In the end, we increased engagement with students, faculty, and staff by more than 150 percent year over year. Our donor engagement was up more than 60 percent. The average audience member spent a whopping 42 minutes engaged with the content, up from less than two minutes in previous years. The project ultimately received coverage by both The Washington Post and The New York Times.
From the Judges
The Johns Hopkins crossword puzzle and promotion were clever, creative, and on-brand for the university. The team took a seemingly simple concept and considerably extended engagement through collaboration. The media coverage was excellent, and the results were impressive. All of the nominees clearly overcame a variety of challenges in the past year, whether they were related to COVID-19, staffing or budget constraints. The nominees ensured the work was on-brand in a variety of creative ways, and many professionals poured heart and soul into promoting schools and universities in the past, chaotic year.