Minneapolis Southwest High School robotics, FIRST team 2129, is a student-run robotics team and one of the first founded in Minnesota.
As a volunteer with the team, I worked with students and mentors each year to connect with the local business community and ask for support. I also helped create and manage the team brand, coordinating the website, Twitter, and Instagram.
2016-17 Communications Plan
Working with a group of students, we came up with long and short-term plans to develop relationships with community organizations, other schools, and local companies that included cold calls, follow up emails, outreach events and the school newsletter. With some sleuthing, we were even able to uncover and start using the team Twitter account that was dormant for many years, but had more than 400 followers.
Branding and Outreach Materials
I helped the team develop a color palette and coordinated between the students and a graphic designer on a new logo. I have created templates for the team to create materials, but I also put together fliers, posters, banners, sponsorship materials and anything else the team needs.
Web Content Strategy and Management
The team updated the look and feel of their site in 2015, so the 2016 goals included updating the content and making sure the website was a little cleaner and more useful for visitors.
To improve the user pathways on the site, I talked with the students about who was visiting the site, and what actions they needed to take. From there, we developed clear user pathways to drive our visitors to one of three goals (sponsor the team, join the team, read the blog).
Our next step was a web content audit, reviewing what needed to be updated, discarded, and created. We added more storytelling and images to help visitors understand more about the FIRST Robotics program.
We also created a plan for regular, consistent updates to the current season blog to help the team show off their work to sponsors, parents, and other students who might be interested in joining.
Social Media Management
Working closely with the team we selected Twitter as our main social media channel because it had a large following already and seemed to be the best channel for the team to reach potential sponsors and connect with other FIRST teams. You can follow them at @swrobotics.
I worked with the team to plan for a redesign of the team website in the spring of 2018 before graduation and handing the reins over to a new parent volunteer.
Contact the team at email@example.com if you are interested in sponsoring the team or volunteering as a team mentor.