MSK Partners

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Design, communication and what's on our mind

On the Move

Without wishing to add something that smacks of business to your vacation plans…if travels take you to the London area this year, we’d highly recommend a visit to The Museum of Brands. It’s a terrific collection of products, packaging and marketing materials from the Victorian era to the present. It’s like flying through history with the eyes of a consumer or marketer. Be sure to check if any of the excellent talks or masterclasses are going on during your visit.

Filed under: Design

A Good Read

If you’re involved in institutional fundraising or campaign leadership then Jim Langley’s Comprehensive Fundraising Campaigns: A Guide for Presidents and Boards is certainly a must-read. It’s not the newest of books, but remains an industry standard for those considering or launching a new campaign.

Filed under: Higher Education

Rams Takes On Design

In this interesting article, Gary Hustwit talks about his new documentary “Rams” – as legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams indicts the world he helped to create. The official trailer is in the article and definitely whets the appetite. There’s a link at the end for premiere events prior to release to digital platforms in December.

Filed under: Design

Journalism and Storytelling

Pop-Up Magazine is inspired by a magazine but is performed onstage, creating an immersive experience that uniquely blends journalism and storytelling with music and other mediums. Here’s an excellent review of how its co-founders have learned to engage with an expanding audience.

Filed under: Communication

Social Media Insights from Sprout’s Social Index

Figuring out a social strategy that’s right for a specific organization’s mission, audience, and goals can be tricky. Thankfully, companies like Sprout Social have done loads of research and were kind enough to share it with our friends at Maven Communications. Here are some of the most important takeaways from Sprout’s Social Index for social media marketers.

Filed under: Communication, Technology

The Power of Penn

Our long-time client, the University of Pennsylvania, recently announced “The Power of Penn: Advancing Knowledge for Good,” a $4.1 billion fundraising and engagement campaign. Broad campaign initiatives include expanded student opportunities, pioneering work in healthcare, driving energy solutions, incubating innovation and entrepreneurship, and enhancing research across disciplines.

Filed under: Higher Education

VC Trends

PitchBook has released their latest report showcasing what went on in the US venture capital industry during the third quarter of 2017. A couple of key takeaways:

  • As of the end of the third quarter, this year is set to reach a decade-high in terms of total VC investment—but deal activity is on pace to decline sharply for the second year in a row.
  • Software is the most popular industry for VC investors, a trend that’s remained unchanged as the years have gone by. Other industries are maintaining historical figures, too.
  • The West Coast has been home to the lion’s share of completed deals and deal value, followed by the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes New York. A visual summary and link to the full download is here:

 

Filed under: Technology

A Digital Year

2017 has been a banner year for email newsletters that we’ve developed and mailed for various clients including the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins Medicine. In each case, these have been highly targeted (both audience and content) and therefore are producing strong results. Whether directed at donors, patients, staff, or parents, these have grown to become a vital part of the media mix for clients looking to engage an audience on a more regular basis – particularly where video can add an new element to supplement our print magazines that continue to reach the same audience. Let us know if we can help enhance your digital reach or recommend new ways to create print and digital balance.

Filed under: Communication, Technology

Following the Founder

For over eight years, we’ve served the University of Pennsylvania developing key print and digital communications programs for fundraising, admissions and alumni relations. Our recent work for Penn Engineering’s annual giving fund shows how the School has taken founder Benjamin Franklin’s words to heart by continuing to change, adapt and innovate. The campaign features large images and brief text describing recent advances including adding 165,000 square feet of engineering space, increasing tenure track faculty size by 30 percent, and significantly increasing course offerings to connect resources with talent. Results? Fundraising and application numbers are both record-breaking.

Filed under: Design, Higher Education

Moving the Needle

Independent and private schools face unique challenges – and also unique opportunities – when it comes alumni cultivation and stewardship. CCS Fundraising has published an interesting white paper called “Moving the Needle from Alumni Engagement to Alumni Giving,” Co-authored by Detroit Country Day School (DCDS), you can download the report and discover how DCDS developed stronger bonds with their alumni and dramatically boosted their giving.

 

Filed under: Communication, Higher Education