CONNIE KOTTMANN, APR

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/conniekottmann

SUMMARY

Communication strategist with significant experience in public relations, marketing communication, project management, copywriting, digital content development, and event planning.

EXPERIENCE

Department of Recreational Sports      Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Marketing Communication Manager, July 2018 - present

Assistant Director of Marketing, June 2015-July 2018

Marketing/Member Services Coordinator, October 2003-June 2015

Responsible for all aspects of marketing operations for a dynamic and growing university recreation department, serving an urban campus of 40,000 students, faculty and staff. Contribute to the health of the campus community by motivating, through creative communication strategies, student and member participation in a variety of recreational, fitness and wellness programming.

Strategic Communications Planning

  • Set goals, objectives, strategies and tactics to enhance Recreational Sports reputation and visibility with publics including undergraduate, graduate and professional students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, partners
    and stakeholders.

  • Set strategic direction for internal and external communications based on University, Division of Student Affairs and department missions, goals, and data from market research.

  • Develop and administer $150,000 annual budget, tied to strategic goals and objectives.

  • Execute innovative communications programs to inform publics of the wellness, social and academic benefits of participation in Recreational Sports programs and services.

  • Facilitate the delivery of consistent and uniform messaging through web, social media, email, print, video, and signage.

Branding

  • Manage department brand, educate staff on proper use of internal and University brand marks.

  • Maintain style guide and adhere to University copywriting, news distribution and identity/branding policies.

  • Ensure social media, video content and website maintain ADA compliance; train staff in ADA compliant communications.

  • Worked closely with University Marketing to rebrand the department in conjunction with university rebrand; introduced new logo and style guide.

Issues Management

  • Advise Recreational Sports leadership on initiatives that include a public relations component, identifying potential issues that could affect the department, programs or staff.

  • Oversee message development to support Recreational Sports initiatives.

  • Ensure adherence to FERPA, University photo/video privacy policies, protection of student information.

  • Work closely with the Division of Student Affairs communication staff regarding Division-wide initiatives.

Leadership, Mentorship and Supervision

  • Provide administrative oversight and mentoring for a marketing team that includes one graduate assistant and ten undergraduate graphic designers, web and social media content creators, photographers and videographers.

  • Promote student development; inspire and motivate staff to excellence while ensuring timeliness of deliverables that meet project goals and objectives.

  • Oversee staff hiring, onboarding, training, performance reviews and discipline.

  • Have mentored over 80 undergraduate employees, the majority of whom immediately entered the design, communication, marketing or campus recreation fields upon graduation.

Project Management

  • Provide oversight and quality control for the production of a high volume of communication outputs for the department, (675 in FY 2018) including

    • department website with over 40,000 unique monthly visits

    • promotional and testimonial videos

    • monthly email newsletter to over 3000 recipients

    • print collateral - brochures, info cards, flyers, news releases

    • large scale facility signage

    • direct oversight of ten social media accounts and weekly blog

    • Billboard placements, published advertisements

  • Use team-based project management and social media scheduling systems to ensure quality and timeliness of outputs.

  • Liaise with department colleagues on marketing needs on both a regularly scheduled and as needed basis.

  • Led marketing efforts for the 2013 Rams Win to Feed/Governor’s Holiday Hoops Food Drive Competition, a partnership with the Virginia Governor’s office, FeedMore Richmond area food bank, VCU Division of Community Engagement, and other VCU partners, which raised over $100,000 worth of food donations from the community.

Editorial and Content Development

  • Write and edit engaging content on the impact of programs on participants, staff and the community with the objective of increasing memberships and student participation.

  • Executive editor of annual Recreational Sports magazine, a 32-page publication that reaches over 400 stakeholders, members and partners, highlighting positive outcomes of program participants and staff, with the objective of increasing their support of the department.

  • Provide oversight of all departmental social media accounts for legal and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

  • Advise colleagues on social media tactics to increase engagement and drive participation.

  • Lead planner of four website redesigns and expansions: 2007 (20 pages), 2013 (30 pages), 2016 (70 pages)
    and 2018 (105 pages).

  • Oversee collection and analysis of website and social media metrics.

Media Relations

  • Manage and coordinate local media relationships for the department, in cooperation with University Public Affairs.

  • Serve as the point of contact for local media on print and video story development utilizing department content experts and program participants.

Certifications

Presentations

  • Everybody Can: Celebrating Inclusion, Diversity and Unique Experiences Through Storytelling,
    NIRSA National Conference 2019

  • Facilitator, Inclusion and Project Management Roundtables, Collegiate Marketing Institute 2018

  • Facilitator, Marketing Roundtable, NIRSA Annual Conference, 2018

  • Riding the Big Wave of Program Marketing, NIRSA Region II Conference, 2017


Leadership and Involvement

National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA)

  • Co-Chair, Collegiate Marketing Institute 2018

  • Awarded NIRSA Foundation 2019 Annual Conference Scholarship

  • Convener, Marketing Community of Practice, 2017

  • Judge, Creative Excellence Awards 2017, 2014

  • NIRSA Region II Communication Committee, 2017

Public Relations Society of America, Richmond Chapter

  • Judge, Cleveland Rocks! Awards, 2014

Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Vice-Chair Student Services Career Community, 2018-19

  • Lavender Empowerment Summit Planning Team, 2018

  • Great Place Initiative Career Ambassador, 2017

  • Great Place to Work Initiative Faculty/Staff Recognition Subcommittee, 2013-14

  • Rams Win to Feed/Governor’s Holiday Hoops Food Drive Competition Committee, 2013

VCU Division of Student Affairs

  • Search Committee, Student Affairs New Student and Family Services Communications Specialist, 2018

  • Quality Standards Work Team, 2017-2018

  • Creating Change Conference Scholarship Committee, 2016 - present

  • Disney Institute at VCU Planning Team, 2015-2017

  • Professional Development Committee 2017-2018

  • New Student Orientation and Family Weekend Planning Committees, 2004-2013

VCU Recreational Sports

  • Rewards & Recognition Committee, 2018

  • Signage Committee, 2017

  • Strategic Planning Committee, 2016

  • Search Chair, Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness, Recreational Sports, 2015

Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI)    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Communications Coordinator, October 1995-September 2003

Managed communication and event coordination for CaRDI, a liaison between Cornell University faculty and Cornell Cooperative Extension system field staff in 57 New York State counties and New York City.

Event Planning and Facilitation

  • Coordinated event logistics and marketing for a series of County Government Institutes with 30 attendees per session.

  • Implemented logistics and marketing for Cooperative Extension conference at Cornell with over 500 attendees.

  • Facilitator for Tobacco Settlement funds community workshop for 60 Tompkins County, NY residents.

Communication

  • Designed event and program promotional materials, white papers, and monthly print newsletter distributed to several hundred Cornell Cooperative Extension professionals and partners.

  • Created and maintained databases for all Institute contacts and programs .

  • Redesigned the Institute’s website using HTML and Dreamweaver software, transforming it from a simple single page of links to a multipage community development resource.

  • Designed the Community Development Toolbox, an online resource for community development professionals.

  • Assisted with implementation of online video training for Cooperative Extension staff across New York State.

EDUCATION

  • M.S., Communication, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

  • B.A., Art History, Purchase College, Purchase, NY

  • A.A.S., Fashion Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

SOFTWARE & SYSTEMS

  • Project Management: Basecamp 3, Asana, Trello, Microsoft Office, G Suite

  • Content Management Systems: Terminal Four, Wordpress, Squarespace, Guidebook, Innosoft Fusion web interface, Fusion GO app, Constant Contact, Robly, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck

  • Analytics: Google, Facebook Insights, Twitter, SiteImprove (ADA check)

  • Social Media management: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, Vimeo

  • Creative: Adobe Creative Cloud, Canva graphics, Camtasia video

  • Personnel Management: When2Work Staff Scheduling

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS