“As a new entity, we had been doing more of the day-to-day work and hadn’t taken the time to think about the bigger picture of where the Engaging News Project was headed and how to get there. Nell helped us to chart a future direction, hone our messaging, and develop a clear plan for our organization. By working with us to figure out our targets, potential collaborators, and goals, Nell helped us to systematically figure out a strong path forward. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish with these plans in place.”
– Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud, Director of the Center for Media Engagement
The Engaging News Project (ENP) – now the Center for Media Engagement -- was a two-year old project housed in the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin aimed at helping news organizations better meet their democratic and business goals in a digital age. While ENP enjoyed success and the support of some key funders, they were ready to move from the project phase to an established organization with sustainable funding and a long-term strategy for achieving impact on the digital news industry.
ENP hired Nell to lead their strategic planning effort. With Nell’s guidance, ENP created an advisory group of staff and key external stakeholders. Nell led the group to analyze the external environment in which ENP operates, develop ENP’s theory of change, articulate the audiences ENP wants to target, and articulate the goals and objectives and corresponding financial projections of the next 3 years for the organization.
What Social Velocity Delivered
Theory of change
Defined target audiences
Idea funnel for evaluating new projects
New vision statement and revised mission statement
3-year strategic plan and budget
Year 1 operational plan
Because of their new strategic plan, ENP focused their project development efforts, clearly defined where and with whom they want to work, and detailed their goals for the next 3-years. They very successfully implemented their strategic plan. They identified new funders to help support the growth of the organization, expanded their collaborative partners, created a formal advisory board, and streamlined operations. In 2016 ENP became the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas. Center staff are excited about the new entity and are actively working to have a greater impact on the future of digital news.