Go-to Inspiration

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Go-to Inspiration

These days I’ve got three things on my (professional) mind: websites, content and email. As USGBC’s digital marketing manager I’m constantly thinking about what USGBC needs to share with our key stakeholders and the best ways to do that.

Here’s some background on our presence in these three areas:

  1. Websites: At USGBC we manage a suite of websites, all intended to reach unique audiences and promote various products and opportunities related to sustainability and green building. Our current list of websites includes: usgbc.org, gbci.org, leed.usgbc.org, peer.usgbc.org, centerforgreenschools.org, greenapple.org, studio.usgbc.org and greenhomeguide.com. In addition to the daily management of these sites, we are also continuously working on web-based projects which advance user experience based on personas, personalization, and optimization.
  2. Content: In addition to our web presence, we are also focused on a robust calendar of content marketing strategies. This includes the creation of relevant and valuable content with the intention of addressing the needs of target audiences and changing or enhancing consumer behavior. Our current content production includes articles, blogs, case studies, landing pages, videos, podcasts, presentations, webinars and infographics.
  3. Email: In addition to our website and content marketing efforts, we also actively engage and nurture leads through one-off and automated e-communications strategies.

As I go through my week it’s important for me to stay up-to-date on the most recent marketing news and trends. This helps ensure that USGBC’s digital efforts are as relevant and effective as possible.

Here are a nine sources that I visit regularly to find inspiration and learn about industry advancements. (I also follow most of these sites on Twitter to access quick and timely updates.)

  • Think with Google (thinkwithgoogle.com) is the perfect site to discover trends, data insights and creative inspiration for marketers.
  • Adweek (adweek.com) covers media news, including print, technology, advertising, branding and television.
  • Advertising Age (adage.com) is a great source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities.
  • Mashable (mashable.com) is a leading source for news, information and resources related to digital innovation.
  • The Content Marketeer (marketeer.kapost.com) is Kapost’s content marketing blog and it’s a great content marketing guide and resource.
  • The Content Strategist (contently.com/strategist) is Contently’s online magazine and it’s a great resource for content marketing news and strategy.
  • NewsCred’s blog (blog.newscred.com)
  • For a visual pick-me-up and pure creative inspiration I also visit the following blogs:
    • Designlovefest (designlovefest.com) is a lifestyle blog with an eye for design in style, DIY, food, travel, entertaining and more.
    • Oh Joy Blog (ohjoy.blogs.com) is a blog with a focus on design, fashion, food, and joyful moments from everyday life.


Design Cheat Sheet

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Design Cheat Sheet

As a department, we’re always trying to make it easy to approach us and work with us. And because we’re involved in projects across our entire organization, it means we get to work with a lot of different people.

We always want to make sure that we’re all on the same page, so sometimes we create helpful tips and tools for our colleagues to reference. One thing that’s tough is making sure everyone understands design terms. What do you call this project? What do you call this image? How do I know what kind of timeline to expect? Below is a quick list we’ve put together explaining some of our most commonly used terms in our department!

  • Slide Deck: A group of slides that share a common theme. (Keynote, PowerPoint, or PDF)
  • Slide: A singular element for insertion into an existing Keynote, PowerPoint, or PDF presentation.
  • One-pager: An easy-to-read, one-page document used to give an overview of a subject.
  • Infographic: An illustration designed to make data and statistics easily understandable at a glance. Infographics quickly communicate a message, simplify the presentation of large amounts of data, show data patterns and relationships, and highlight changes in variables over time.
  • Data Visualization: Numerical or abstract data illustrated to aid in understanding the meaning of data; compares quantitative data. (ex: graphs + charts)
  • Template: A file used as a guide to make other similar documents.
  • Article Feature Image: A visual representation of the article content. (670 x 308 px)
  • Hi-res Image:  At least 300 dpi, but keep in mind size of the final project when selecting Images. A good rule of thumb is to aim for over 1,000 px by 1,000 px if possible.
  • Image Permissions: Images pulled from the web cannot always be used for print or digital documents. It’s best to leave image finding up to us, but we always appreciate examples of what you’re looking for!
  • Logo: A simple, but strong graphic symbol that complements an aspect of a business/product or service, sometimes combined with a wordmark
  • Wordmark:  A text treatment with unique typographic elements. The representation of the word essentially becomes a symbol of the program/entity.

Within our department, we’re using these words everyday to describe current and future projects. But it’s important that everyone understands what’s going on. So we like to ensure that we’re all on the same page! Do you have any cheat sheets you share around the office to help your colleagues out?

Want to reference these terms in the future? Download our design cheat sheet.

Meet Annie Butler

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Meet Annie Butler

Everyone: Meet Annie Butler.

Annie is a member of our innovative Studio team who specializes in managing marketing and communications projects. She has the capacity to juggle endless projects at once, manage deadlines and expectations and, most importantly, she keeps us all on track.

10 Questions with Annie

  1. Describe your role on the USGBC Marketing Team: I’m the marketing project manager for the team, which means that I assign and review all the projects coming in, as well as manage projects myself. It’s always fun to see something that starts as an idea or vision come to life as a beautiful (and functional) marketing piece.
  2. If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be? I would like to think I could do a pretty sweet rendition of the Tina Turner version of “Proud Mary.”
  3. Do you believe in aliens? I guess anything is possible?
  4. If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be? Elvis. A trip to Graceland is on my travel list.
  5. How do you contribute to USGBC’s sustainable efforts in your personal life? I walk to and from work every day, and try my best to put my trash into the correct bins after lunch.
  6. Best movie: “Rear Window”
  7. Who inspires you? My parents, they’re the best.
  8. Favorite quote or mantra: “My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.” – Jim Henson
  9. 3 things you’d take with you to a deserted island: My Kindle, some SPF 30 sunscreen and a bottomless box of cereal.
  10. Most visited website for inspiration: Feedly, it collects all of my blog loves in one place for easy reading.

Our innovative Studio team is comprised of marketing strategists, digital analysts, designers and developers. This supergroup is responsible for making sure that USGBC communicates with the world in the most effective and compelling way while maintaining our standards of sustainability. The only way we can accomplish this is through collaboration. Glad you guys took the time to meet Annie — stay tuned to meet the rest of our talented team members!