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102C, Wisconsin Center

Researchers Among Us

Tuesday, Oct 15 8:30 - 9:15

Presented by Lisa Coetzee and Susan Carini

You might dream of a research budget or a full-time data analyst but not have the wherewithal for either. Yet when clients ask for major projects that require new data, possible realignment of that brand, and current information about audience types and their needs, what to do? Simply make the best of the project, offering improvements at the edges, best guesses based on experience?

That is not enough. As one team at Emory University learned, all the components of a top-flight research team were at hand: we just had to come together and capitalize on the talents that were hiding in plain sight.

The presentation will look at a major website redesign for undergraduate admissions. It was prefaced by a fulsome discovery process engineered by harnessing the individual talents of the staffers in the admissions office and central communications.

In the end, the teams carried out an agency-quality discovery and strategy process, based on real data, that was both nuanced and comprehensive, not only influencing the successful rollout of a major website but improving messaging across all channels.

Attendees will learn what a discovery process for a major website should consist of and, where the work must be done internally with limited resources, how to call forth a team that will be up to the task. For each team member, the professional development benefits will be considerable. With the right organization, clear goals, and everyone’s willingness to stretch, success on major websites can be achieved institutionally, departmentally, and individually.



Lisa Coetzee

Director of Communications, Office of Admission

As the director of communications, Lisa Coetzee does more than wrangle commas. With more than 15 years of editorial and outbound marketing experience, she’s obsessed with data, strategy, and innovation. It’s all about creating amazing content that’s absurdly useful and effective. (She also works with internal clients as editor, strategist, cheerleader, and trip advisor of area day hikes.) Throughout her career, Lisa has worked with a range of organizations–from an international nonprofit service organization, to a large public research university, and now Emory, a private research university. No matter which hat she’s wearing, her goal is simple–to bring strategic, measurable success through game-changing content.

Susan Carini

Executive Director of Communication

As the executive director of communication for Emory’s central communications, Susan Carini led the editorial team that managed the workshops, focus groups, and stakeholder interviews guiding the discovery process, as well as overseeing the content creation. After beginning her career as the managing editor of a university press, Carini came to Emory, where she led the creative group for many years. She now serves on the academic communications team responsible for the student life cycle and faculty thought leadership. Carini’s charge, passion, and daily delight is to generate copy that advances the Emory brand as it catches the ears and ears of the university's many audiences, calling them to action.