By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Direct mail can be a highly effective way to solicit alumni gifts, the key is to make the package feel special. First and foremost, it should stand out from the often used letter and business sized envelope. It may cost more to produce, but the return on investment will pay off.

Rockhurst High School made their appeal much more personal by placing a variable class image and copy on the cover of the mailer that represented the alumni’s year of graduation. They appealed to the alumni and their classmates, because they knew first hand the benefit of a Rockhurst education, to help them give that same gift to the next generation.

The mailer was sent in a clear envelope so that the recipient could immediately see the variable image and copy, making it more likely to be opened. A personalized letter and return envelope were also included in the mailing.

The quality of the package was so high that when prospects received it they knew that they were part of an exclusive and important group, it made them feel special.

Rockhurst Direct Mail Project Rockhurst Direct Mail Project

The mailing raised over $100,000 the first week.

Leadership gift donors are some of higher education’s most important constituents, and the way you go about asking them to increase or renew their support can be a delicate process.

No doubt, the most effective way to solicit a leadership gift is through a face-to-face conversation. But, when that’s not possible, customizing your direct mail appeals with personal touches can go a long way toward making those donors feel important and helping to guarantee that your message stands out and generates your desired response.

Rockhurst Direct Mail Project Rockhurst Direct Mail Project

Kat Gets to Ring the Survivor's Bell!We are so incredibly grateful that Kat will be having her last treatment on March 8th and she will get to ring the Survivor’s Bell at KU Medical center. We will all be right there with her as she rings that bell!  We’re so incredibly happy for her.

The tradition of ringing the bell after cancer treatment is such a significant moment – a point in time that signals the end of treatment and being cancer free. The bell is often referred to as a Chemo Bell or Survivor’s Bell.

The videos of children and adults ringing the bell on YouTube are heart-warming….

Grace Rings the Chemo Bell at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Kathryn McDanielBell Ringing for Cancer Survivors

Bell ringing is now widespread among cancer clinics around the United States. The honoree rings the bell and often reads a wall-mounted poem alongside the bell.  This event is intended to provide a sense of closure to a very, very difficult experience.

If you haven’t come by to see Kat recently, please stop by to say hello and congratulate her on her upcoming bell ringing! Through her treatment, she has kept that incredible smile each and every day, even through the toughest of times. I literally do not know how she does it, she just does.

We are so thrilled to be RINGING THE BELL WITH KAT!!!

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

MEDiAHEAD and HNTBI recently sat down with Amy Wilkinson, National Program Manager at HNTB to discuss the long-term relationship HNTB has had with MEDiAHEAD. I wanted to know all the specifics, as I was curious about several things. Kat, the owner of MEDiAHEAD established this relationship over 25 years ago, and it’s been going strong ever since.

What makes MEDiAHEAD stand out as a provider of services to HNTB?

“The differentiator is quality, customer service and brand compliance. Kat knows her stuff; she knows equipment, paper and the process. MEDiAHEAD is always willing to go the extra mile.”

What was life at HNTB like prior to using your MEDiAHEAD portal?

Amy said, “It was very unorganized. Each division was doing their own thing; everyone was on their own.” (One thing MEDiAHEAD knew going into the relationship was that they had trouble with brand continuity and brand control.)

What problems were you looking to solve with the portal?

HNTB: Amy Wilkinson

HNTB: Amy Wilkinson

“HNTB wanted to put everything in one spot to save time and produce consistent quality materials. We wanted people to know where to go to get the assets they needed. With the portal, not as many hands were touching the various processes, and as a result, we didn’t need as many vendors. Streamlining. It’s a beautiful thing.”

When asked if we helped solve the HNTB problems, she said without hesitation – “yes, 100%!”

What does HNTB like most about the portal?

Amy replied, “It’s easy to use, the new look is streamlined and turnkey and people don’t have to ask where to go. The portal is very user friendly.” When I asked if there was anything they don’t like… the answer was, “No. You should never stop treating the client like they’re the only one that matters… and MEDiAHEAD does that extremely well.”

When I asked Amy if she would recommend us to other companies on a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the best, she said, “10+, no hesitation. When someone has made an error on an order, they typically call in and we always have a can do attitude. Fix it and get the order out the door. You guys get it! It’s never an imposition, and you make people feel special.”

At MEDiAHEAD, our customers come first. We always answer the phone (you won’t get an automated answering system here) and you will always get a “can do attitude” like the one Amy experiences.

To learn more about MEDiAHEAD, be sure to learn more about what our custom portals can do, check out some of the other stories on our blog, or review our work. We would love to help you!

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Kashi Plantable Wooden BookA few years ago, VML asked us to help them produce the Kashi Plantable Book. The book not only told the story of new Kashi products — it literally became them.

Everything you needed to grow their ingredients in their products was contained in the book.

“A book about plants that becomes plants that become fuel for your active life.”

The organic text pages had seeds embedded in them, and the client was encouraged to rip out a piece of seed paper and plant it somewhere where they could watch it thrive. (Singing it love songs was optional, but encouraged.)

The tool to plant the seed was also included, the book had a thick wooden cover. The back cover was a planting spade that could be punched out and assembled.

Kashi Plantable Wooden BookNeed a pot? A sheet of coconut fiber was included that could fold up into a nifty little vessel to start the seedlings. When they were ready the whole planter could then be planted in the ground.

Next, a dirt page was included – just crumble and go.

Garden markers could also be punched out to identify the plants.

Even instant water was included!

After coming under fire for mislabeling its foods as “natural,” Kashi lost the trust of some of their biggest fans. So the company had to completely reinvent its products with more natural, plant-based ingredients. And with the Kashi plantable book, VML successfully helped Kashi re-establish trust with consumers as a brand with real, natural and completely plant-based ingredients.