Strategic Brief

Adobe Spark is a web-based suite for creating and sharing digital content from social media posts to customized webpages. Utilizing sleek yet simplistic tools, Adobe Spark makes creating exciting visuals accessible to a variety of users, regardless of their background in graphic design or HTML.

The platform consists of three suites: Adobe Post, Adobe Page & Adobe Video. Adobe Post is an easy-to-use photo manipulator with preloaded themes, fonts and shapes, a perfect tool to use to create simple graphics for social media. Adobe Page is a website creator that functions as a hybrid between a blog and a portfolio, allowing the user to create a polished webpage for both text and image. Finally, Adobe Video is a simple video creator with preloaded themes, giving the user easy access to quick and simple videos.

While these tools are very useful for a user that wants to create simple graphics, the platform doesn't offer much in the ways of customization and relies heavily on pre-made themes that can't be adjusted. Adobe Spark is a perfect platform for a user who needs to create clean, polished graphics and webpages, but may frustrate users looking to personalize their creations.

For this assignment, I will be focusing on my own personal brand as a professional. As such, I want to look at homogenizing the design of all of my personal social media accounts and creating an overall brand with certain colors and logos.

In addition to this, I want to create a digital responsive resume that can be shared with employers. I would like to put together a portfolio of the work I've done to demonstrate my skills and previous work. Not only would this be for future employers, but it would also serve as a way for me to keep track of my previous accomplishments and skills. I know that having an ongoing project like a portfolio will motivate me to continue to create and learn!

In creating this strategy, I've defined 5 key audiences to try to appeal to: employers, colleagues, academics, professors and graduate programs.

While a demographical understanding of these audiences doesn’t benefit my objectives, a psychographics analysis would assume that these audiences have either an existing or potential interest in these posts and Adobe Spark, seeing as these would be professionals and academics in the same field.

However, I'm not sure whether or not Adobe Spark is widely known or used by any of these audiences; personally, I had never heard of it before this project. There is a great deal of opportunity for this platform though, as it's quick, simple and yields polished results! It would be a great tool for businesses or professionals that don't have the resources to dedicate a design team to their social media efforts.

As I mentioned above, my target audiences for this strategic brief fall into two categories: industry professionals and academics. While I don't feel as if I bring anything particularly unique in my actual skills to this audience, I believe I bring something unique in how interested I am in improving them.

Therefore, my story is to market myself as someone who is a catch-all rather than a one-trick pony. Of course, I'll have my own specialities, but I want to be able to have a working knowledge of the jobs that surround me. For example, it's not enough to just be a content creator for Family Scholar House; they needed a graphic designer and video editor as well! It may not be in my job description, but I want to be someone who is continuously learning and improving themselves, striving to become an asset to my team. I want to be someone that others can fall back on and I believe that by performing above and beyond in my portfolio will prove that I can perform above and beyond in a work setting.

My objectives for this strategic briefing are fairly simple, as I want to enhance my presence online and build up a reputation as not only a content creator, but as a strategist and manager as well! I want this to enhance both my job opportunities and my experiences in those jobs, while learning how to really beef up my personal presence online.

In order to achieve my objectives, my strategies are simple but require a good deal of extra work and heightened awareness of upcoming techniques.

First, I want to try to generate as much independent example work as I possibly can in my free time. It doesn't matter if it's freelancing for non-profit organizations or just drawing up example ads in Photoshop or Spark; I want to show that I have a wealth of skill sets that can benefit me in a variety of projects.

In order to do this, I want to build up on my creative projects just as much as I build up on my technical analysis using platforms like Sysomos or Klear. Another tactic I want to put into practice is really putting myself out more and letting people know what I can do, as I've always been sort of meek in that regard; the only way I'm going to build a healthy body of work is to put myself forward!

Second, I want to try to maintain a working knowledge of as many techniques, platforms and programs as I can. As I mentioned above, I had no idea that this design program even existed before this project and it's such a handy little tool that I can't believe I didn't hear about it sooner!

Thus, I want to keep following industry professionals, firms and professors through platforms like Twitter and Snapchat to keep on top of the latest buzz. Another tactic I want to employ is consuming more white papers and keeping on track with tech news networks like Cheddar, so I can improve my existing knowledge and inform myself on the latest developments in the industry.

In summary, I want to provide a few goals for myself to achieve by the end of the semester:

  • Establish a stronger presence on Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Start compiling past and present projects (ads, graphic design pieces, blog posts, etc.) into an online portfolio on either Adobe Spark or Carbonmade.
  • Start revising resumĂ© to include skills gained from Dr. Freberg's class (Sysomos, Klear, Hootsuite, etc.).
  • Continue to follow and engage with people in your industry to establish relationships and reputation, not because you want a job.

Another big step I could take this semester is to move forward with platforms like Adobe Spark and incorporate it in projects I take on for Family Scholar House. However, in order to do this, I need to spend more time with any reliable resources or tutorials I can find. For example:

Adobe Spark may be working with an incredibly simple platform, but it's obvious that designers can use it to create quick and clean visuals for any traditional or digital media! I suppose in some way, I aspire to be just as versatile!

Adobe Spark Page Tutorial. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2017, from https://spark.adobe.com/page/EKAHg/

Danko, J. (2016, June 30). How To Create Gorgeous Web Magazine Style Pages. Retrieved March 9, 2017, from http://www.diyphotography.net/adobe-spark-page-create-gorgeous-web-magazine-style-pages/

Lawrence, R. (2016, September 29). Adobe Spark. Retrieved March 9, 2017, from https://www.lynda.com/Higher-Education-tutorials/Adobe-Spark/479804/542054-4.html

O'Toole, D. (2016, December 15). How to Make Facebook Ad Images with Adobe Spark [Video Tutorial]. Retrieved March 9, 2017, from https://focalise.ie/how-to-make-facebook-ad-images-5-minute-adobe-spark-tutorial/

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