The Municipal Art Society of New York
Since 1875, MAS has been the leading voice for a livable New York City. As their Digital Communications Manager, I integrated a new CRM system and served 7 departments across web, email, and social media. Weekly tasks included project management, content planning, copywriting, UX design, programming, testing, and documentation. My strategy was to improve the customer experience and production throughput. I accomplished this through ongoing systems analysis, continuous UX improvements, consolidating distribution channels, streamlining workflows, and training staff.
- New CRM system for newsletters, events, memberships, donations, and walking tours
- Custom content templates for editors
- Improved CMS administration for user roles, content types, and analytics
Tech / Design
Prior to my arrival, MAS had various SaaS providers which required manual data syncs. When a CRM vendor was selected to combine all services, I led the integration with a partner agency for events, newsletters, donations, memberships, and walking tours. To better serve and retain customers, I created interest categories so people could manage what emails they receive, and staff could better target appropriate audiences. Clear login and password reset flows were also made. Following the rollout, I coordinated staff training and wrote clear documentation.
Memberships / Fundraising
To generate operational revenue aside from large foundations and donors, MAS has tiered memberships and donation forms (single and recurring). Fundraising campaigns are run throughout the year. Together with staff, I managed landing-page content and calls-to-action, created forms, email appreciation letters, receipts, reminders, and member vouchers for walking tours.
Every week, I met with each department to develop their editorial calendar. This entailed publishing new articles to the website and highlights for the email newsletter. Within the CRM, I designed and coded email templates, forms, signup/opt-out flows, and user interests. Other MAS microsites were occasionally created and retired.
Campaigns included urban planning and design, historic building preservation, and public art. Each had a landing page with explanatory info, multimedia, calls-to-action, associated articles published on the MAS website, and occasional emails for campaign updates. I regularly discussed content updates, activity promotions, and targeted emails with campaign staff.
Various events included a yearly conference, a gala, a 9/11 memorial, awards ceremonies, design workshops, and educational seminars. Together with each department, I developed media to meet their goals. This included event info, multimedia, registration and donation forms, and emails for promotion, registration, reminders, and post-event correspondence.
MAS has weekly walking tours and an annual “Jane’s Walk” event. With the CRM, I set up ticketed tours where members could log in for fast registration, get discounted rates, and redeem tour vouchers. Registrants received emails for receipts, PDF tickets with meeting locations, and reminders. Every few months, I would publish the new tour schedule with titles, descriptions, photos, prices, and leader bios. For “Jane’s Walk”, I created a microsite with user-contributed walking tours via a custom form. New walks would be generated as drafts for editor review before publishing.
This was a great opportunity to help people learn and participate in building a better New York City. The inherent challenge for an organization with diverse campaigns and events is communicating effectively to the right audiences. One needs a CRM for that so emails can be better targeted and so people can adjust their interests accordingly. No customer should ever be lost as a result of irrelevant or over-communication.
Secondly, the experience strengthened my product management skills. There were three customer bases to serve:
- General audiences who wanted to support a better NYC
- Organizations and individuals interested in specific issues and areas
- People interested in walking tours
I needed to translate the needs of diverse owners (issue, event, and fundraising staff) into valuable informational services and event experiences. Being the customer advocate meant through every interaction point, creating an experience that is clear, relevant, explanatory, and actionable while being aligned with the brand mission.