When young adults hear “You have breast cancer,” they often turn to the internet and social media for resources, support, and to make sense of the news they’ve just received. In their searches, many find the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), which strengthens the community and improves the quality of life of young adults affected by breast cancer. Founded in 1998 by three women who were under 35 when diagnosed, they are now the go-to organization for young adults facing breast cancer.
On the front lines of YSC’s engagement with their constituents is the Marketing Communications team. They oversee the promotion and delivery of all content, events, emails, social media, and the website for the organization. As Mary Atwater, YSC’s Digital Media Manager explains, constituents are looking for helpful resources, so ensuring their website and blog are up to date with the most relevant and timely information is their team’s top priority.
“By managing our content and social media calendars in Asana, we’ve achieved a 190% increase in blog views and have seen a 175% increase in social referrals.”
Between a large volume of work requests, an inability for departments to easily track project progress, and a small team working on simultaneous deadlines and priorities, the team was struggling to keep up with everything on their plates. So they hired Steph Poland as their Operations Associate, Marketing in 2018 to help with planning, coordination, and work management.
With Steph on board and a new Associate Director, the MarCom team evaluated every workflow process in their department. They found the abundance of work requests coming from many different departments made it difficult for the team to collaborate, update departments on the status of their projects, and meet the deadlines necessary to complete quality work.Together, they needed to find a solution that would provide transparency into team processes, decrease stress for the whole team, and empower them to do the best work of their careers.
One of the first steps they took was to identify the team’s top needs. With so many different projects in flight at once, the team was looking for:
Several departments were already using Asana and were familiar with the tool, but didn’t integrate their Asana projects together. Steph looked into it further, attending an Asana Together event where she learned about Asana’s nonprofit discount. Confident that Asana’s functionality would meet the team’s needs—and with the added benefit of the nonprofit discount—YSC leadership was convinced that Asana could help the organization centralize work, increase transparency, and allow all teams to focus on the most meaningful part of their work: supporting constituents.
Since MarCom had already been using Asana, Steph focused on helping other departments learn how to use it by building their processes into it. She started by leading Asana onboarding trainings for leadership and each department so they could understand how to use key features and structure their work. Then Steph set up Asana projects and workflows for everything from requests to planning their special programs so they could easily follow along and become familiar with the tool.
Now the MarComm team, along with everyone else at YSC, uses Asana to manage all of their work—from planning the web launches for the Summit and Tour de Pink events to managing their content and brand marketing programs. By tracking their work in Asana, they’re able to focus on producing more quality resources for young adults affected by breast cancer, instead of just getting things out the door. And since they’ve streamlined their processes, they now have time to produce even more content. Here are three ways Asana has made their team more effective and engaged with their constituents:
YSC reinvented how they plan their largest programmatic offering, the YSC Summit, with Asana. Instead of relying on multiple spreadsheets—and lots of manual work—they now use project templates. This has cut planning for the web launch and promotion from 30-40 hours to 10-15 hours. They’ve also improved their review process by using dependencies and subtasks to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. With these improved efficiencies, their team has had more time to focus on generating buzz for the 2020 YSC Summit event and have been able to double their Save My Spot signups.
“With Asana, we cut the time it takes to kick off Summit planning by 80%.”
Perhaps their most complex project, YSC Tour de Pink is a multi-day charity bike ride. From registration to team management, training guides, and an app, Tour de Pink’s success relies on several departments, contingencies, and integrations. By using Asana to plan the event and hold everyone accountable to responsibilities and deadlines, the team was able to reduce the number of revisions sent to their web contractor. As a result, they improved on-time launch by 50%.
Because of their improved project timelines for YSC Summit and Tour de Pink, the whole team has more time to focus on building out quality content for their blog. Since rolling out Asana, they’ve increased their blog content output by 50% and social media content by 45%. As a result, their blog has seen a 190% increase in readers and a 175% increase in social referrals.
With added transparency and more time to focus on supporting their constituents, the YSC MarComm team has been able to dramatically improve how they show up for their community. By managing their work in Asana, they can focus on providing the support and resources that those affected by breast cancer really need as they take on one of the most difficult experiences of their lives.
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