Communications and Marketing Manager, Medical Education
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
We caught up with MéLisa Best to discover more about her, what she’s up to, and what we can learn from her.
Briefly describe your current role.
I often say that I am a creative agency of one, and that’s because, as the sole marketer on my team, I can be a creative director, video producer, graphic designer, copywriter/editor, and more, at any given time. I’ve been with the Department of Medical Education for the past five years, and what’s excited me the most has been my connection with the student body and being a conduit to sharing their stories and wins.
What achievement in your current job are you proud of?
Most recently, like many organizations over the past year, we’ve had to do a pandemic pivot in how we promote our programs, offerings, and admissions initiatives for prospective students. After understanding the challenge and needs from my stakeholders, I researched and identified a new platform to create a microsite, while bringing together digital marketing teams, faculty, and students to contribute to the campaign strategies and video productions.
This collaboration led to successful results within the first quarter, namely 4,500 unique page visits with a 0% bounce rate and a high engagement rate with returning visitors spending about 12 minutes on each of the eight videos on the microsite.
And while stats and data are necessary to comb through, the thrill truly came from the creative process to make this happen: scripting and envisioning the microsite and videos, interviewing and working with the on-screen talents, and collaborating with my teams by leaning into their expertise to promote it at its best.
What success have you achieved with limited resources?
Last year, the Office of Student Affairs asked me and my special events colleague to develop a campaign to encourage participation in the annual AAMC Graduation Questionnaire. We had limited time to create the campaign, a limited budget, and a sudden pandemic to contend with. Through it all, my colleague and I put our best feet forward in pivoting and executing the campaign, and now it’s a proud bronze GIA Awards for Excellence winner.
What is the best career advice you were given and how have you used it?
One of the many mentors in my head has been Carla Harris—a powerhouse and Wall Street executive veteran. In her 2019 TED Talk, she said: “The way to grow your power is to give it away, and your voice is at the heart of your power. Use it.” Too often, many cower for fear of what others may think. I’m proud that I am taking heed to Carla’s advice by unlearning this concept, and instead showing up fully, speaking up when it’s needed, and advocating for others. It feels good.
What advice do you have for other institutional advancement professionals in academic medicine?
I am constantly inspired by the world. Creative ideas literally unfold before our eyes when we open them. As we continue to advance academic medicine, we can always learn from each other through the invaluable resources GIA provides, but I also believe that industries beyond our world can be a major source of inspiration for campaigns, branding identities, and more.
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