From Springfield, Missouri to Springfield, Illinois, MSU 2017 alumna Liz Armbrecht has been developing her writing skills for the digital world. Liz started at Missouri State working on her bachelor’s in professional writing, later earning her master’s in writing with a focus on professional and technical writing. During this time, she was working in the College of Business’s Marketing Department, managing digital media as a graduate assistant (GA). Now you can find her working as a marketing and communications specialist copywriter at Springfield Clinic in Illinois.
Liz feels that digital media “picked her” during her time at Missouri State. Marketing instructor Sherry Cook helped her see how she could apply her strong writing skills in the marketing field through jobs at Meek’s Lumber and the COB Marketing Department.
By creating content for blogs, social media and YouTube, the Marketing Department was really what launched Liz into digital media and has carried over into what now is her career. “Being a GA at the Marketing Department was a huge asset because I do most all of these things in my current job!” Liz says.
As a GA, Liz wrote blog features on students, faculty and alumni; produced promotional videos; designed gifs and graphics and managed the department’s Twitter account. Part of that also included planning marketing strategies at the beginning of each semester. At Springfield Clinic, when Liz starts working with clients she puts together a proposal to accomplish their marketing goals. She works to balance what they want within a digital marketing plan. The overlap between these positions has really helped her get started.
Now, Liz often interviews doctors, specialists and employees to feature their roles. “My job at the Marketing Department taught me how to prepare productive interview questions, take good notes and recognize and uncover the story’s narrative after the interview–and then write the feature article, of course!”
Her favorite project to date was Springfield Clinic’s early 2018 Cancer Center online and social media campaign. The doctors at the Cancer Center approached Springfield Clinic about running an awareness campaign where Liz and her team interviewed patients who shared their stories about received care at the Cancer Center.
“It was conceptually really cool because we came up with this idea of a “care spectrum,” meaning looking at and bringing attention to all the caregivers in a patients’ life, including friends, family, nurses and doctors,” Liz says.
She first sat in on the interviews, then wrote features to be published on the website. Finding it both fun and rewarding, Springfield Clinic’s social media audience genuinely engaged with the patients and their stories in a special way.
Overall, Liz does all the writing for the Marketing and Communications Department. This includes print ads, radio spots, feature articles, press releases, internal and external emails, basically anything and everything that requires text. On top of all this, Liz is also the chief manager of the company’s internal communications app. Here she posts at least once a day to a social media-esque news feed about things going on around Springfield Clinic, schedules captivating content and monitors engagement.
She also does all of the copyediting and proofreading so nothing leaves the department without her looking at it, sometimes two or three times. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll find Liz revising outdated flyers, transcribing an interview for a longer article feature, helping a coworker condense text for an Instagram story or updating the company style guide.
Liz predicts the future of digital media as delivering more and more pieces of marketing campaigns and patient education materials through video, animation and graphics. She already sees a lot of response when she chops up a healthcare topic into infographic “slides” and delivers it through an Instagram story or Facebook carousel.
As digital media continues to evolve and expand, its most consistent aspect is that it’s always changing. “It’s important to keep up, always be reading and always be scrolling through competitors’ Instagram feeds to see what they’re doing that’s cool. Only then can you be really successful and a leader in the digital space,” Liz says.