The ‘Roll Call’ series is all about introducing new faculty for the 2015-2016 academic year to the Communication Leadership community. Our next featured incoming faculty member is Joni Vanderburg-Paner. Joni has more than 15 years of experience in content development and will be teaching content strategy at the University of Washington.
Hello Comm Lead community! I taught the Multi-Platform Content Strategy class this Summer and will teach it again in Winter.
Content Strategy is such a fascinating field because it’s a fairly new discipline, and people are still defining what it is and where it can be applied. There’s so much potential to have a positive impact. Think of how often you get frustrated using websites when you can’t find what you need, don’t know where to look for things, get a dead link, find information that is outdated or confusing, or can’t use it on mobile. These are all opportunities for better content strategy.
I recently left Expedia where I managed a team of 11 content strategists for the UX Global Design team. I doubled the size of the team and helped bring content strategy to the forefront of user experience and product design. My team and I developed strategy for 14 different products. We also provided content for reward campaigns, optimization tests, and landing pages.
Since my team was embedded in a larger UX team, we had access to Expedia’s amazing user lab and researchers. I loved exploring different ways to test content efficacy, through lab studies, surveys, focus groups, and A/B test methods.
Andrea Zeller developed this class for MCDM, but was not able to teach during the summer. Since we worked together at Expedia, Andrea asked me if I would like to teach the class. I was toying with the idea of taking the summer off to spend more time with my son, and teaching felt like a great way to balance my time.
In truth I have always dreamed of being a college professor, and in the corporate world, training and development was something I was very passionate about. This may sound lofty, but to be an advocate for someone and to help them realize their full potential feels like the work I was meant to do in this world.
I love to help people make connections in the community. I’ve been living, working, and going to school in Seattle for over 20 years, so I have a large network of people I can leverage to help students with jobs, internships, or information about different career opportunities. I know who you should talk to!
Outside of work I enjoy gardening, hiking, and meditating. This spring I completed a 7 day silent meditation retreat with no talking, reading, writing, or electronic devices. It was amazing!