Still contending with the loss of the organization’s founder and her mentor Dr. Edward Bailey, with few resources and even less time, Dr. Francis Stewart, Director of the Implicit Religion Conference needed to revive an underdeveloped social media presence to promote the group’s signature conference and reach out to this subfield’s global audience.
Our goals for the campaign were to draw attention to the conference within “Academic Twitter,” warm up conversation among participants in advance of the conference, and to increase followers and engagement on twitter and thus elevate Implicit Religion’s year-round profile and long term prospects.
With three weeks to launch and working across a 6 hour time difference, I compiled the details of Implicit Religion’s existing collateral, ImplicitReligion.co.Uk (Wix) and @implicitreligio.
I staged notes detailing existing collateral, design comps and prototypes on a project site to enable Francis to review her options before committing to a design.
We launched revised social media branding, a series of graphics to promote the conference, the Edward Bailey Lecture and each individual speaker. We also discussed how to deploy the graphics before and during the conference as part of a coordinated social media strategy.
The campaign, #IR41, generated significantly more online engagement than previous conferences and a 60% increase in twitter followers in the months that followed. At the conference, participants live tweeted and drew views and comments from those who could not attend. @ImplicitReligio was able to retweet during the conference, and afterward: a student who blogged about the experience of being at the conference and speakers for the 2018 conference and from prior years who conveyed publicly their support for the organization and its Director.
The conference and the social media campaign also caught the attention of the Theology and Ethics faculty at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, U.K. They mentioned both to Francis as she interviewed for a full time faculty position. She started her position there in September 2018 and the University will now host the conference permanently.
In 2019, Francis Stewart launched the US IR conference and together we redesigned and rebuilt implicitreligion.co.uk to reflect its new institutional home at BGU, house both conferences, the launch of the Edward Bailey Center, and accommodate the visually impaired.