It’s been a busy few months at Girl Effect for me. I got promoted (yay me) and now lead content strategy across the organization. We also rolled out the first social campaign for the Nutritional International project and most excitingly we launched my passion project for the last few months Big Sis, Girl Effect’s first ever chatbot!
Big Sis uses guided conversation to answer girls’ questions about sexual health. Girls using Big Sis are guided through entertaining, informative content with quizzes (you know I had to have quizzes), to test their knowledge on sex, sexuality, contraception, and relationships.
Learn more about the iterative UCD process we employed to build Big Sis here.
We recently showcased our pioneering girl to experts at the Global Digital Health Forum in Washington DC. The forum is the leading networking event for global public and digital health experts from more than 100 countries.
Last week I hosted a breakfast panel launching Girl Effect and Vodafone Foundation’s #girlsandmobile research to the development community! The event was a preview of one of the biggest studies ever conducted on girls and mobile. Later that day I had the pleasure of participating in the public launch at the Social Good Summit, where 16-year old filmmaker Zuriel Oduwole introduced the report with a fantastic presentation that had us all on our feet! Read more about it here.
Know how hard my insights and evidence colleagues worked on this, so well done team!
Under my editorship seventeen South Africa saw exciting growth and changes…this is the highlights package…
WINNER: AdMag Award Best International Title: seventeen
SILVER: AdMag Award in the Youth Culture Category: seventeen
GOLD: AdMag Award Innovative Digital Publishing Category:
WINNER: PICA Best Consumer Title International General Interest: seventeen
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PICA Consumer Publishing Excellence Online Solution: seventeen.co.za
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PICA Consumer Publishing Excellence Supplements: Deluxe in seventeen
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PICA Best Consumer Title International General Interest: seventeen
In 2009 seventeen launched an innovative holiday internship programme, where a team of 12 readers is selected to guest-edit an issue of the magazine as part of the 17 Academy. This project was spearheaded by me to get girls real-world career experience while connecting with readers in an interactive way.
17 Academy gives readers a chance to co-edit an issue of seventeen working alongside editors in the fashion; features; and marketing departments, gaining invaluable job skills. This also allows seventeen a first-hand opportunity to interact with and learn more about its core target market.
Read about it straight from the girls on http://17intern.blogspot.com/
In 2010 seventeen launched Camp seventeen: the ULTIMATE SEVENTEEN EXPERIENCE
The 6-day camp was conceptualized by seventeen’s marketing team and myself as a fun learning and growth experience…the camp was sponsored by Lentheric Hoity Toity in association with Code Teen
Top Teen Achiever Awards
Launched in 2005 as a drive to highlight and reward the incredible accomplishments and contributions of the country’s teen girls, the competition has been hailed as one of the best youth initiatives of its time that focus on great role models whilst encouraging teen girls to look at success as more than just being top of your class, or how much money you earn. Read more here
During my time we also introduced some innovative brand extensions and editorial initiatives including:
The first 17 Dance supplement, bagged as part of the July/August 2011 issue featured 50 pages of dance-specific articles including features to find the perfect dress, hairdo, makeup looks and more for the Matric dance.
Seventeen Cover Look
seventeen launched the Cover Look competition in 2009 where one lucky girl could win the chance to be on the cover of their favourite magazine. In year one the prize sponsor Maybelline cosmetics, gave away a prize package including a R100 000 modeling contract.
seventeen launched it’s first reader panels with the style counsel in 2008 where readers are selected to be an expert advisory board to the editorial team, giving advice to their fellow readers and keeping the editorial team on the pulse of the latest youth trends. Style counsel grew into a yearly Super Stylist contest where retailer Edgars gave away a seat on the counsel for a styling reader. Seventeen also launched the Varsity 5 in 2010 and Beauty Smarties in 2011.
Less than a year after launching as a global brand Springster has landed, it’s first big donor partnership. Over the next two years, we will be working with the amazing Canadian non-profit Nutritional international to target malnutrition among adolescent girls in Indonesia using our thriving mobile community.
We all gathered at the Canadian Embassy recently for the launch of the partnership
(yeah that’s me in the red listening intently to your CEO Farah’s speech….hi mom)
Read more about the event here and you can watch our super cute video that gives an overview of the work we’re doing below.
I spoke at the 2018 International Social and Behavior Change Communication Summit exploring the thorny oxymorons that the development sector routinely wrestles with as it integrates digital platforms into behavior change work.
The panel was moderated by Laura Baringer, Senior Manager Girls Connect (Girl Effect) and included Kecia Bertermann, Senior Manager Evidence, Girl Effect, Linda Raftree, Independent Consultant, and Samantha Jackson, Managing Director, Percolate Galactic
We discussed how we can we both enable greater voice and participation while still ensuring that we are protecting young people and their privacy. We shared how on Springster and the work we do at Girl Effect we collect the data needed to be able to adapt platforms and content to users needs and interests while minimizing the data we collect so that were respecting privacy and reducing the potential for data breaches. We explored how we use our data to understand the contribution of mobile and online platforms to behavior change whilst complying with privacy laws and regulations?
The secret to content that connects with girls? Listening to what they care about and creating platforms that move with them. I wrote this piece about how we at Girl Effect approach our content development process and the key to connecting with girls in authentic and impactful ways. Read more…
After 2 and half years as the digital content mama on GEM working with amazing media non-profit Girl Effect, I’m excited to finally be able to reveal our new rebrand as global girls digital brand Springster!
We traveled to 5 countries to talk to girls about what they wanted from GEM and girls told us they wanted to be part of something, as well as support and celebrate each other. We listened and responded with Springster, a brand that aims to build a community-focused identity and attitude, celebrating the diverse, inspirational and convention-defying experiences of all girls.
The branding is beautiful and it was amazing collaborating with the incredible brand team at Design Studio in London. But it’s not just our new illustrations (all done by an amazing female team we handpicked from almost every corner of the world) and fun UX that made this an amazing project for me, it was seeing how we’ve grown and evolved and learned with girls to bring them an even better version of our platforms. I have to give us all a pat on the back… we did good!
You can learn more about Springster in our factsheet