Election 2016 graphics social strategy

When tasked with running the @PostGraphics Twitter account on Election Night, I knew excellent planning and communication was our only chance of posting fast, accurate, consistent and beautifully-designed social media content. After a kick-off meeting with a small cross-departmental team from graphics, design, politics and audience engagement, I started a spreadsheet to organize ideas, including information about ideal promotion timing, templates and division of labor. I also expanded my involvement in the project to include the week leading up to the election and to encompass all visuals shared on the main Washington Post Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as @PostGraphics.

I worked with Emily Chow from design to plan visuals and assign work between graphics and design. I coached graphics team members to create insightful, informative and consistently-branded social cards. I also designed many of the cards myself and updated them live as results came in.

All of the planning paid off — we had a smooth election night with smart content and strong branding.

Design challenges

While some social cards could be made in advance, others would need to be updated live as results came in. In both cases, the design work was done in advance and we planned for all possible outcomes. We also made sure no one person was updating multiple live social card templates. This kept us speedy throughout the night, without letting the quality of our designs suffer.

Favorite Takeaway

While our design work was top notch, I’m most proud of our communication wins. I kept everyone in graphics, politics and audience engagement up to speed on what we were planning and when each item would be available. I checked in multiple times to make sure we didn’t have any content blind spots and I also worked with Emily Chow to make sure everyone posting to social accounts knew where content was stored.

This kind note passed along to my editor, Kat Downs, means the world. I love building relationships around the room, collaborating and making people’s day easier.

"I know you know this, but I just really wanted to reiterate how fantastic graphics and design have been the past few days. Everyone was amazing about communicating what was available and what was coming, making it easy to find, and helping out with emergency requests and last minute changes. All our social platforms were blanketed with a really consistent look for results, winners and context and that wouldn’t have happened without such great coordination – and definitely couldn’t have happened so quickly amidst the chaos without it. Emily Yount and Emily Chow in particular were key to helping us get through everything without losing our bearings.”

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Role
Graphics social media lead
Designer