A Passion for Digital Strategy and Civic Good

I’m a Digital Strategist with over four years of experience developing and executing award-winning marketing strategies. In 2011, I received my Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno. I’m currently certified in Hubspot Inbound Marketing, Google Analytics and Adwords. As a proud Renoite, I enjoy working with clients from both public and private sectors who help to make my community a better place to live, work and play.

Monica Thompson Code for America Summit 2015

Digital Strategy in the Public Sector

I’m an impassioned, civic-minded do-gooder. During my work in the public sector, I found value in my career by driving innovation in government via the adoption of civic technology dedicated to making the delivery of services simple, effective and easy to use for all citizens.

As Digital Engagement Manager at the City of Reno, I led the strategic direction for digital engagement program. I managed branding and content for Reno.Gov, Blog.Reno.Gov and email marketing, and I grew the City’s social media community by 55 percent to a total of more than 50,000 followers. In the same timeframe, online engagement (likes, shares, retweets, favorites, comments) increased by more than 200 percent. This was achieved by authentic content and purpose-driven social media campaigns, like #ThinkReno and #ReImagineReno.

#ThinkReno was launched in April 2014. By completing the statement, “i #thinkreno can be …” residents were encouraged to share how they envision our community in 25 years. Over 1500 submitted ideas were incorporated into the 2015 City Council Strategic Planning Session. #ThinkReno was nominated as the 2015 Best in Social Media Finalist by the American Marketing Association and was awarded the 2015 What’s Next Award for Citizen Engagement by Vision Internet. Read more about the campaign. 

Monica Thompson Think Reno Campaign

Nerding Out With Civic Tech

I loved discovering innovative platforms that help government organizations better communicate with and provide services to the people they serve. I launched the first civic technology program at the City of Reno. I implemented start-up technologies like Seamless Docs and Socrata. I developed strategic implementation plans that defined: user needs, budget requirements, marketing strategies and user feedback channels. Establishing valuable partnerships between internal and external stakeholders to foster “buy-in” was imperative for successful implementation. Once technologies were implemented, I hosted workshops to foster user adoption and participation.

In July 2015, I was approached by Engaging Local Government Leaders to conduct a national webinar featuring accomplishments the City of Reno achieved during the six-month pilot program with Seamless Docs. The City saved an unbelievable 1480 hours of time savings, $41,220 in cost savings and received a 91% approval rating from citizens. Check out the webinar ‘Bringing City Hall Online‘ to learn more.

Textizen is another civic tech platform I implemented at the City of Reno. In 2014, an engagement objective for the communications department was to develop a mobile communication strategy. Textizen allowed for two-way communication between the organization and Reno residents. Read ‘City of Reno Opens Dialogue on Virginia Lake Improvement Project’ to learn more about how Textizen was used to garner valuable citizen feedback.

Reno’s First Open Data Program

I’m also really into open data. In 2015, I drafted an Open Data Policy and spearheaded a team of external and internal stakeholders to launch Open Reno. Open Reno is hosted on the Socrata platform. I was also lead for an internal team that evaluated strategic data releases to the portal and worked with the community to better understand data needs.

Since April 2014, I’ve been Co-Captain on the Code for Reno Team. As Co-Captain, I’ve led the charge on hackathon events like Open Data Day, National Day of Civic Hacking and Hack4Reno. Our Code for Reno team recently organized the inaugural Hack for Reno Summit. Read ‘Hack for Reno Summit wants data to solve city problems and you’re invited‘ to learn more. Before working at the City, I participated in Hack for Reno 2011 and 2013. I worked on a projects like The WHAT and Made in Reno. In 2011, The WHAT was awarded as a Finalist for Best Application of Social Media.

Digital Strategy in the Private Sector

In 2016, I worked as Digital Content Director at the Estipona Group. I help a variety of clients navigate the digital marketing realm. I specialized in developing digital marketing strategies that aligned with business goals, objectives and KPIs. I executed inbound marketing and SEO strategy tactics, like: market research, campaign budgeting, content calendaring, content development and campaign tracking. As a self-proclaimed data junky, I love digging into analytics to track valuable marketing ROI, not just vanity metrics. One of my goals in the Digital Content Director position was to educate clients about moving beyond vanity metrics, and to look more closely at how organic and paid digital efforts converted to valuable ROI.

In May 2016, I developed a social media/website launch campaign for HomeIsPossibleNV.org called HIP Gold Games. Since the Nevada Housing Division is a government organization and does not sell products on their site, I setup Goals to track visitor actions from the HIP Gold landing page and time spent on four targeted pages. One of my objectives for the HIP Gold campaign was to increase social conversions on the website by 32 percent from May 2016 analytics. Social conversions increased by 591 percent. Overall Goal Completions increased significantly from 411 in May to 19,559 in August, a 4658 percent increase. Monthly sessions increased from 1153 in May to 30,728 in August. The success of the campaign can be attributed to a well-balanced mix of paid ads showcasing creative content (videos, infographs and blogs) with strategic calls to action. This content was shared across the organization’s social accounts and email channels.

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

My causes include: social and economic justice, health and wellness and animal welfare. I’ve proudly worked with a number of local, national and international nonprofits, like: Nevada Humane Society, Northern Nevada International Center, Healthy Communities Coalition, Silver Springs Co-op, Urban Roots Garden Classroom, Gold Coast Animal Defense League and the Women’s Refugee Center of Newcastle. I’m constantly moved to participate in intrinsic projects that better my community.

Promoting cultural awareness and developing positive international relations are also very important to me. Since earning my undergraduate degree in Australia, I’ve actively pursued worthwhile international programs and projects. In 2012, I was selected as one of twenty young professionals to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Young Turkey/Young America Program. I traveled to Turkey for two weeks and met with a number of Turkish politicians, journalists and students. Together we discussed democratic challenges facing Turkey and brainstormed ways the country could become the leading democratic nations in the Arab Spring region.

Young Turkey Young America 2012

When I’m not busy learning innovative technologies and saving the world one collard green at a time, I’m most likely watching my favorite bands, in the gym, cooking or play soccer. I’m a self-proclaimed lifelong learner who is never satisfied and always searching for the next big challenge or life-changing experience.

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