WVU Marketing Communications Today

Social Media for Social Change

June 11, 2019


Today’s guest on WVU Marketing Communications Today is Kelly Ann Collins, CEO, and founder of Vult Lab, a digital marketing agency that focuses on social media management for companies, orgs and thought leaders -- and campaigns for social good. She and host, Michael Lynch, will be diving into cause marketing for corporations, the issues nonprofits currently face, and how to use influencers to expand reach.

About our guest:

Kelly Ann Collins is a WVU alumnus and has also completed programs at MIT and Cornell. She was the managing editor of The Daily Athenaeum, starting out her career as a reporter, and then editor.

As a journalist, Kelly Ann Collins made the move from print to digital when she helped launch USAToday.com. Then, she ventured off into the land of tech PR during the dotcom boom (and crash). During that time she met tech giants and co-founded a VC platform.

She also became a blogging pioneer as, some argue, the first person to put her life online in blog and cam form. When Blogger launched she became one of its first bloggers—which meant fun perks, like her choice of Gmail address for being a Blogger / Google influencer (except the word “influencer” didn’t exist back then).

Later, she took the skills gained from her endeavors to help launch and grow 50 editorial and social products at AOL co-founder Steve Case’s Revolution. Then, in 2008, she founded a pop politics blog with a focus on the 2012 presidential election that gained 3 million readers in one year. It was the first of its kind to get White House credentials and invites to events with world leaders, and personalities, like LMFAO and Clint Eastwood.

Now, she’s using her knowledge at Vult Lab to create social tools, launch initiatives, and startups, and build robust communities for her clients.

Kelly Ann and her team members have been working within the USA (and beyond) on projects involving brands you know and love—including Easter Seals, OZY, Conservation International, Starbucks, Results for Development, HP, Adobe, Disneynature, Jamba Juice, Prince William's Royal Foundation, the Washington Capitals, The Washington Times, and more.

She’s also on several boards (Conversations Unbound - connects refugees and U.S. college students studying Arabic and Spanish - for native language tutoring; and the International Association of Pop Culture Entrepreneurs, a partner organization of The Creative Coalition, which works to help entertainment industry influencers grow their businesses).

She is also a Capital One partner, an Adobe Insider, and a UN Global Compact Global Opportunity Lab participant, United Nations Association member. Vult Lab is a part of Pledge 1%. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also chose Kelly Ann as a “Goalkeeper” (of the Sustainable Development Goals). She attended the Goalkeepers event in NYC with Malala Yousafzai (of Malala Fund), Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau, and others. She was also invited to collaborate at the “Gates Social” event in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future of giving back with experts from Facebook Social Good, GlobalGiving, Smithsonian, Giving What We Can and others.

Currently, Vult Lab’s partners and clients work in 50+ countries around the globe.

Recently, Kelly has worked on campaigns and projects involving the following organizations:

  • Easter Seals - Local campaign with micro influencers, and macro influencers Dan Brokaw and Gary Sinise. Worked on the annual Advocacy Awards fundraiser, which generated more than $400,000 to support Easter Seals services for veterans, the highest total in the event’s history.
  • Third Eye Blind (with The Syndicate) Social good campaign for the band
  • Lonely Whale (ambassador)
  • Adobe - Adobe's "Tweet For Good" - Goal: Raise $10,000 for Conservation International (CI) in 24 hours. Every mention of the hashtag #CreateChange was worth a $7 donation to CI on June 5 (World Environment Day). The campaign resulted in more than 1,600 mentions of the hashtag -- and a $10,000 donation to CI by Adobe.
  • Conservation International - Campaign with HP that raised $1 million for conservation projects
  • Results for Development - Variety of campaigns for R4D with Open Government Partnership, World Bank, USAID, Save the Children, and more.
  • Starbucks - “Journey To 100% Ethically Sourced Coffee” - Worked on the Starbucks 99% sustainable coffee announcement with Conservation International.
  • The Toolbox - Women’s rights campaign (data collection) for The Elders, presented by Peter Gabriel
  • Jamba Juice - Campaigns in Washington, D.C., and NYC to help the homeless
  • Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom - Conservation International fundraiser; a portion of the film's opening week ticket sales were donated to conservation programs in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

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