Our newest AAF Spotlight is longtime AAF member Brittney Edwards, Director of Marketing and Communications at Frontier Nursing University. We sat down with Brittney to talk about AAF, her role at Frontier, and her career.
So what is your background? How did you end up in your current role at Frontier Nursing University?
I’m originally from Western Kentucky, and came to Lexington to attend UK for undergrad and to earn my MBA. I‘ve been in Lexington ever since, except for a year in Virginia. I’ve always been focused on marketing and communications, and I have worked on the agency side as well as in the corporate environment – at Valvoline, Lexmark and Alltech. I came to Frontier Nursing University seven years ago in March.
What sort of things do you do at Frontier? It’s always good to hear from marketing people in non-agency roles.
I’m the Director of Marketing and Communications—everything I do is to raise awareness of the University, recruit students, and carry out the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to serve families, especially in rural and underserved communities. I was a one-person department for years but I currently have two staff members helping me. We do everything from exhibiting at nursing conferences and events to managing PR, print and digital advertising, media and social media, marketing campaigns, and overall messaging and design. I help create an annual marketing plan and oversee the strategy and execution of it. It’s a little of everything.
What’s one of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on at Frontier?
Two years ago, we wanted to capitalize on the buzz around Frontier being a top nurse-midwifery program in the U.S. We decided to host a digital summit to showcase our leadership in the industry and educate and connect with consumers, healthcare providers and prospective students. I got to drive the marketing effort which included developing and executing a marketing, advertising and social media campaign centered around promoting a series of free digital sessions. The summit ended up having really wide-reaching effects—we continued to share content online and it carried us through the rest of the year. It was an incredible digital event and we got such great feedback that it’s become an annual thing—we now do one for Nurse-Midwives and one for Nurse Practitioners. I really enjoyed coordinating and organizing all of it—my job is always evolving!
How long have you been involved in AAF?
Just about my entire career! I’ve served in several officer positions and have always enjoyed going to AAF events and networking through the group.
What led you to join AAF?
I’m the kind of person who loves to be involved in the community. I’ve been active in professional organizations of all types for many years, and I really enjoy the opportunities they offer to learn new things, meet people, and get educated about what’s going on in our industry. AAF is obviously related to my field, and it’s always been one of my favorite organizations because you get to meet the creative people working in our field here in Lexington. I love hearing everyone else’s stories, learning from them, and attending events like the ADDY Awards. We’re excited every year to pull together entries for ADDYs and reflect on our projects for the year—our president and dean also attend the ADDY awards when they can, to support us in our marketing accomplishments.
Who do you think would benefit most from joining AAF?
Anyone going into a related career! Marketing, advertising, PR, media, it’s all interrelated. AAF gives you a way to see what’s going on in that industry. Any association that brings people from those communities together is going to offer you a good learning experience The work that AAF does with students is great, too—I’ve always enjoyed seeing student work at events like the ADDYs and portfolio reviews, and it’s great to see what’s coming up in the future of our industry.
Last question: what do you do when you’re not working?
I’m a big traveler! I’ve traveled all over the world. My favorite place I’ve been so far is Italy—even after all the other places I’ve seen, it’s still my favorite. I just went to Tokyo and southeast Asia last year—Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It was incredible!