Notions+, Our Curious Culture of Consumption, is an app Elaine Symanski created with a designer business partner. It is free in the iTunes store. The app has had a great deal of success:
Notions+, Our Curious Culture of Consumption, was one of three finalists in the 2015 Digital Book Awards, an international competition. Elaine and her business partner Heather McKenzie went to New York City in January 2015 for the awards ceremony, where they received great feedback from the judges and from digital publishers.
Also in January 2015, Kirkus Reviews named Notions+, Our Curious Culture of Consumption, as "One of the Best Books of 2014." The Kirkus review, in part: "A high-tech update of social-critical issues such as Subliminal Seduction and Amusing Ourselves to Death, addressing our penchant for self-pampering and its dire consequences."
Faced with a projected deficit of $23 million in the EMBARQ health care benefits budget because of a large increase in the number of claims, executives turned to the HR communications team and communications manager Elaine Symanski to generate action among employees to help control health care costs.
The resultant package of employee communications, including videos, employee meetings, social media, emails, intranet campaign and general buzz among employees resulted in an unprecedented high level of employee engagement in the cause, resulting in changed behaviors. The corporation ultimately saved $9 million in health care costs as a result of the campaign.
Elaine and a communications team partner worked jointly on the extensive campaign preceding annual enrollment. They were recognized for the Health Care Challenge campaign with a number of awards: four Bronze Quills and three Silver Quills from the International Association of Business Communicators. The body of work was also named a Gold Quill finalist in the IABC International competition.
When Sprint planned to roll out the TouchScreen Shopping application in 500+ Sprint stores nationwide, they turned to the Sprint ClearSolutions team and multimedia writer/producer Elaine Symanski to write video scripts to sell Sprint products. Rather than just have actors talking about the products and services, Elaine created a more compelling presentation for consumers, showing the products and technology in action.
Elaine wrote the video scripting for numerous TouchScreen demos and Flash-based user interactions to demonstrate and sell products at the Sprint kiosks in stores. She also wrote all marketing communications for the project and arranged national media publicity.
The TouchScreen Shopping application appealed to a broad consumer base, from hurried customers who wanted to “get in the store, buy a phone and get out fast,” to those who just wanted to see and hear more information before making a purchasing decision. The TouchScreen Shopping publicity that Elaine managed for the rollout won national marketing communications awards.
You can download it in the iTunes store. Search for Notions+. It is completely free for users and also free from advertising or in-app purchases. Elaine and Heather created the app for fun and learning and they accomplished both objectives and then some.
Heather McKenzie, left, and Elaine Symanski are co-publishers of the app Notions+, Our Curious Culture of Consumption. They were honored in New York City as one of three finalists in the 2015 Digital Book Awards international competition.