Robert Gordon IV is the Chief Digital Officer at America’s Promise Alliance, one of the nation’s largest partnership dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.
Question 1: How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
“Serving our core audiences is integral to the digital success of America’s Promise Alliance. Digital strategy is the process of creating and deploying a variety of tactics to best serve the needs of our constituents in the digital space. It’s key that such a strategy not only aligns to reflect the organization’s vision & mission, but also adapts to the ever-changing digital atmosphere. I’m always looking for digital ways to better inform and connect our audiences in order to help improve the lives of our nation’s young people, particularly the most vulnerable.”
Question 2: What is the best part about being a Chief Digital Officer?
“Raising awareness, sharing information and creating connections are core to the work of America’s Promise and always at the top of my mind in creating the digital strategy. Being the Chief Digital Officer at such a forward thinking non-profit organization allows me to be able to operate at a high level of quality & speed. Couple that with the power of digital technology and you get an extraordinary opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our young people. I’ve always viewed the digital space as art. To be able to visualize and then create all of these digital products and deploy digital tactics for a cause is the best feeling in the world.”
Question 3: What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?
“I always carry my iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, MacBook Air, & MacBook Pro (I carry this one less nowadays due to its weight). I’ve been a fan of Mac products since the 80’s. The very first computer I remember using was the Macintosh Plus.
Choosing favorite apps is a hard one for me, as I’m always testing new apps every day. As of this publication, my favorites are:
- Basecamp (I’m in the process of creating 2 sites with our development partners EchoDitto, and this app allows me to ensure things are on track regardless of where I am. GradNation.org & AmericasPromise.org were born in the project management halls of Basecamp.)
- Flipboard (It’s imperative that I read the most up-to-date news and articles every day. Flipboard allows me to not only read on the fly, but also aggregate my own customized digital magazine. Necessity!)
- Twitter/Facebook (This is my heart and soul right here. I live and breathe on both of these networks, so there’s absolutely no way for me to separate or choose between the two. In the coming year, outside of our websites, this is where most of the magic will happen for America’s Promise.)”
Question 4: Why should people care about America’s Promise Alliance?
“America’s Promise has been a driving force over the last several years to raise the level of awareness of the high school graduation crisis in the country. One out of every five students in the U.S. leaves high school without a diploma. We are leading the charge to change that with our GradNation campaign, which has a goal to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020. Last year we learned that for the first time ever, the country is on track to reach that goal. While we celebrate this milestone achievement, we are reminded that much work remains and are working to bring more individuals, organizations and communities to the campaign and our GradNation.org site is a new tool for us to achieve that.”
Question 5: What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
“There are a couple of things:
- First, your passion will fuel your career. There are so many avenues in the digital space. So find what you’re passionate about and go for it!
- Second, continue to learn as much as you can. Because the digital space is ever-changing, you have to keep yourself abreast of the newest information, apps, tactics, platforms, etc.
- Third, it’s never too late to jump into the digital space.
If you find your passion, feed your curiosity, and be persistent in your digital journey, your digital aspirations will turn into a reality.”