Podcasts, Publications & Presentations

Raffi DerSimonian,
Chief Strategy Officer

Raffi brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and perspective to a wide range of marketing and communications topics.

Raffi DerSimonian

Vice-President & Chief Strategy Officer | raffi@eridesign.com

With 20 years of experience in results-oriented public relations, marketing, communications, institutional advancement, and organizational development, Raffi brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to all things marketing-related research, discovery, and strategy.

Raffi has presented to audiences across the country on behalf of organizations, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Maine / Arizona / Honolulu Association of Nonprofits, and United Ways of Maine.

Raffi is a dynamic and engaging presenter on the subjects of institutional brand-building and visual storytelling for advancement and student engagement. He serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for ERI, a strategic marketing and website design and development firm specializing in helping institutions and organizations transform their digital presence and drive measurable impact. As a principal, he leads discovery, research, and strategic marketing planning for large-scale website redesign and development initiatives, helping clients articulate and amplify their brand message.

Raffi has led a wide range of strategic initiatives for institutions, including Muhlenberg College, Lafayette, Harvard Business School, Trinity College, Worcester State University, Maine College of Art & Design, Maine Media College, Tufts University, Becker College, Clark University, and others. A father of a 1.5-month-old daughter, Tsoline, and a recording artist with three original albums, Raffi manages to find time to enjoy outdoor adventure, Portland, Maine’s rich cultural arts scene, and as much time as possible with his family. He attended undergraduate and graduate studies at Clark University.

Recent Presentations and Speaking Engagements

Generative AI in Higher Education: Future-Proof Your School’s Marketing Tools

The market for public-facing generative AI tools has exploded since ChatGPT’s launch in November of 2022. And lots of higher ed institutions are still trying to wrap their heads around AI’s potential, for better or worse.

“The Art of Visual Storytelling” with John Azoni

Hosted by video producer and storytelling coach, John Azoni, Higher Ed Storytelling University is a podcast providing practical advice on telling better stories and enrolling more students. In this episode, DerSimonian discusses his role in the ‘Take a Seat in the Harvard MBA Classroom’ video that went viral with over 11 million views.

“Balancing AI and Human Connection in Higher Ed Marketing with ChatGPT”

In this episode, Raffi joins Allison Turcio, Assistant VP for Enrollment and Marketing at Siena College for her debut episode hosting Enrollify’s The Application Podcast. The pair explore the unique balance of leveraging AI technology like ChatGPT while still maintaining a personal, human approach to higher education marketing. They discuss the possibilities of using ChatGPT for tasks such as data analysis and content creation and show how—when used correctly—it can develop, not detract from, the authenticity and personal touch that is so important in Higher Ed marketing. With its ability to streamline processes and free up time and resources, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for higher ed marketers looking to strike the right balance between technology and human connection.

“The Art of Visual Storytelling Using Video As Vehicle To Drive Donor Engagement”

Nonprofit Nation is hosted by Julia Campbell, digital marketing and fundraising expert, nonprofit consultant, and author of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits and How to Build and Mobilize a Social Media Community for Your Nonprofit in 90 Days. In this episode, she and Raffi discuss how the emotive power of visual storytelling can be harnessed by nonprofits. They discuss why video content prevails in the current marketing ecosystem where short-form content is king.

“The Art of Visual Storytelling Using Video As Vehicle To Drive Donor Engagement”

In this episode, Raffi DerSimonian talks about his career doing public relations and marketing in the arts. As a Waterville native, Raffi talks about the renaissance going on in the city from arts to dining. Music has always been a passion of Raffi’s. He describes his musical career and helping found Waterville Rocks. In addition to doing public relations and marketing in the arts, Raffi is experienced in promoting higher education. Raffi and Nancy discuss how COVID-19 has impacted higher education as well as communication during a crisis.

Armenian-n-Me by Identity-n-Me

The featured guest in this episode is Raffi DerSimonian, Principal at Der Simonian Marketing & Communications. He joins me to talk about his Armenian heritage and the ways in which he has sought to learn about, and connect with, that part of his identity.

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