Case Studies

Case Study: NIH Enterprise Communication and Outreach

  • Victoria Robinson
  • May 21, 2023
Group of diverse group of business people having a meeting while


The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Extramural Research (NIH OER) wanted to improve its digital presence to better engage with its target audiences and enhance the user experience across its websites. The organization sought a partner to help rebrand its websites, streamline content development processes, and expand its reach through strategic communications and outreach efforts.


Highlight collaborated with NIH OER to address their challenges. Our team employed a user-centered design approach, conducting user research, content audits, and usability testing to ensure the redesigned websites effectively communicated NIH OER’s mission and improved user experience. The team focused on rebranding websites and webpages for various NIH OER organizations, including Small Business Education and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED), Data Management Policy Sharing, LRP, and the Employee Engagement intranet site.

To streamline content creation, Highlight established a communication and outreach project management (COMM PM) structure, an editorial calendar, and a quality control process. These measures reduced the time required to create, edit, and produce content by half. The team worked to establish a strong brand presence for the SEED program across various social media platforms, creating a branded website, email campaigns, and a newsletter. The SEED Social Media Team created over 500 posts on X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn in 2023, resulting in more than 200,000 impressions.

Highlight implemented GovDelivery, a targeted email outreach system, to publish a bi-weekly newsletter and send ad hoc email alerts for the SEED) initiative. The listserv grew from 14,000 subscribers in 2020 to over 30,000 by 2023. The SEED listserv experienced a 69% growth, increasing from 14,000 subscribers in 2022 to 23,644 by the end of 2023.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Highlight helped launch NIH OER’s first virtual conference series, providing a platform for officer presentations, networking opportunities, and Q&A sessions with NIH experts. The virtual conferences attracted over 30,000 visitors and generated 50,000 YouTube replays. The virtual conference series, which began in 2020, attracted 10,000 attendees and continues to grow.


  • Outreach and Communication
  • Social Media Management
  • Content Development and Management
  • UI/UX
  • Web Development
  • Conference Support


By implementing a human-centered design approach, streamlining content development processes, and executing targeted digital outreach strategies, Highlight successfully enhanced NIH OER’s online presence, increased audience engagement, and improved the overall user experience across its digital platforms.