February 25, 2011
The king of promotion at a college is getting your event, story, or idea on the homepage. It is the most covented space in terms of promotion and has, at least at Gettysburg, replaced even the honor of being a feature in the alumni magazine as top dog. But when will being on the college homepage be replaced? What will replace it? How about a post on Facebook?
Facebook provides campus organizations with a great chance to reach their audience in a really easy way. Users have to actually visit our website to see your promotion on http://www.gettysburg.edu but on Facebook it gets delivered right to our fans newsfeed. We know that our current students and young alumni are on Facebook each day – how often to they read the stories on the homepage?
Our average news story gets about 500 unique clicks. An average Facebook post can get up to 10,000 impressions.With the number of people who like Gettysburg College increasing each semester (Fall to Spring we saw over 1,000 people like the Facebook Page) it is only a matter of time until a Facebook post is more coveted then the homepage.
Take a look at Missouri State’s website. http://www.missouristate.edu/ The middle section on news and events is actually a pull from various Facebook accounts. Is this the future of higher education sites?
April 27, 2010
2 weeks ago I was in Miami at dotCMS bootcamp and I had a few reflections I thought I would share:
The web is not a project and we shouldn’t talk about maintaining it.
When organizations redesign the website there is a high level of energy and enthusiasm across all levels during the planning and implementation stages. But that drops off significantly after the launch and as we get into “maintenance mode.” As web professionals we need to remove the word maintenance from our vocabulary and start talking about growth. The web is not a project that has a defined start and end point. But rather a critical piece of your organization that needs to be constantly improving and growing.
ROI vs. RAKAWS
Should we worry about the ROI of web projects? We have to be conscious of how we spend our time and resources but web professionals should start to think about the value of Running A Kick Ass Web Site. What is the value of having key information like how to make a gift or how to get more information easy to find on the site for your large revenue generators.
Organization doesn’t matter
No matter how many people you have, or if you report to marketing or IT a really good web team does the following three things well:
- Web Operations – Ensures that the tactics of Web site development align with overall organizational mission.
- Web Execution – Day to day execution by the Web Team; the Web Team carries out plans developed by Web Ops.
- Web Performance Measurement – Web analytics that are connected to business goals
There is nothing revolutionary here but some good thoughts to keep in mind as we wrap up one academic year and get ready for summer projects.
August 27, 2009
Like many institutions we are gearing up this week to welcome the Class of 2013. The new school year brings with it lots of new opportunities. Many schools are trying to figure out how to use social media and new technology to enhance their communications efforts. I encourage you to use the new school year as a way to try something new in your coverage of opening activities. Dive-in and give it a shot.
Are you wondering what to do with that institutional twitter account that just has your RSS feed? Tweet move in day. Use a hashtag and pull the search results to your site. Maybe some of your followers will be engaged and contribute to the hashtag with their own memories and recollections.
Are you wondering how in the world you can provide videos on your site? Go out and buy a flip video camera (they start at about $150). Go out and ask the incoming student and their parents why they chose your school? With Microsoft movie maker (which comes on our machines at my institution) you can quickly edit the video and load it right to YouTube.
Move-in day and convocation along with other opening day traditions schools have is a great opportunity to engage visitors to your website. You have a captive audience who will love to see photos, videos, and anything else you have to offer. This year make sure that you are not having a conversation with your boss after the fact about how “we’ll have to try those things next year.”
August 3, 2009
Over the years I have made it a habit to use the month of August to have lunch with a handful of people on campus. Usually I target the directors of the Career Development, Off-Campus studies, and the Center for Public Service. Each year these lunches have yielded at least one or two really good projects including student stories, travel blogs, or web enhancements.
Lunch on campus seems to work well because it strikes the right balance between informality and a meeting. I start by asking about what might be happening in the year ahead or what programs the person is most excited about in the coming year. Then I just sit back and take good notes.
August always works well too for a number of reasons. Most people (especially those in student affairs) are back from vacation since they are preparing for the arrival of the first year class. Additionally by august most divisions and departments have completed their goal setting and planning for the year. By August the directors of these key areas have a sense for what programs and people will have an exciting and interesting story to tell.
So since August is here my advice is pick up the phone and have lunch.
August 1, 2009
I found a blog post that I thought was so good it was worth sharing here.
How University Vice President of Communications And Content Strategy Leadership Roles Are Likely To Change
The post by David Dalka who is presently a search engine marketing and content strategy management consultant talks about the role of the VP for Communications and what skills will be needed in the future for the position. I am interested to see what people think of his ideas. He lists a number of attributes the Vice President of the future will have at the end of the post. I thought they were all good but a few in particular popped out to me:
Person Will Understand How to Create Unified Content Strategy
Individual Should Be Passionate About Enabling Student and Alumni Personal Branding
Individual Has Experience Driving Change in Data Models, Technology and Process Standardization
Person Should Have Passion For Effective Spending and Budget Reform
Individual Should Desire to Make Education More Accessible To All
Person Should Embrace New Technology Like Mobile and Digital Signage
To give proper credit I originally found this post via Andrew Careaga’s blog higher ed marketing.