Flickr and Art: perfect together

February 27, 2009

artComing from New Jersey I had to throw out some love to our former Gov. Tom Kean for this title.

I had a really rewarding moment last week on campus that I wanted to share today. We have been experimenting with flickr for the past year as a way to put more interactive photo galleries on our site. It was been met with success and we have started to use the strategy across our top level.

I was having coffee last week with the Chair of the Visual Art Department and he had seen what we did and really liked it. As he was talking I figured we would be helping the department get a flickr account and posting things to it. But he surprised me when he showed me how they were already using it to highlight the work of several classes:

It was rewarding to see someone take something that we were doing across the “top level” of the site and use it as their own on a department site. Now how do we get that to happen more often?

Rolling out a new president

February 8, 2009

Over the course of the last week I have been “heads down” as I like to say in a project. I ignored twitter, articles piled up in my Google reader, and some of my on campus constituents heard “we’ll get to that next week”.

Last week I had an opportunity that doesn’t come around every year for a marketing professional in higher education. On Friday Gettysburg College trustees unanimously named Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 our 14th president. It was one of the most interesting and quite frankly fun professional experiences of my career.

Since Dr. Riggs had been presented to campus the week before as a sole finalist we had a about a week to prepare for the announcement roll out but we wanted to think outside the box and incorporate our Web 2.0 and Social Media strategy. We had a detailed plan for the week with assignments so everything was all set to go come Friday morning and all we had to do was push the buttons. (It never quite works out as you plan but Friday was pretty close)

Shortly after the board voted the announcement was made in the following ways:

  • News release posted on website (also pushed to RSS feed and twitter account) Included within the news release was a short video (also posted to YouTube) of  Dr. Riggs which outlined her vision for Gettysburg’s future as well as a flicker photo gallery. Since she graduated from Gettysburg we were able to find historical shots from her yearbooks.
  • Large flash banner on the college homepage changed to reflect the announcement
  • On-campus email
  • Alumni and parent email
  • Text message to those who had signed up
  • Facebook update to fans as well as the fan page photo was updated to reflect the announcement
  • Gettysburg College Linkedin group had the news release posted

We attempted to keep things current throughout the day as well.

  • By around 3:00 pm we had posted a video interview with the chair of the search committee that was done that morning around 7:30 am.
  • We also posted to our flicker photo gallery photos from the different campus events and receptions throughout the day
  • The President’s website was completely updated by the end of the day.

Since we had enabled comments on our news releases in November and sent an update to fans on Facebook we have had quite a response to the announcement. We have received over 30 comments from alumni, parents, and friends on the news story and an additional 5 or 6 posts on the fan page.

As I said at the top of this post this experience the most interesting of my career. How did we do? Could we have taken advantage of Web 2.0 and Social Media tools in different ways? Could we have engaged our audiences better?

Let me know.

Good post on Mark Greenfield’g blog

July 8, 2008

Mark Greenfield writes a blog called Higher Ed Web Consulting. For those of you that don’t read it try it. It’s definitely worth your time. His post on June 30th titled More on Higher Ed Websites becoming Irrelevant. He says

In 2005, 100% of my time was spent working on sites within the domain. Here in the summer of 2008, I spend about 70% of my time working on sites in the domain. The remaining time is spent developing our presence on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Ning, etc., time that is well spent.”

If you have time read Charlie Melichar’s comment, “To stay relevant, we’re going to have to make our content available quickly in a variety of formats and then just let go.”

I sent this blog post onto our Web Task Force today and used it as a discussion topic at our weekly web content meeting this morning.