Missouri State University
Web and New Media Blog

Social Media Kit: United Way Student Day of Service 2017

Community Engagement Project: United Way Student Day of Service

Want to help alleviate poverty in the Ozarks but don’t have much time? Gather with fellow citizen Bears for a day of service on April 29. MSU students are taking the public affairs mission to the streets of Zone 1 (Northwest Springfield) in an effort to help clean up neighborhoods in the area.

Do your part as a #CitizenBear!

Key details

  • What: United Way Student Day of Service
  • When: Saturday, April 29, 2017
  • Where: Northwest Springfield
  • Community Partner: United Way

Featured Events

Share the story

Help us spread the word about this event with Missouri State and local communities by sharing it on social media. If you are at the event, we want to hear about your experience.

We encourage you to join the conversation during the United Way Student Day of Service by posting about it on social media. Tag your posts with the official Missouri State public affairs hashtag: #CitizenBear

Make your post social media savvy


The following photos are available for your use:




Sample tweets

  • Take a study break and spend an hour being a #CitizenBear for @unitedwayozarks http://bit.ly/2UnitedWay17
  • Grab your BearWear and help the @cityofsgf http://bit.ly/2UnitedWay17
  • Make your lunch break somebody’s whole year—volunteer for @unitedwayozarks  #CitizenBear http://bit.ly/2UnitedWay17

Sample Facebook posts

Example 1

  • Post: Add #CitizenBear to your title, and help clean up neighborhoods in Springfield on April 29 for United Way of the Ozarks Student Day of Service.
  • URL: http://bit.ly/2UnitedWay17

Example 2

  • Post: Pop the college bubble, and volunteer to clean up neighborhoods in Springfield for United Way of the Ozarks Student Day of Service on April 29. #CitizenBear
  • URL: http://bit.ly/2UnitedWay17

Example 3

  • Don’t have a lot of free time, but want to see real change? Join fellow Bears on April 29 to help United Way of the Ozarks clean up senior citizens’ homes. #CitizenBear
  • URL: http://bit.ly/2UnitedWay17
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Web Press open lab relocated for remainder of Spring 2017

Web Press open lab sessions have been relocated to Meyer Library room 106 through Friday, May 12, 2017.

The regularly scheduled time of 2:00 – 4:00 PM remains in effect.

More information

Please contact the Web Help Desk at 417-836-5271 weekday afternoons or webpress@missouristate.edu if you have any questions.

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Accessibility series: descriptive links

Welcome to our series of posts entitled: how to make your website accessible! So far we have discussed the ethical and legal reasoning behind accessibility, how to write alternative text, and how to check color contrast.

In today’s post we discuss writing descriptive links. When you visit a website, do you read every word? Generally readers scan sites for what sticks out to them. Which of these following links makes you want to keep reading?

Click more to learn about Boomer


We’ve just uncovered Boomer’s birth story

Descriptive links entice the reader to learn more. However, if you write “learn more” or “click here” for each link, readers will grow bored and stop following the links. Screen readers translate information into synthesized speech. These screen readers, like people, “jump” from link to link to read information in a logical order.

Tips for accessibility

How to add links

If you are using WordPress, refer to the above Boomer example. Attach link by highlighting the phrase:

Screenshot of example of descriptive links

Click on the chain icon and type the address. The link will appear in blue.

If you are working with Web Press, this video from the Missouri State Web Help Desk shows how to link to webpages.

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Recap: Making Your Statement in a Digital World – April 12, 2017

We recently presented Making Your Statement in a Digital World, a comprehensive training session for Missouri State website, blog and social media managers.

The session was presented in two parts.

  • Part 1 focused on writing for blogs.
  • Part 2 dove deep into the social media universe and discussed strategies for storytelling and audience engagement across a variety of platforms.

Missouri State students

Key takeaways


  • A blog is a great place to build a relationship with your audience.
  • Use headers, images and quotes to flesh out your blog and make it easier for your audience to read.
  • Use classic storytelling tools, like perspective, conflict and tension, to create blog posts that resonate with your audience.
  • A blog makes a great content repository. Consider using blog posts for the most in-depth version of your news and events and distributing shorter variations of the post across your social media channels.

Social media

  • Good social media is interactive and unpretentious and should look effortless — even though good social media management requires a lot of effort.
  • Don’t dive into every social media channel at once. Pick ones that help meet your strategic communication goals.
  • When deciding whether to take on a new social media channel, analyze whether it’s a good fit for your goals, target audience and current resources.
  • Identify the ideal audience member for your social media. Get specific with the details; even consider giving that person a name. This will make it easier to create conversational, personal social posts.

Access the presentation

Brand banners


  • Use Facebook Pages to share your organization’s story and connect with your fans.
  • Facebook Pages help you become
    • Discoverable
    • Connected
    • Timely
    • Insightful
  • That it’s social media’s biggest platform is a benefit for reach, but a challenge for organizations to acquire attention.
  • Promote transparency. Allow anyone to publish to your page or tag you in photos.
  • Post videos directly to Facebook to boost your posts’ reach.


  • Act like your own biggest fan.
  • Always respond to questions and concerns from your audience.
  • Focus on linking to mobile-friendly content.
  • Think about your voice. An institution does not have to sound institutional.
  • Use precise university-branded hashtags.
    • #MSUBears (athletics)
    • #GoMaroon (student engagement, traditions, etc.)
    • #BearGrads (commencement)
    • #CitizenBear (public affairs)
    • #BearsHomecoming (homecoming)

Visual Platforms

  • Visual content captures our attention more quickly than text.
  • Use Instagram if your organization lends itself to visual storytelling, but note the platform focuses on consumption, not interactivity.
  • YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the United States.
  • However, there’s no formula for making a video go viral.
  • Use aggregators to combine cross-platform posts around a theme or hashtag.

A student walks to class

Access the presentation

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Redesigned physical therapy website: Identity and student success

The redesigned physical therapy website recently launched as part of the academic website project. It is the latest academic website to receive a full redesign for the mobile-friendly template, a process that includes the creation of new content, design and multimedia elements.

Visual improvement

The redesigned homepage features distinct headers, brevity and a centerpiece photo showcasing a department student in action. Fresh photos give an identity to physical therapy students and faculty.

PT student in action.
A physical therapy student demonstrates techniques learned within the program.

Links on the left side of the page were also prioritized. Visitors are now one click away from high-interest department information such as curriculum and scholarships and financial aid.

Student achievements

Since 2009, the physical therapy department has held an ultimate pass rate of 100 percent. This information is highlighted in a call to action block on the home page, which links to year-by-year graduation rates – a vital recruiting tool for the department.

PT exam pass rates.
Exam pass rates a focal point for the physical therapy department.

Experience and opportunities

What, and where, will you be learning in the physical therapy department? Find out by visiting the Experience and Opportunities page, which explains your potential full-scale educational experience and the amenities of McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall.

Site credits

  • Project lead and content: Lucie Amberg, new media specialist, office of web and new media
  • Design: Abby Isackson
  • Photography: Bob Linder
  • Videography: Carter Williams
  • Editor: Nicki Donnelson
  • Implementation: Alyson Jones and Louis Freeman, with oversight from Brian Heaton
Posted in Academic Websites, Mobile, News, Redesign, Web and New Media, Web Press, Web Redesign 2015, WordPress Blogs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Accessibility series: color contrast

Welcome to our series of posts entitled: how to make your website accessible! So far we have discussed the ethical and legal reasoning for why accessibility is important, and how to write alternative text.

Today we focus on color contrast.

Have you tried reading black letters on a red background? What about red letters on a maroon background? You might want to add some color to your website, but how do you ensure your site is still readable?  The color contrast between the text and the background affects readability.

The contrast should be 4.5:1. This is the comparison between relative luminance of the first number compared with the second number. The good news it is easy to check. This color contrast site shows foreground and background color.

How to test

For foreground, click on the box for a color wheel and find the color of the font you are using. Click on the appropriate color to select it. It will show a small square in the color you picked.

Then, for background, repeat this step.  It will also show a small square in the color you picked. You will see a color contrast ratio that automatically adjusts based on your color wheel selections. Make sure the ratio is 4.5:1 or greater.

Let’s return to the initial example. To pick colors, you will want to use the branding recommendations to ensure a consistent appearance.

First, let’s check black text against the Brick City Red background:

color contrast checker of black letters on red background

Perfect! The ratio is greater than 4.5:1, so this combination passes accessibility standards.

A word of warning: Some color combinations look like they “should” be readable, but are they? For example, take the Brick City Red text on Missouri State Maroon background. Let’s check.

color contrast checker of red type letters maroon background

Nope! The color contrast ratio of 2.7:1 does not meet the accessibility standard of at least 4.5:1.

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