Missouri State University
Web and New Media Blog

Public Affairs Convocation in review

Eric Greitens book, The Heart and the FistMissouri State’s signature public affairs events, such as the Public Affairs Convocation, provide meaningful insight and perspective for the Missouri State and Springfield communities.

The Oct. 28 convocation featured veteran and humanitarian Eric Greitens, author of The Heart and the Fist, who spoke on his experiences in Iraq, Rwanda and other geopolitical hotspots.

Digital promotion of the Public Affairs Convocation

To help raise awareness of this event, Web and new media engaged with various University and community partners – primarily through the creation of a social media press kit and submission to various community calendars.

Social media press kit

In order to assist with event promotion, a social media press kit was created. It contained the following resources:

  • Event details
  • Sample text for blog posts
  • Photos
  • Sample tweets
  • Sample Facebook posts

A number of University units distributed resources from the social media kit or created their own promotional materials for social media. In addition to the public affairs and marketing and communications divisions, those units include:

  • College of Business
  • Alumni Association
  • Graduate College
  • Juanita K. Hammons Hall
  • Plaster Student Union
  • Center for Community Engagement
  • Political Science Department

Community calendars

This event was also submitted to the following digital community calendars:

  • Springfield News-Leader
  • KSMU
  • 417 Magazine
  • It’s All Downtown

Online traffic to the Public Affairs Convocation website

During the month of October, there were 1,538 pageviews of the Public Affairs Convocation webpage, with traffic peaking on the day before the event.

Social media event coverage

The official Public Affairs hashtag, #CitizenBear, was used to organize the social media conversation about Eric Greitens’ lecture.

On the day of the event, the hashtag #CitizenBear achieved the following reach:

  • 113,343 impressions
  • 30,476 individual accounts reached
  • 37 individual contributors used #CitizenBear

Samples from social media conversation


  Author, humanitarian, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens speaks on courage and caring at the Public Affairs Convocation. #CitizenBear   A photo posted by Missouri State University (@missouristate) on




If you haven’t read “The Heart and The Fist”, I highly recommend it. #citizenbear A photo posted by Lexi Jones (@lexibrynjones) on

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Homecoming 2014 in review

Missouri State University students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members let the good times roar Oct. 12-18 during Homecoming.

Homecoming promotion:

Instagram of alumni in BearFest VillageHomecoming was promoted in many different ways for months leading up to the big week. Some ways Homecoming was promoted online and through digital marketing include:

  • A series of five emails from the Alumni Association and a few event-specific emails
  • Promotion in the Bear Bulletin monthly newsletter in July-October editions
  • A custom banner in MSU Mobile that pointed to the Homecoming website
  • Photos on the Missouri State homepage that promoted key Homecoming events
  • A Homecoming themed Go Maroon spread
  • A promotional feature on the Alumni Association homepage
  •  Two Homecoming themed Instagram videos featuring President Clif Smart
  • Social media promotion through the MarooNation and Missouri State University accounts
  • A social media kit posted to the Web and new media blog and sent to social media managers of related University accounts.
  • Aggregation of conversation around #BearsHomecoming through Tagboard
  • Live coverage of the Friday and Saturday alumni Homecoming activities via the MarooNation social media accounts

Website traffic:

This year, the alumni Homecoming website was updated to a mobile-friendly template so that it would be easier for users to access during Homecoming festivities. This proved to be a very positive step as 41% of all traffic on the Homecoming website was from a mobile device.

Traffic to the alumni Homecoming website was tracked through Google Analytics.

  • The Homecoming campaign was the top campaign for both internal and external users in October, accounting for 15% of all campaign related traffic.
  • In October, 72% of all pageviews on the alumni Homecoming website were from external users.
  • In October, 76% of all pageviews on the alumni website were of the Homecoming subsite.
  • 46% of all traffic to the alumni website from Sept. 1 – Nov. 1 occurred during the week of Homecoming.
  • In October, the Missouri State University and MarooNation Facebook pages were the top external referrers in the Homecoming campaign.

Social engagement:

Homecoming was heavily promoted by the MarooNation and Missouri State University social media accounts leading up to and during Homecoming. Members of the Missouri State community were encouraged to engage in the social conversation about Homecoming by using #BearsHomecoming.


Alumni at MarooNation Tent in BearFest VillageMissouri State Facebook:

Homecoming Week – Oct. 13-18:

  • 20 Homecoming posts
  • Reach of 98,001
  • Engagement of 10,264

Homecoming Weekend – Oct. 17-18:

  • 6 Homecoming posts
  • Reach of 66,096 (67% of weekly reach)
  • Engagement of 8,443 (82% of weekly engagement)

MarooNation Facebook:

Homecoming Week – Oct. 13-18:

  • 24 Homecoming posts
  • Reach of 19,839
  • Engagement of 3,885

Homecoming Weekend – Oct. 17-18:

  • 16 Homecoming posts
  • Reach of 11,821 (60% of weekly reach)
  • Engagement of 3,414 (89% of weekly engagement)


Alumna watching Bears football on TVMissouri State Twitter:

Homecoming Week – Oct. 13-18:

  • 25 Homecoming posts
  • Favorites: 118
  • Retweets: 104

Homecoming Weekend – Oct. 17-18:

  • 14 Homecoming posts
  • Favorites: 104 (88% of weekly favorites)
  • Retweets: 90 (87% of weekly retweets)

MarooNation Twitter:

Homecoming Week – Oct. 13-18:

  • 76 Homecoming posts
  • Favorites: 160
  • Retweets: 142
  • Retweet reach: 166,200 users
  • @MarooNation mentions: 20
  • @MarooNation mention reach: 19,600

Homecoming Weekend – Oct. 17-18:

  • 70 Homecoming posts
  • Favorites: 152 (95% of weekly favorites)
  • Retweets: 115 (90% of weekly retweets)

Tweets by others:

Homecoming Week – Oct. 12-19:

  • 964 tweets by users


Bronze Bear by Plaster Stadium


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Web server maintenance scheduled after 9:00 PM Thursday

A brief interruption of service for several websites is scheduled between 9:00 and 10:00 PM CDT Thursday, November 13th.  This interruption of service is necessary in order to install operating system updates.  Some of the websites affected include:



















































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Training will provide tips on unlocking the power of academic blogs

BBlogger with Missouri State coffee muglogging for recruitment and retention

Academic blogs are one of the simplest tools for nurturing relationships with prospective students and faculty; sharing important information among current students, faculty and staff; and promoting a program’s accomplishments and offerings.

A well-maintained blog is a huge boost to both communication and search engine optimization strategies, but getting started can feel challenging.

The office of Web and new media and the faculty center for teaching and learning are co-sponsoring a Q-and-A panel discussion and training on some of the most persistent blogging questions, such as:

  • Why should I be blogging?
  • How do I get started?
  • How do I know it’s worth the effort?
  • How do I integrate this type of communication into a schedule that’s already packed?
  • Who’s reading our departmental blog?
  • What do I talk about on the blog?
  • How do I solicit content?
  • What does a successful blog post look like?
  • What do I do with blog content once it’s been created? Where else can I use it?

The training will feature a panel of expert faculty bloggers, who are willing to share their tips and tricks for maximizing a blog’s potential, along with key analytics data and useful blogging resources.

Key Details

  • What: Blogging: Connect with Your Target Audience
  • When: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m., Nov. 19
  • Where: Plaster Student Union, Room 313
  • Panelists: Natalie Allen, Mark Biggs, George Connor, Kristin Tivener
  • Facilitator: Lucie Amberg
  • Free registration is available through My Learning Connection
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YouTube Video Thumbnails

Thumbnail images let people see a quick snapshot of your video on YouTube. After your video is finished uploading, you are able to choose a thumbnail from the three options YouTube automatically generates. To select the one you’d like to use, simply click the thumbnail and click Save Changes.

YouTube Custom Thumbnails

Custom video thumbnails

If your account is verified and in good standing, you now have the ability to upload custom thumbnails for any of your videos.

Uploading custom thumbnails

To upload a custom thumbnail image for an existing video:

  • Go to the Video Manager for your YouTube channel
  • Locate a video and click the Edit button
  • Click the Custom thumbnail button and upload your custom thumbnail image
  • Once the thumbnail is uploaded, click the Save Changes button

Custom thumbnail requirements

  • A resolution of 1280 x 720 (with a minimum width of 640 pixels)
  • Be uploaded in image formats such as .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG
  • Remain under the 2MB file size limit

Custom thumbnail best practices

Your custom thumbnail image should be as large as possible, as the image will also be used as the preview image in the embedded player. We also recommend that thumbnails:

  • Use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it’s the most used in YouTube players and previews
  • If a person is the focal point of the custom thumbnail image, try to have their face in the middle of the frame so the video title does not overlay their face when the video is embedded

For more information on using YouTube to host your University unit’s video content, please visit our YouTube support page.

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Tips from Writing for the Web workshop: What you can do right now

The session of Short and Snappy: Writing for the Digital World held in July 2014University marketing and communications presented a session of Short and Snappy: Writing for the Digital World on Oct. 28, 2014.

This interactive training focused on identifying what users want from your website, blog and social media and then using that understanding to get the most out of your communications strategy.

Access the presentation

Short and Snappy – Writing for the Digital World – Oct 2014

Your website: Where users go to get information

Users visit your website because they are seeking information, and they typically come into your website with specific questions.

Identifying your target audience and goals is a critical step in making your website as efficient and effective as possible.

What you can do right now to improve website communications:

  • Test your website’s organization by asking someone to find a piece of information on it. How easily does that person locate the information you requested? What path does he/she take to find it?
  • Consult with other people who are involved in your website’s maintenance and messaging. Together, identify your audiences and goals. Write them down so that everyone stays on the same page.
  • Follow consistent formatting strategies (which were covered extensively during the presentation) to ensure that information on your website is easy to consume.

An exercise on writing a six-word story, employed during the blogging portion of Short & SnappyYour blog: The perfect place to tell a story

Users approach blogs with a broader goal. They have “softer” questions in mind; users visit your blog because they want to get to know you better.

What you can do right now to improve blog communications:

  • Remember that users will notice how recently you’ve updated your blog. Updating at least once per week tells readers that you’re enthusiastic about your subject and have a lot of good news to share.
  • Engage readers with classic storytelling techniques (which were explored through an exercise on writing the six-word story).
  • Keep the online communication formatting strategies in mind; they work for your blog posts, too.

Your social media: A way to create new impressions

Social media users are looking to engage and discover — casually. Take advantage of social media platforms to encounter new people or present a different side of your program to those who already know about it.

What you can do right now to improve social media communications:

  • Focus. Pick a platform (or two) that best serves your audience and goals.
  • Adopt a long-term strategy, commit to sharing quality content and post consistently.

Next steps

Web and new media will continue offering training opportunities on digital communications.

  • Nov. 19: Blogging: Connect with Your Target Audience – This training, co-sponsored by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, will feature a faculty panel of expert bloggers. It’s designed to help academic units unlock the recruitment and retention capabilities of academic blogs — arguably the easiest, most underexploited marketing tool available.
  • Nov. 21: Creating Effective Mass Emails – Get tips for making the most of mass email communications — including ones for format, content structure and subject lines — along with what not to do when you’re creating a mass email.


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