A group of university relations professionals attended the Digital Media Marketing Conference , which was held April 2, 2014, at University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Below are some of the gold nuggets we collected.
In early October, several Missouri State staff attended the HighEdWeb 2013 Conference in Buffalo, New York. As always, the conference offered information-packed sessions and provided networking opportunities with other higher education Web professionals.
What we learned
Below are some takeaways that our staff gathered at conference sessions:
Gabriel Nagmay (Portland Community College) presented a WordPress plugin he created that allows users to define placemarks. This plugin provides detailed information and can be used in pages and posts by entering the placemark’s shortcode. He gave examples of how his college is using the placemarks to create a self-guided art walk, showing the accessibility options available and highlighting the college’s sustainability efforts. We will be looking into this for use in the next phase of our virtual tour.
Cindy Sabato and Kerri Hicks (University of Rhode Island) presented a case study of a recent crisis on their campus. They described how your followers expect you to engage during a crisis and offered strategies for how to respond quickly and accurately. This session is great for the seasoned social media developer as well as crisis team members that are unfamiliar with online communications and expectations.
John Wagner (Princeton University) and George Sackett (St. Louis Community College) conducted a guided audience discussion on career advancement. Part of the discussion centered on challenging norms that to advance means to manage people. The other aspect included the discussion on career advancement does not have to imply promotion and should contain elements of self improvement.
Nikki Massaro Kauffman and Heather Dawson (Penn State) explained that regardless of how media-rich your content is, it still should start with text first because as your content “breaks down” (e.g., smartphone won’t play the video) the content will still be present, so it must meet the needs of all your visitors.
Dawn reminded us that telling a good story requires that you talk to your audience, attend their events and understand their emotional journey. If you don’t take time to understand your readers, then you won’t be able to craft stories that resonate; you’ll miss the opportunity to convert your passive readers to passionate stakeholders.
For example, if your audience is prospective students, you need to spend time attending orientation, campus tours or campus visit days and actually speak to the students. You need to ask them about their fears and needs. Only then can you truly understand where they are and how to communicate with them. You cannot rely on your personal experiences; you are not the audience.
A single story can be dangerous
Dawn also recommended we watch this TED Talk by Chimamanda Adichie. In this talk, Adichie shares how easy it is to stereotype other people and cultures if we only reference a “single story.” It’s a good reminder that we need to seek out differing viewpoints and information sources to expand our perceptions.
In early October, several from university relations attended the HighEdWeb 2012 Conference in Milwaukee, Wisc. As always, the conference offered a lot of valuable material and provided excellent opportunities to network and share with other Web professionals from across the U.S. (and world).
What we learned
Below are some “golden nuggets” that our staff gathered at conference sessions:
No Such Thing As TMI: How to Create a Culture of Sharing Recommendation from Brian Heaton
Adding language in student acceptance packets encouraging students to tweet about their acceptance using a specified hashtag. This continued the bonding process between the student and school and generated identifiable traffic that helped connect the student to other accepted students.
Card Sorting: Research That Every Web Developer Should Use Recommendation from Jessica Clements
Doug Tschopp’s session was a great reminder that our words may not be their words. Refraining from the use of jargon is a common writing tip, and Doug’s presentation provided a basic research method to identify “hidden” jargon. Through card sorting, a member of your target audience organizes a set of cards according to what they think goes together, removing the cards that don’t belong and adding any needed cards to complete a set. For a Web developer, this process identifies what topics users naturally group together, what terms are best for a site’s navigation and what words translate as jargon.
Mobile Warming: A New Approach to Student Engagement Recommendation from Josh Durham
Professors can use phones and tablets to help students get the most out of class time with the use of chat room style apps. As a professor is lecturing, students can anonymously and silently post questions and other students can answer them in real time. The professor can look at what questions are being posted and decide if students are grasping the concept being taught in class in real time as well. Another benefit of this technology is that it allows students who would otherwise sit silently in class a chance to ask questions and statistics have shown that student success went up with the use of the app.
I helped plan the HighEdWeb Leadership Academy, which was held Oct. 6 and 10, 2012, in Milwaukee, Wisc. The cohort included 23 dedicated Web professionals from higher education institutions across the country. I learned a lot from the sessions, as shared below through Storify below.
2012 HighEdWeb Leadership Academy
The HighEdWeb Leadership Academy was held Oct. 6 and 10, 2012, in Milwaukee, Wisc. The cohort included 23 dedicated Web professionals from higher education institutions across the country.
Storified by Sara Clark · Wed, Oct 17 2012 06:57:28
First #heweb12 conference in the can. I. Am. Hooked. Leadership academy #heweblead rocked as well. Thanks to all who put it on!Erik Hagen
HighEdWeb Leadership Academy 2012 28.jpgHighEdWeb
"Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline." #hewebleadAlana Riley
“Let there be Web divisions” (Zeldman, 2007) http://www.zeldman.com/2007/07/02/let-there-be-web-divisions/ #heweblead @markgrSven Aas
The leadership academy will be starting shortly in the Wright Ballroom on the 4th floor of the Hilton #heweblead #heweb12Mark Greenfield
"Why would happen if your website disappeared tomorrow?" (which section would be first priority to reinstate?) #heweb12 #hewebleadAnne Petersen
"We all have web governance. Anarchy is a form of governance." @markgr #heweblead #heweb12Sven Aas
Regardless of where the web people report, they should act like a team and unified front to the client. #hewebleadSara Clark
Something that excites me most about working the web in hied, is we touch every department- no one else does this. #heweb12 #hewebleadDan Demmons
"We make change with a giant magnet not a giant hammer." ~Julie Peterson (@juliep2631) VP Communications @UChicago #heweb12 #hewebleadAlana Riley
Use "experiments" and "hypothesis" to try new things without generating fear about change. #hewebleadSara Clark
HighEdWeb Leadership Academy 2012 10.jpgHighEdWeb
Pro tip – the web team needs to think of themselves as a strategic shop, not a production shop. #heweb12Mark Greenfield
Improve Your Overall Influence: Have a strong, professional presence. Be outgoing. Command attention. Be confident. #heweb12 #hewebleadAlana Riley
You get paid for your time and your talent. How do you use it? How do other people use it? —Brian McDonald #heweblead #heweb12Sven Aas
How much time do you spend per week leading vs managing vs doing? Are you too busy doing and managing to be a effective leader? #hewebleadSara Clark
"Leadership is the capacity of a human community to shape it’s future. [It is a] collective versus individual act." Peter Senge #hewebleadSven Aas
Leadership is not about what position someone holds, it’s about their behavior #heweblead #heweb12Mark Greenfield
Particularly in higher ed, the vision needs to come from the community rather than from the top. #hewebleadSara Clark
Unexpectedly provocative advice: Don’t start your day with email. #heweblead #heweb12Sven Aas
No project is free. Somebody is paying for it. #hewebleadjakedolan
Prioritize and don’t just react. Do it the way that works for you. #heweblead #heweb12jakedolan
"They’re not IT projects – they’re University projects. We just happen to be facilitating them." ~@MU_CIO (Kathy Lang) #heweblead #heweb12Alana Riley
Book recommendation => Why Leaders Fail by Warren Bennis #heweblead #heweb12Mark Greenfield
Even if you don’t like university politics, you won’t get anywhere if you aren’t politically savvy. – Brian McDonald. #heweblead #heweb12Brian Holdman