University 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
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.
Your 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.
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.
- Recap: Making Your Statement in a Digital World - November 17, 2016
- Recap: 2016 Public Affairs Convocation on social media - November 9, 2016
- Free training for websites, blogs and social media - November 2, 2016
- Redesigned physician assistant studies website: Academic excellence + work-life balance - October 3, 2016
- Free photo opportunity for faculty and staff - August 24, 2016
- Mobile-friendly academic website conversions: Spring semester progress - July 23, 2016
- Free photo opportunity for faculty and staff - June 17, 2016
- Free photo opportunity for faculty and staff - April 7, 2016
- Recap: Student work featured - January 11, 2016
- Redesigned biology website: Diverse programs in a mobile-friendly format - January 7, 2016