Organizing Your Communications

92419672There’s a lot of help “out there” for those of us who have responsibility for promoting our message.  I’ve run into a couple that might be of interest to our content contributors:

  •  The importance of an editorial calendar: I really liked the tagline for this article “don’t post everything on a whim.”  Keep reading and you’ll recognize those action verbs that are really important for any content contributor: “Coordinate” and “Repurpose”  and especially “think long-term.”  Definitely useful advice for those of us who are asked to “put it on the web.”
  • So what exactly IS meta-data?  Read this article to learn more about Meta Descriptions and how search engines (well, Google, anyway) use the meta tag description to find your content. There’s even a short video that explains how to decide which pages are important to tag correctly.

 

Tweets You May Have Missed

Twitter-BirdA selection of recent tweets. Follow me on Twitter for regular updates. In a #FollowFriday mood? Don’t forget to follow Seton Hall and Seton Hall Alumni on Twitter for the latest official Seton Hall University tweets.

Undergraduate Admissions Redesign

admissionsAt the beginning the year, the web team successfully redesigned and relaunched admissions.shu.edu, our Undergraduate Admissions webpage. This marks the first new “site” in our CommonSpot cloud environment to be launched as part of the web redesign project.

Built in collaboration with Vice President for Enrollment Management Alyssa McCloud, this site features code framework enhancements, updated rendering tools for our dynamic elements, accessibility conscious color palettes and responsive design features. The user experience is not only clean for prospective students, but also provides a new level of self-service for trained members of the Enrollment Services team. We welcome community feedback as we continuously work to improve our admissions pages.

Writing for the Web: What About Grammar Rules?

grammarJakob Nielsen, who has been documenting the user experience since the earliest days of the Internet, is telling us to focus less on grammar and more on clarity when communicating on the Web.  In his latest newsletter, Nielsen reminds us to take into consideration how users approach web content:

  • they scan rather than read closely;
  • they expect the formatting of content to reflect its importance;
  • they look for numbers when looking for facts.

Read Nielsen’s article to learn which grammar rules he suggests you could “break” in order to achieve maximum clarity and keep your users on your page.

Web Redesign Content Audit

The “Content Audit”
As part of the ongoing web redesign project, liaisons and account managers for our schools and colleges have been receiving documentation and recommendations on performing a content audit in anticipation of the their top-level updates. This documentation includes updated information architectures, analytics reports and template wireframes to help inspire our next steps.

We have talked extensively about the content audit in a series of web redesign meetings, and now is the time for communications liaisons to work with their account managers on eliminating unneeded content, identifying what content is missing from your site and preparing for an all new, modernized and technologically presentation.

While working through your content, use your information architectures, review your metrics reports and consider performing a detailed competitive analysis. Imagine how your target audiences might interact with your content in the grayscale’s we’re developing and refine your messages to core storytelling, value statements and resources. We will continue to work with you through this process, but your you immediate goals should include:

  • Insuring all content is current and accurate. Consider future-proofing language to support sustainability.
  • All content is simple and direct, in context of your communications goals as well as search engine optimization.
  • What supporting content (rich media, calls-to-actions and links) any one page should have.

Recommended Reading

Timeline
A detailed review of past project milestones and upcoming goals will be available on this blog in the coming weeks. For the content audit, our goal is to have all development and revisions submitted by June. Marie Somers and I are available to help anyone working on their audit, or who have questions about the redesign project. We look forward to hearing from you.

Weekly Email Update

email-integration-2It’s been quiet here on the web blog so far in 2014, but it’s been a busy few months for web development and communications at Seton Hall. If indeed March roars in like a lion, I would like to join in and share a lot of news, notes and updates this month. In addition, instead of receiving an email every time a post is made on this blog, I’m electing to send out a weekly digest of everything that’s been posted, not unlike the Campus Digest from Seton Hall. Stayed tuned to your inbox for what’s new and happening next.

Tweets You May Have Missed Last Week

Twitter-BirdA selection of last week’s tweets. Follow me on Twitter for regular updates. In a #FollowFriday mood? Don’t forget to follow Seton Hall and Seton Hall Alumni on Twitter for the latest official Seton Hall University tweets.

Blog Subscribers Update

email-integration-2Recently we experienced an issue with the WordPress plugin that supports our subscription list for the Web and Digital Communications blog. We suspect that during a recent update the email addresses were inadvertently purged from the database. As a result, we’ve had to manually recreate our subscriptions from our list of CommonSpot contributors, department colleagues… and memory.

We’ve taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future, but we may not have added everyone who was subscribed — or mistakingly added someone who hadn’t. Please subscribe again if we missed you, or accept our apology if we mistakingly added you to the list.

A New Home on Twitter and www.shu.edu Global Template Updates

In an effort to make our social media presence more intuitive, the Web and Digital Communications team at Seton Hall has successfully migrated our Twitter address to @setonhall. This new address will allow for a more seamless interaction with past, present, and future Pirates as well as the Seton Hall community. We’re sharing this update across all Seton Hall digital outlets now. Please update any links you have to our Twitter account!
Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 10.30.46 AM
To reflect this, we’ve also updated out global footer across www.shu.edu pages to include the new link. We’ve also elected to move around those icons, and switch out our Pinterest icon for a link to our LinkedIn university page.

Planners Update

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 1.28.03 AMIn an ongoing effort to provide the best digital communications support, our teams have been working to update and create new web, creative and marketing “planners” for the University Community. These planners provide an easy way to make marketing and creative requests as well as submit new digital communications for the Seton Hall website, email distribution, portals and social media channels.

Many of the older PDF forms are now replaced with updated Formstack forms. Here is the full list of available planners:

*Under development review and testing. Feedback welcome.

Most of these forms initiate a workflow in campus ticketing systems — you will receive a confirmation e-mail when requests are received by these systems, and/or direct communication from campus support teams as requests are processed. Updates to this list will be made available on the Web, Creative and Marketing Planners page.