IT Communications
and Rockstars
Mary Kathryn Roberts
Manager, Strategic Communications
Carleton University
IT PROJECTS
Strategy and
Organizational
Changes
Website
Outages
Training and
Workshops
Service
Promotion
Events Other
Changing landscapes
Brand and reputation
Plan | Practice
Audiences | Fans
Content | Music
Channels | Tour
Evaluate | Remin...
4
Changing Landscapes
1. Social Media
2. Information Overload
3. Heightened Expectations
You don’t have to be everywhere. Know where your audience is.
Quality over quantity.
“When we are no
longer able to change
a situation we are
challenged to change
ourselves.”
- Viktor E. Franki
1. Set the Expectation
2. Framework for Communications
3. Importance of Standards and Resources
Brand and Reputation
Tell stories that align with your IT
department’s vision and mission.
“A brand is a story
that is always being
told.”
- Scott Bedbury
10
Practice = Plan
1. Start Planning Early
2. Create Clear Goals and Objectives
3. Gather Resources
The Strategic Part of Strategic Planning
BACKGROUND
STRATEGY
COMMUNICATION GOALS
KEY MESSAGES
KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS
AU...
Tactic Vehicle Date Responsibility Notes/Evaluatio
n
Executive level
brief
Information
Systems
Steering
Committee
April 6 ...
If possible, determines: Point
of contact, Services impacted,
Time to resolve
Performs initial scope
assessment, Posts to ...
“The secret is to
gang up on the
problem, rather
than each other.”
- Thomas Stallkamp
Fans = Audience
1. Note Characteristics
2. Work with Timing/Schedules
3. Address Potential Questions and Issues
Students are….
busy
stressed
on social media
get a lot of email
tech savvy
Does it matter if
they are
on campus vs off
cam...
“How does this
impact me?”
- Your audience.
Tour = Channels
1. Contact Person for Each Available Channel
2. Use your Website to its Full Potential
3. Leverage Existin...
Twitter Rules
• Be polite
• Be useful.
• Be interesting.
• Be social.
• Be consistent.
• Be a person.
Twitter Plan:
• What...
Bufferapp.com
“Every time you add
something you take
something away.”
- 37signals.com
22
Music = Content
1. Keep it Simple
2. Use Pyramid Writing
3. Meet People Where They Are
When, What, Who
From Friday June 7 to Monday June 10, Microsoft will be upgrading all Carleton student email accounts.
Why...
“The ability to simplify
means to eliminate
the unnecessary so
that the necessary
may speak.” -Hans Hofman
Reminisce = Evaluate
1. Know what you’re evaluating
2. Do A | B testing
3. Share your lessons learned / success
27
“Experience is what you
get when you didn’t get
what you wanted.”
- Randy Pausch
1. Changing Landscapes. Times they are a changin’.
2. Brand and Reputation. It’s not about what you do, it’s about
what pe...
Questions?
Mary Kathryn Roberts
Manager, Strategic Communications
Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Administration...
IT Communications and Rockstars
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IT Communications and Rockstars

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This presentation addresses the similarities between rockstars and IT communications as higher ed IT departments strive to tell our stories, strategies, plans, and outages in terms of:

- changing landscapes
- managing your rockstar/IT brand and reputation
- practicing with the band (planning with stakeholders)
- understanding our fans (audiences)
- going on tour (channels)
- playing the music (content)
- taking time to reminisce (evaluating success)

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  • Rockstar Story: Fans, everything they do (or should do) is for their fans
  • IT Communications and Rockstars

    1. 1. IT Communications and Rockstars Mary Kathryn Roberts Manager, Strategic Communications Carleton University
    2. 2. IT PROJECTS Strategy and Organizational Changes Website Outages Training and Workshops Service Promotion Events Other
    3. 3. Changing landscapes Brand and reputation Plan | Practice Audiences | Fans Content | Music Channels | Tour Evaluate | Reminisce
    4. 4. 4 Changing Landscapes 1. Social Media 2. Information Overload 3. Heightened Expectations
    5. 5. You don’t have to be everywhere. Know where your audience is. Quality over quantity.
    6. 6. “When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.” - Viktor E. Franki
    7. 7. 1. Set the Expectation 2. Framework for Communications 3. Importance of Standards and Resources Brand and Reputation
    8. 8. Tell stories that align with your IT department’s vision and mission.
    9. 9. “A brand is a story that is always being told.” - Scott Bedbury
    10. 10. 10 Practice = Plan 1. Start Planning Early 2. Create Clear Goals and Objectives 3. Gather Resources
    11. 11. The Strategic Part of Strategic Planning BACKGROUND STRATEGY COMMUNICATION GOALS KEY MESSAGES KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS AUDIENCE ANALYSIS
    12. 12. Tactic Vehicle Date Responsibility Notes/Evaluatio n Executive level brief Information Systems Steering Committee April 6 – Quarterly CIO present MK provide key messages Reactions Questions Review and prepare website including an FAQ section carleton.ca/ccs/ site April 9 MK Set up dashboard alerts in Google Analytics Update FAQ as required The Tactical Part of Strategic Planning
    13. 13. If possible, determines: Point of contact, Services impacted, Time to resolve Performs initial scope assessment, Posts to generic channels Prepares message for broadcast, Tweets outage Contacts include: Department of Communications, Student Services, Registrar’s Office Issue Discovered Outage Reported for 1st Phase Communications Big Issues Escalated for Broadcast Communications Issue is Broadcast to Community as Necessary Create an Outage Communications Plan
    14. 14. “The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” - Thomas Stallkamp
    15. 15. Fans = Audience 1. Note Characteristics 2. Work with Timing/Schedules 3. Address Potential Questions and Issues
    16. 16. Students are…. busy stressed on social media get a lot of email tech savvy Does it matter if they are on campus vs off campus? Undergrad vs grad?
    17. 17. “How does this impact me?” - Your audience.
    18. 18. Tour = Channels 1. Contact Person for Each Available Channel 2. Use your Website to its Full Potential 3. Leverage Existing Social Media Channels
    19. 19. Twitter Rules • Be polite • Be useful. • Be interesting. • Be social. • Be consistent. • Be a person. Twitter Plan: • What to tweet. Content strategy. • How often to tweet. Buffer. • Hashtag or no hashtag #nohashtag • How to measure.
    20. 20. Bufferapp.com
    21. 21. “Every time you add something you take something away.” - 37signals.com
    22. 22. 22 Music = Content 1. Keep it Simple 2. Use Pyramid Writing 3. Meet People Where They Are
    23. 23. When, What, Who From Friday June 7 to Monday June 10, Microsoft will be upgrading all Carleton student email accounts. Why, How (does this affect you) This upgrade will result in a significant storage increase, from 25 GB to 50 GB. During the upgrade, students will experience a few minutes of service interruption. Access via the Portal and via smartphones will be unavailable during this time. Details To access your account during the upgrade, (details) Background Info Learn more about the upgrade at this website.
    24. 24. “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” -Hans Hofman
    25. 25. Reminisce = Evaluate 1. Know what you’re evaluating 2. Do A | B testing 3. Share your lessons learned / success
    26. 26. 27
    27. 27. “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” - Randy Pausch
    28. 28. 1. Changing Landscapes. Times they are a changin’. 2. Brand and Reputation. It’s not about what you do, it’s about what people think about what you do. 3. Plan. Have one. Involve people early. 4. Audience – Address potential prejudices. Potential issues. IT knowledge. Be aware of schedule conflicts. 5. Channels - Know what channels work best for each audience and tailor content accordingly. Get social – but keep in mind your resources. 6. Content - Content needs to be tailored to both the audience and to the channel. Use pyramid writing. Simple, clear, concise. 7. Evaluation – Include in the plan. Get feedback. Report. Be even better next time.
    29. 29. Questions? Mary Kathryn Roberts Manager, Strategic Communications Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Carleton University @HEITcomms

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