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College Relations & Communications
ACE Presentation, June 7, 2009




                           College Relations and Com...
Presenters:

Mary Wirth
Director of College Relations and Communications

Jillian Stevenson
Associate Director of Communic...
Today’s discussion focus:

   1.   Strategies for change
   2.   Structure matters
   3.   Effective/creative decision mak...
College Overview as a Point of Reference:

1. Current enrollment of approximately 2,500 students with 12
   academic units...
2005 – 2008 College Strategic Plan

Impetus for change:
    • Enrollment Decreases
    • Federal/State Funding Decreases
 ...
Implementation of College
Strategic plan:

Creation of Communications and
Marketing Study Group…

“Update and improve coll...
College Relations and Communications
Dean
RESTRUCTURING:
Integrating those charged to
build strategic stakeholder                                        Mary W...
With significant change comes
significant opportunities…
Integration of Ag Comm into the
College Relations Office:
1.   De...
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
Jillian Stevenson
Associate Director of Communications
and Alumni Relations




                            College Relati...
Today’s discussion focus:

   1.   Strategies for change
   2.   Structure matters
   3.   Effective/creative decision mak...
Ag Communications and Marketing
            …moving forward
• Define expectations and focus resources

• Establish vision ...
Define Expectations
College Strategic Plan and areas of focus—Research,
  Teaching and Extension
    • Energy
    • Enviro...
Define Expectations
Extension Reframing Process:
   • Increase translation of new knowledge into innovative
     solutions...
Establish a Vision—shifting from
      a service unit to a strategic unit by:
• Focusing resources (financial and human) o...
Review Structure and Staffing

•   Staff reorganization for most efficient match of skills to
    needs of the unit
•   Le...
Web
            Leadership/Creative Team
   Chris More—Assoc. Dir., Web Communications

  Marketing
   Jonathan Ziegler—Ma...
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
College Relations and Communications
Project Focused Committees/Teams

• Undergraduate Recruitment Committee

• Trade Show Committees

• Dean’s Web site, emerg...
College Communications & Marketing Advisory Committee
     Membership:
     Associate deans for research, UG education, an...
Extension Communications & Marketing Advisory
                 Committee

• Membership:
  State Program Leaders and Associ...
Working with Extension

• Ag Comm serves the College (Dean’s Office), Undergraduate
  Education, and Research, in addition...
Marketing Think Sheets
      (Information to direct marketing efforts gleaned from
                 Extension Program Prop...
Assess and Improve

How will we know when we have
          “arrived?”




                        College Relations and C...
College Relations and Communications
Contact Information:

College Relations/Communications
229 Ag Administration Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-2822
...
Chris More
Associate Director of Web Communications




                           College Relations and Communications
Today’s discussion focus:

   1.   State of the Web – pre-2008
   2.   Changes implemented in 2008
   3.   Our Web site po...
State of the Web – Pre-2008

   1. 300+ Web sites
   2. Separate URLs created for every site
   3. 20,000 broken links
   ...
Today’s discussion focus:

   1.   State of the Web – pre-2008
   2.   Changes implemented in 2008
   3.   Our Web site po...
Changes Implemented in 2008
   1. Developed procedures and practices
   2. Implemented Microsoft SharePoint
   3. Develope...
Developed Procedures and Practices
 1. Defined team member roles
 2. Request Type: Problem / Enhancement / Project
 3. Pri...
Implemented Microsoft SharePoint

   1. Funnel for all requests
   2. Management of all projects and tasks
   3. Document ...
SharePoint: Requests




                       College Relations and Communications
SharePoint: Tasks (non-project)




                                  College Relations and Communications
SharePoint: View Task (non-project)




                                      College Relations and Communications
SharePoint: Projects




                       College Relations and Communications
Developed Custom Web Tools

   1. College-wide broken link checker: Spiders the entire
      College on a daily basis look...
Broken Link Checker




                      College Relations and Communications
Broken Link Checker




                      College Relations and Communications
Google Page Rank




                   College Relations and Communications
Google Page Rank




                   College Relations and Communications
Implemented Google Analytics
 1. Free, comprehensive, and easy-to-use
 2. Single account for entire College
 3. Anyone in ...
Reviewed RedDot CMS
1. Closed-source / commercial product / expensive
2. Windows / ASP / Microsoft SQL based
3. Lack of an...
Implemented Plone CMS
1. Open-source / GPL license – free to use
2. Widely used at Penn State and fastest growing CMS on c...
Plone – Edit Page




                    College Relations and Communications
Plone – Edit Event




                     College Relations and Communications
Plone – Edit Person




                      College Relations and Communications
Plone – Edit Person




                      College Relations and Communications
Redesigned College Homepage
Before




                                                                After
             ...
Today’s discussion focus:

   1.   State of the Web – pre-2008
   2.   Changes implemented in 2008
   3.   Our Web site po...
Our Web site policies and philosophies

   1. Form vs. Function
   2. Information Architecture
   3. Technical
   4. Conte...
Form vs. Function

 1. “First Impressions” exists in the digital realm
 2. Web sites need to function / work properly
 3. ...
Form vs. Function – Examples:
 Function Biased Web sites (Give me the content!):
 • Google
 • Wikipedia
 Form Biased Web s...
Form vs. Function – Bottom Line

• Know your audience
• Perform or gather market research
• Design Web sites around the ne...
Information Architecture – 1st level
 1. Can only be done after you know all of your audiences and their
    priority
 2. ...
Technical

1. Minimize broken links (404 errors): affects users and search engines
2. Minimize the use of URLs: use direct...
Content

   1. Core content should be in HTML and not a PDF
   2. Minimize the use of “link farms”
   3. Investigate the u...
Today’s discussion focus:

   1.   State of the Web – pre-2008
   2.   Changes implemented in 2008
   3.   Our Web site po...
Recent Accomplishments
 1. Converted five RedDot sites into folders of an existing Plone site
 2. Launched three Plone sit...
Contact Information:

College Relations/Communications
229 Ag Administration Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-2822
...
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Penn State Ag Sciences - ACE/NETC 2009 Presentation

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Strategies for Change: Penn State's College of Ag Sciences roadmap to "Think Again" about how we do Ag Communications. Presentation by Mary Wirth, Jillian Stevenson and Chris More from Penn State's College of Ag Sciences.

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Transcript of "Penn State Ag Sciences - ACE/NETC 2009 Presentation"

  1. 1. College Relations & Communications ACE Presentation, June 7, 2009 College Relations and Communications
  2. 2. Presenters: Mary Wirth Director of College Relations and Communications Jillian Stevenson Associate Director of Communications & Alumni Relations Chris More Associate Director of Web Communications College Relations and Communications
  3. 3. Today’s discussion focus: 1. Strategies for change 2. Structure matters 3. Effective/creative decision making 4. Prioritizing for maximum impact with limited resources 5. Strategic implementation of technology opportunities College Relations and Communications
  4. 4. College Overview as a Point of Reference: 1. Current enrollment of approximately 2,500 students with 12 academic units, twenty majors, three two-year programs, three certificate programs, and twenty-four minors, with students at twenty-four campuses state-wide 2. Invest more than $89 million in research and graduate study with 500 graduate students in 16 program areas and more than 240 active student and faculty research projects 3. Cooperative extension offices in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties College Relations and Communications
  5. 5. 2005 – 2008 College Strategic Plan Impetus for change: • Enrollment Decreases • Federal/State Funding Decreases • Remaining Relevant Charge: Strengthen meaningful communication and mutual education with stakeholders • Enhance Web-based materials • Expand college’s role in Ag literacy • Enhance recognition, reporting, and distribution of the impact of our programming Charge: Increase enrollment … • Intensify college marketing efforts to increase awareness of program relevancy College Relations and Communications
  6. 6. Implementation of College Strategic plan: Creation of Communications and Marketing Study Group… “Update and improve college marketing materials, specifically recruitment publications and Web site, to enhance the image of the college to target audiences.” Final report was submitted January 2006 and approved by Deans. The foundation was laid for change! College Relations and Communications
  7. 7. College Relations and Communications
  8. 8. Dean RESTRUCTURING: Integrating those charged to build strategic stakeholder Mary Wirth Communications and Director Marketing Advisory relationships with those College Relations and Communications Committee charged to deliver Rhonda Demchak Focus area (CMAC) Staff Assistant Industry and Government Relations strategic information to stakeholders. Mary Seaton Jillian Stevenson Chris More Assistant Director of Associate Director Associate Director College Relations Ag Communications/Alumni Web Communications Manager Office of Relations Conferences & Short Courses Area Leader Pete Kauffman College Relations/Communications Design/Print/Exhibits Mission: Naomi Knaub Jonathan Ziegler Assistant Director Marketing/Creative Area Leader Connect, Alumni Relations Chuck Gill Specialist Public Info Team Collaborate, Communicate… Steve Williams Photographer College Relations and Communications
  9. 9. With significant change comes significant opportunities… Integration of Ag Comm into the College Relations Office: 1. Define expectations (College Strategic Plan, CMAC) 2. Assess current structure (Service) 3. Vision (Service to strategic/integration of all CR units) 4. Strategic Plan (Set direction/inform new dean) 5. Assessment 6. Continued quality improvement College Relations and Communications
  10. 10. College Relations and Communications
  11. 11. College Relations and Communications
  12. 12. College Relations and Communications
  13. 13. College Relations and Communications
  14. 14. College Relations and Communications
  15. 15. College Relations and Communications
  16. 16. Jillian Stevenson Associate Director of Communications and Alumni Relations College Relations and Communications
  17. 17. Today’s discussion focus: 1. Strategies for change 2. Structure matters 3. Effective/creative decision making 4. Prioritizing for maximum impact with limited resources 5. Strategic implementation of technology opportunities College Relations and Communications
  18. 18. Ag Communications and Marketing …moving forward • Define expectations and focus resources • Establish vision (from service to strategic) • Review current structure • Continually assess and improve College Relations and Communications
  19. 19. Define Expectations College Strategic Plan and areas of focus—Research, Teaching and Extension • Energy • Environment • Entrepreneurship • Food, Diet, and Health • Pest Prediction and Response College Relations and Communications
  20. 20. Define Expectations Extension Reframing Process: • Increase translation of new knowledge into innovative solutions that address societal challenges • Consolidate and improve programs (quality and consistency) statewide • Improve flexibility and agility • Create self-empowered teams (21 working groups) College Relations and Communications
  21. 21. Establish a Vision—shifting from a service unit to a strategic unit by: • Focusing resources (financial and human) on the priorities of the college and positioning the college • Making efficient, creative, and strategic decisions • Managing expectations—cannot be all things to all people College Relations and Communications
  22. 22. Review Structure and Staffing • Staff reorganization for most efficient match of skills to needs of the unit • Leadership/Creative Team established to address various communications request and to approach each request as a team—focusing our efforts for the greatest impact College Relations and Communications
  23. 23. Web Leadership/Creative Team Chris More—Assoc. Dir., Web Communications Marketing Jonathan Ziegler—Marketing Specialist Design, Publications and Exhibits Peter Kauffman—Communications Specialist News and Information Chuck Gill—News Coordinator Photography Steve Williams—Sr. Photographer College Relations and Communications
  24. 24. College Relations and Communications
  25. 25. College Relations and Communications
  26. 26. College Relations and Communications
  27. 27. College Relations and Communications
  28. 28. College Relations and Communications
  29. 29. College Relations and Communications
  30. 30. College Relations and Communications
  31. 31. Project Focused Committees/Teams • Undergraduate Recruitment Committee • Trade Show Committees • Dean’s Web site, emerging issues, etc. College Relations and Communications
  32. 32. College Communications & Marketing Advisory Committee Membership: Associate deans for research, UG education, and Extension, and directors representing college stakeholders (industry, government, alumni and donors, international programs) Purpose: • Develop protocol and make policy recommendations as it pertains to Extension communications and marketing • Coordinate and assess Extension communications and marketing efforts College Relations and Communications
  33. 33. Extension Communications & Marketing Advisory Committee • Membership: State Program Leaders and Associate Dean of Extension • Purpose: • Develop protocol and make policy recommendations as it pertains to Extension communications and marketing • Coordinate and assess Extension communications and marketing efforts College Relations and Communications
  34. 34. Working with Extension • Ag Comm serves the College (Dean’s Office), Undergraduate Education, and Research, in addition to Extension—need to manage the workload • Working with Extension’s self-empowered teams (21 working groups) College Relations and Communications
  35. 35. Marketing Think Sheets (Information to direct marketing efforts gleaned from Extension Program Proposals) • SWOT Analysis • Positioning Strategy • Target Audience Data • Key Message • Competition • Proposed Strategies and • Marketing Objectives Tactics • Motivators/Barriers • Budget • Marketing Mix (4Ps) • Timeline College Relations and Communications
  36. 36. Assess and Improve How will we know when we have “arrived?” College Relations and Communications
  37. 37. College Relations and Communications
  38. 38. Contact Information: College Relations/Communications 229 Ag Administration Bldg. University Park, PA 16802 814-863-2822 Mary Wirth – mfw10@psu.edu Jillian Stevenson – jxh41@psu.edu Chris More – cmore@psu.edu College Relations and Communications
  39. 39. Chris More Associate Director of Web Communications College Relations and Communications
  40. 40. Today’s discussion focus: 1. State of the Web – pre-2008 2. Changes implemented in 2008 3. Our Web site policies and philosophies 4. Recent accomplishments College Relations and Communications
  41. 41. State of the Web – Pre-2008 1. 300+ Web sites 2. Separate URLs created for every site 3. 20,000 broken links 4. Technologies: Dreamweaver, RedDot and static HTML 5. Static College homepage 6. Many RedDot projects stalled during creation 7. No formal intake process or project management College Relations and Communications
  42. 42. Today’s discussion focus: 1. State of the Web – pre-2008 2. Changes implemented in 2008 3. Our Web site policies and philosophies 4. Recent accomplishments College Relations and Communications
  43. 43. Changes Implemented in 2008 1. Developed procedures and practices 2. Implemented Microsoft SharePoint 3. Developed custom Web tools 4. Implemented Google Analytics 5. Reviewed RedDot CMS 6. Implemented Plone CMS 7. Redesigned College homepage College Relations and Communications
  44. 44. Developed Procedures and Practices 1. Defined team member roles 2. Request Type: Problem / Enhancement / Project 3. Priority and Criticality 4. Request Workflow 5. Projects 1. Phases: Inception, Elaboration, Construction, Transition 2. Artifacts: Charter, owner, stakeholders, purpose, scope, etc. 3. Lifecycle 4. Deliverables College Relations and Communications
  45. 45. Implemented Microsoft SharePoint 1. Funnel for all requests 2. Management of all projects and tasks 3. Document library 4. Internal meeting notes and accomplishments 5. Discussion forums and team collaboration 6. Versioning enabled on all objects (projects, tasks, files) 7. All projects and tasks viewable by College faculty / staff College Relations and Communications
  46. 46. SharePoint: Requests College Relations and Communications
  47. 47. SharePoint: Tasks (non-project) College Relations and Communications
  48. 48. SharePoint: View Task (non-project) College Relations and Communications
  49. 49. SharePoint: Projects College Relations and Communications
  50. 50. Developed Custom Web Tools 1. College-wide broken link checker: Spiders the entire College on a daily basis looking for broken links and creates reports and charts. 2. Google page rank tracker: Performs Google searches on a daily basis for words/phrases related to Agriculture. Records position in Google results. College Relations and Communications
  51. 51. Broken Link Checker College Relations and Communications
  52. 52. Broken Link Checker College Relations and Communications
  53. 53. Google Page Rank College Relations and Communications
  54. 54. Google Page Rank College Relations and Communications
  55. 55. Implemented Google Analytics 1. Free, comprehensive, and easy-to-use 2. Single account for entire College 3. Anyone in College can request read-only access 4. Multiple custom filters to separate traffic and allow for sub-domain reporting 5. Two main reports: 1. External-only traffic 2. Internal and External traffic 6. 175+ Web sites have the same code in their HTML footer 7. Does not track file downloads by default College Relations and Communications
  56. 56. Reviewed RedDot CMS 1. Closed-source / commercial product / expensive 2. Windows / ASP / Microsoft SQL based 3. Lack of any built-in Web 2.0 or dynamic features 4. Not easily extensible 5. Difficult and time consuming for end users to update content 6. Difficult for Web developers to create simple Web sites 7. Poor customer and technical support from parent company 8. Future versions not addressing any of these issues College Relations and Communications
  57. 57. Implemented Plone CMS 1. Open-source / GPL license – free to use 2. Widely used at Penn State and fastest growing CMS on campus 3. WebLion partnership 4. Linux / Zope / Python / Apache / Squid based 5. Many Web 2.0 features built-in 6. Free add-ons for almost any type of functionality 7. Very simple for end users to created and maintain content 8. Steep learning curve for non-technical Web developers 9. Programming and UNIX expertise on Web team required to be successful College Relations and Communications
  58. 58. Plone – Edit Page College Relations and Communications
  59. 59. Plone – Edit Event College Relations and Communications
  60. 60. Plone – Edit Person College Relations and Communications
  61. 61. Plone – Edit Person College Relations and Communications
  62. 62. Redesigned College Homepage Before After College Relations and Communications
  63. 63. Today’s discussion focus: 1. State of the Web – pre-2008 2. Changes implemented in 2008 3. Our Web site policies and philosophies 4. Recent accomplishments College Relations and Communications
  64. 64. Our Web site policies and philosophies 1. Form vs. Function 2. Information Architecture 3. Technical 4. Content College Relations and Communications
  65. 65. Form vs. Function 1. “First Impressions” exists in the digital realm 2. Web sites need to function / work properly 3. Negative form can damage impressions of an organization 4. Negative function can damage reputation of organization 5. People often make decisions based on emotion instead of logic 6. You don't have to like a design for it to be effective on the target market College Relations and Communications
  66. 66. Form vs. Function – Examples: Function Biased Web sites (Give me the content!): • Google • Wikipedia Form Biased Web sites (Wow me!): • Any flash-based major motion picture • Many photography / graphic design companies • Art schools Which extreme has it right? • They both do • Purpose, target audience, and goals dictate the correct balance College Relations and Communications
  67. 67. Form vs. Function – Bottom Line • Know your audience • Perform or gather market research • Design Web sites around the needs / desires of your target audience • Balance of form and function can only happen if you know your audience • Try to remove personal preferences (client and internal) College Relations and Communications
  68. 68. Information Architecture – 1st level 1. Can only be done after you know all of your audiences and their priority 2. Separate audience information from content types 1. Audiences (information for …): Future students, current students, industry, alumni, public, etc. 2. Content types (information about …): news, events, directory, research, etc. 3. Keep navigations separate or their purpose clearly defined 4. Short general words in navigation – keep it simple College Relations and Communications
  69. 69. Technical 1. Minimize broken links (404 errors): affects users and search engines 2. Minimize the use of URLs: use directories for sub-sites 3. Don’t have multiple URLs point to the same content 4. Use 301 redirectors when a URL changes or goes away: users can find new content and search engines will be happy 5. Adhere to W3C Web and accessibility standards: benefits everyone College Relations and Communications
  70. 70. Content 1. Core content should be in HTML and not a PDF 2. Minimize the use of “link farms” 3. Investigate the use of content expiration and notification 4. Define owners of content and method to keep it “fresh” 5. Define an “overseer” of all content (text and photos) for consistency College Relations and Communications
  71. 71. Today’s discussion focus: 1. State of the Web – pre-2008 2. Changes implemented in 2008 3. Our Web site policies and philosophies 4. Recent accomplishments College Relations and Communications
  72. 72. Recent Accomplishments 1. Converted five RedDot sites into folders of an existing Plone site 2. Launched three Plone sites 1. Food Science – foodscience.psu.edu 2. College homepage – agsci.psu.edu 3. Entomology – ento.psu.edu 4. Collapsed 25 URLs into three 5. Increased traffic, page rank and return visitors 6. Decreased bounce rate 3. Six of twelve academic units/departments in project queue 1. Four to five months per academic unit/department College Relations and Communications
  73. 73. Contact Information: College Relations/Communications 229 Ag Administration Bldg. University Park, PA 16802 814-863-2822 Mary Wirth – mfw10@psu.edu Jillian Stevenson – jxh41@psu.edu Chris More – cmore@psu.edu College Relations and Communications
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