Are You in Alignment?


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This presentation at the 2010 Associated College Press and College Media Advisers fall convention discusses how to align departmental strategic planning with institutional strategic planning so college student media can demonstrate their academic value.

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Are You in Alignment?

  1. 1. Are You in Alignment? Presented by Dr. Kay L. Colley Assistant Professor and Student Media Director Texas Wesleyan University
  2. 2. Definition of alignment <ul><li>Bringing solutions into coordination or agreement with business strategy and operational requirements </li></ul>
  3. 3. So what does this mean? <ul><li>Bringing your student media/publications strategy and goals into agreement with university strategy and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic planning and assessment </li></ul>
  4. 4. A few questions <ul><li>How many of you have a strategic plan? </li></ul><ul><li>How many of you currently align that plan to the university’s plan? </li></ul><ul><li>How have you accomplished this? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Where do I start? <ul><li>Mission Statement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have one? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have it on display? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you use it to guide your decision making processes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you evaluate how you live your mission on a daily basis? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is your mission statement in alignment with the university’s mission statement? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What is a mission statement? <ul><li>“ A mission statement defines in a paragraph or so any entity's reason for existence. It embodies its philosophies, goals, ambitions and mores. Any entity that attempts to operate without a mission statement runs the risk of wandering through the world without having the ability to verify that it is on its intended course.” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is a mission statement? <ul><li>A clear and succinct representation of your reason for existence </li></ul><ul><li>The first consideration for any employee who is evaluating a strategic decision </li></ul>
  8. 8. Mission statements of well-known companies <ul><li>3M &quot;To solve unsolved problems innovatively.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Kay Cosmetics &quot;To give unlimited opportunity to women.” </li></ul><ul><li>Merck </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;To preserve and improve human life.” </li></ul><ul><li>Walt Disney &quot;To make people happy.&quot; </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mission statements of student media <ul><li>The Daily Tar Heel, the student-run publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, operates with the following mission: </li></ul><ul><li>To aggressively pursue all news of the University, University community and all who are affected by the University; to consistently beat our competition in terms of breaking news and quality of content; to set the standard for the journalism industry in terms of innovation, accuracy and responsiveness to the community. </li></ul><ul><li>To serve as a learning laboratory for young journalists with a relaxed atmosphere but serious expectations; to equip all aspiring media professionals with the tools necessary not only to communicate information but also in understanding the changing face of media; to train staff members in various aspects of reporting, editing and managing a daily news organization and publishing a daily newspaper; to provide a fun, relaxed working environment for young professionals. </li></ul><ul><li>To advocate for the tradition of editorial and journalistic freedom among journalists; to be a leader in espousing the ethical standards of the industry; to serve as a beacon of journalistic integrity. </li></ul><ul><li>To represent the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as its flagship news organization and also to represent the area as Orange County’s news source of record. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mission statements of student media <ul><li>It is the mission of Student Publications to provide training and professional support for publication of The Shorthorn, the official UT Arlington student newspaper; and other publications. In doing so, as part of its mission, the department also provides training for students planning careers in journalism and related fields. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The mission of The Rambler is to provide interested students with a hands-on learning experience by simulating a real-world newspaper environment. Offering writers, editors and other staff members the opportunity to learn and hone skills pertaining to a wide variety of journalistic experiences (including writing, photography, editing, design, advertising, editorial judgment and newsroom management). The Rambler also strives to provide a quality public forum for the dissemination of news and opinion of interest and relevance to the Wesleyan community.
  12. 12. Writing a mission statement <ul><li>Make it clear and succinct and incorporate socially meaningful and measurable criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Consider including some or all of the following concepts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your moral/ethical position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your desired public image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key strategic influences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your target market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A description of your media/medium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your geographic domain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your expectations of growth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember, your target audiences are internal </li></ul>
  13. 13. Why not a purpose statement? <ul><li>Talk the talk of leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a more “credible” assessment criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Give your organization internal credibility as well </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some more questions <ul><li>How many of you have a copy of the institution’s mission statement? </li></ul><ul><li>How many of you have a copy of the institution’s strategic plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Should you have copies of these documents? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Creating alignment <ul><li>First you have to create a vision for your student media </li></ul><ul><li>Next you have to create a roadmap on how to get there </li></ul><ul><li>Do this with the institution’s strategic plan in hand </li></ul>
  16. 16. Here we are; here’s how we support you <ul><li>TWU layout for the strategic and action plan is such that it allows for easy linkage and alignment </li></ul><ul><li>Headings are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Department mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How it supports the university mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Long-term goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How they support the university’s strategic plan (indicate by number) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you measure success? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology and budgetary needs to meet goals </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Key to creating alignment <ul><li>Give explicit examples that link your plan with the institutional plan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Departmental strategic goal 1 supports University Strategies 2, 3, 5 and 6. Strategy 2: Provide select undergraduate and graduate academic programs that prepare students with the required content-area knowledge and skills to pursue related careers or professional/graduate studies by providing students a real world practicum to hone and practice skills learned in the classroom for the communication field.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leave no room for guessing or questions </li></ul>
  18. 18. Assessment is not a four letter word <ul><li>Departmental strategic plans that align with the institution’s overall plan need to demonstrate through assessment how that happens </li></ul><ul><li>Putting out a paper, radio program, etc. doesn’t cut it </li></ul><ul><li>Winning awards doesn’t cut it </li></ul>
  19. 19. Try some of these things for assessment <ul><li>Skills tests (pre and post) </li></ul><ul><li>Year-end portfolio review </li></ul><ul><li>Job evaluation at mid-term and finals </li></ul><ul><li>Internal credibility surveys and compare </li></ul><ul><li>External critiques and reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Internal critiques and reviews based on rubric </li></ul><ul><li>Content audit of coverage and focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Campus survey </li></ul>
  20. 20. How do you do it? <ul><li>Give us some of your strategies and tips on strategic planning and assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Check my blog as I continue to research this project in stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission statements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional perception </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Feel free to contact me at: </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Kay L. Colley </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>817-531-6525 </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @kaycolley </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul><ul><li>Student Media Director for </li></ul>