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EDUCAUSE 2009 in Denver
Notes from the ITCOMM Constituent Group Meeting
EDUCAUSE Annual Meeting
November 5, 2009
Someone please organize an Educause panel discussion on IT Communications that Failed (and what we learned) for next year! Maybe OU? They talked about rolling out a new Exchange version when the customers didn't think the old one was broken (failure to secure customer buy in or broadcast critical need for additional storage space which was solved by new version).
Resources that came out of the meeting discussion:
1) Society for Technical Communications Don't be scared off by the name of the group, there are a lot of non-techie and techie-translated resources here.
2) IT Communicators mailing list and constituent group (CG) http://www.educause.edu/groups/ITCOMM
3) IT Communications wiki - and yes, Lisa and Jeff are working with Educause to move the data over when they have a tool that isn't so unwieldy. Educause Sr Director Cathy Yang said they are still using the same mailing list tool Educause had in the 1980s; it takes them a while to make a significant application change. Sound familiar? http://itcommunicate.wetpaint.com/
4) Communications Relations Org. http://cro.org/
Virtual Coffee Shop Topics for next few months:
Hot Topics 1, 2 for November:
1. Branding IT, IT vs university brands/logos
2. Who can send IT messages (do you have a comms plan, do you use lists?)
Hot Topics 3, 4 for December:
3. IT always to blame + Reputation repair and establishing a good reputation
4. Targeted email communications
Hot Topics 5, 6 for January: 5
. Marketing IT and "Strategic IT"
6. Building relationships (surveys, focus groups, face to face, etc.)
Hot Topic 7 for Feb/March:
7. Expectation Setting, esp through bad situations Hot Topic 8 for early summer 2010:
8. repeat social media best practices
Other hot topics and/or pain points and any suggestions the group had:
1) How to communicate to/with students?
Partnering with student affairs or student senate placing ads in the student news paper social media (see IT wiki for recap of this topic from a recent coffee shop) resident associates are our friends working with Public Affairs, University Marketing and/or Admissions to gain access to their student focus groups
2) What and when not to communicate? students told us not to spam them with "something's down" unless it would be down over 4 hours fac/staff expect you to fess up (that's confess for you non-Southerners) quickly Pop up a web page if something is wrong but don't blast the campus with email Tier II department representatives share IT messages, translate when necessary, report back problems
3) How to establish IT communications team or channel messages or communications through someone or a group if there are no designated IT communicators for your campus, and what tools or practices/processes make those around IT communicators better communicators? Remember to consider the level of IT education of the message recipients are they getting more IT savvy? If so, still best not to use acronyms, tech-speak like "applications." How to develop trust for IT communicators from the techies what exactly is IT communications Kinds and types of IT communications project vs operations vs crisis messages
4) How to borrow, refer to, or create IT Communicators toolkit? See resources for IT Security in Educause site; many communications tools already exist there.