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Interesting articles:

http://chronicle.com/article/Digitally-Savvy-Students-Play/134224/  -  Chronicle of Higher Ed article on how various universities are reaching students

http://www.hannonhill.com/news/blog/2012/what-is-pinterest-and-why-should-higher-ed-use-it.html - What Is Pinterest and Why Should Higher Ed Use It?

Discussion notes

Where have you developed expertise because you do it so much or so often?

  • Crisis Communications (North Dakota State, UTexas, Val Pariso just today)
  • Capacity - how to plan for spikes when they change - like web hits, etc.
  • Outsourced email and that is causing us to learn what you can and cannot do in the cloud, faculty and staff expectations, learning management systems
  • Video in learning management systems is a big deal now
  • Can't predict these issues, so how do we plan for them?
  • Initially, if something isn't an issue, how do you get ready for when an trend becomes an issue (like heavy usage)
  • Bringing devices (new or more) - like Apple TV doesn't work on our network.
  • What joys/tribulations will iPhone 5 or Kindle Fire or Windows 8 bring us?
  • Integration pieces
  • How to support byod?  We are saying "best effort"
  • top 10 issues published by EDUCAUSE - #2 Is how to support BYOD
  • Contract management - software, VMware, cloud computing, staff augmentation, ediscovery

What will training look like for the rest of you? 

  • Have to give up EDUCAUSE conferences  in order to get training in other areas, like internal branding conference in Chicago in late October.
  • IT Organizations across the campus under threat...how to increase or improve brand, show we are experts at what we do.  Improve awareness and customer satisfaction.  Looking at campus climate, goals of where we want to go, how IT is referenced in strategic documents at executive level, how do we enhance and empower university to fulfill our mission.  Get employees to embrace idea that we need to be a leader and be trusted by our customers.  So I decided to go to this conference to gain buyin from employees and how to live it out.
  • International Association of Business Communicators - mailing lists.  PRSA as well

If you feel IT is threatened from within your campus, how do you deal with making IT strategic?

  • Once out-sourcing begins, when does it stop?  If custodians are out-sourced, why not IT?
  • One campus is dealing with a group that includes external resources (venture capitalists, clinics, tenants) who is demanding 24x7 service that is not currently available on campus
  • Another campus is dealing with both financial and organizational threats - should IT be working differently?
  • Less capital expenditures for another campus meant cloud sourcing is now always considered first

What does the current skill set look like for an internal communications manager or coordinator?

 

  • Our communications person  didn't return from a maternity leave and we're just considering this now.  Students don't seem to follow up on web sites or email.  I find out more from their Twitter feeds...so I think the skill set is
  • be able to relate
  • be able to write
  • be able to cross-communicate (cross channels)

 

  • Social media skills is something we would look for: someone who has experience using social media for marketing, using various tools to aggregate across various platforms, tools that are used to measure social media - again for marketing, not personal use.

 

  • My ideal person, if we could hire another person -we would get a developer so we could do web apps - if we could have any app, what would we pick first?  Just discussing that now.  We'd really like to find a fun way to make the portal more mobile-friendly.

 

  • Whenever we look to hire at our school, we look for someone open to learning about responsive web design.  That is such a new way of thinking.  Everyone, including communicators, needs to be rethinking web sites and what they do and how they work.  Check out Boston Globe's web site, I've heard that is a really good one.  Yes, now everyone can see web sites on their phones, but if you had known everyone who visits your site is going to have to pinch and scroll to use your content, would you have designed it differently?  Of course you would.  Not as much content, different graphics.  Using HTML5, mobile devices cite things differently that desk tops.

 

  • Search Engine Optimization! Google Stats showed the Parent Access channel at one of our schools was getting a lot of angry parent email saying they didn't know how to do it, couldn't find it.  When we looked at the the site stats, found that their page wasn't working with SEO and so we worked with that department to improve their SEO then changed the verbiage on the IT page to direct them to the appropriate page.  So although SEO isn't something you have to know every day, but you do need to know it.

 

  • Skill or at least thinkg about how to provide info for parents! Parents are being asked for advice, like "how do I set up my phone for email?" so how do we address PARENTS who are involved and searching for information to help their kids at our universities?  One school is going to redesign their IT web page with a section for parents because they are becoming more involved in their kids college questions.

Look at Parents Weekends, have a flier or signs around campus.

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