Weekly round-up 4.22.11
“College communications, alumni relations, and marketing professionals all seem to agree that using social media is crucial to the future of branding and fund-raising in higher education. But they still lack the staff and expertise to do what they think they could with Facebook et al., as well as the analytical tools to figure out whether what they are doing has any real value. This is according to a survey being released today by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), in conjunction with the consultancy mStoner and the commercial research firm Slover Linett.” More information here.
“Earlier this year, Whitman College rolled out a new one-sentence statement as part of its overhaul of admissions materials.” The statement “calls Whitman ‘the premier liberal arts college that combines academic excellence with an unpretentious, Northwest culture and an engaging community.’ … current students seized on one word—‘unpretentious’—and provided an illustration of possible perils of branding. It’s not a bad description of the campus … But isn’t bragging about how unpretentious you are a little, um, pretentious? … At Whitman, emphasizing the ‘unpretentious Northwest culture’ began in focus groups ... It was used to describe Whitman so frequently in discussions among students, prospective students, alumni, parents and guidance counselors that ‘the transcripts from those have the word unpretentious underlined.’”
“Many people seemed to be held back by concerns about how to treat their children in their financial planning, the Morgridges said. Others just didn’t seem to be thinking much about a long-term approach to giving. Said Mr. Morgridge: ‘I was a little surprised at both dinners that there were a fair number of people who really had no philanthropic plan.’”
Including photos, videos, school information, community information and national information.
“Scour any university website and it won’t take long to discover a list of frequently asked questions. But all too often these FAQ aren’t those questions most often asked, but the answers the school most often likes to give. So where do I get the good stuff? Social media marketing thrives on the trusted referrals of friends. And as such, several social sites seek to tackle the best way to pair quality questions with quality answers.”
Including smart phone videos, student-produced videos and Animoto, the video without video.
Bob Johnson’s Link of the Week
“Glimpse the future when you visit an entry page for adult students at the University of Wisconsin Extension that uses effective web design for mobile sites... on a traditional website.”
“No matter how many good ideas are strategized and agreed upon for a website’s content, somebody has to take responsibility for that content … But assigning ownership isn’t enough. Owners need to be excited about the benefits and purpose of the content, understand their responsibilities, and commit the time it takes to make great content. You need content owners who care.”
“The more you enable content contributors to write for your site (supported, of course, by a thorough editorial process), the closer you will be to your shared goal of creating great content. Here are some web writing guidelines to help make that happen.”