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Practicing what we preach about digital strategy

We got together last week for a couple of hours to look at what and how we communicate. The session was collaborative and fun – led by one of our Editorial Development Officers, Ailsa Wilson.

The University Website Programme team is busy on so many fronts – developing a new CMS, keeping the service going with Polopoly, supporting strategic themes like student experience and internationalisation. It can be hard to make the time to keep on top of our own communications and make sure that we put a bit of time aside regularly to disseminate what we’re doing.

We’re committed to educating and empowering the University’s web publishing and management community and I like to think we practice what we preach.

So we used these two hours to run through some activities inspired by the digital strategy workshops Paul Boag ran for us last summer.

What we did in the session

  • Generated a load of (sort of) story cards that identified communications we undertook or felt we should be doing
  • Mapped these to a matrix based on the level of detail of the message and the target audience
  • Looked at patterns in this matrix to help us see which communications channels we should be using for particular messages to particular audiences.

So what next?

Using what we gleaned from this team collaboration, we’re in the process of reviewing:

  • The focus of our website
  • The email and twitter channels we use
  • The support wiki’s structure
  • The groups and commitees we feed into
  • Our aims for this blog!

You’ll see a few changes over the coming months as we prepare for the launch of the Drupal CMS service and begin to do more to promote the interesting things we’re doing to support University strategic initiatives like the Student Experience Project and the Global Academies.

The Boag workshops were really inspiring. They certainly fired us up, and I know they had a similar effect for lots of colleagues who attended.

If you missed the sessions, don’t worry. We summarised what was covered and Paul also created a video presentation for us.

My slides summarising the Boag sessions (part of the August 2013 Web Publishers Community session)

Paul’s presentation:

YouTube video
Presentation slides on Speakerdeck

I recommend you take a bit of time to collaborate with your colleagues and stakeholders to whip your digital communications strategy into shape too.
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