Monthly Archives: April 2010

Breakout session: Promoting on the Web

Promotions is finding simple and effective ways to tell the stories about your unit or department that will motivate users to want to learn more, enroll, send their kid or give money to UMKC.

Simple rules…

  • Condense stories, write for the Web.
  • Use student, alumni, faculty, and staff profiles to tell stories.
  • Relate to the audience, the overall UMKC experience.

Please review the UMKC Web Policy site for requirements and recommendations, following these will go a long way in improving the promotional value of your site.

Discussion

Sandy Beaty from PR was in attendance and shared information about the UMKC profiles (the rotating photos on the homepage). These change once a week and are geared to give the reader enough information to spark interest in the stories. Then they are clickable so you can read the whole story. The stories are archived and searchable on umkc.edu.

Dana Self from the Conservatory explained their use of twitter, facebook, and a niche social networking tool, called Instant Encore. Their new Web site launches on April 30. The site also contains recruitment videos created by scenic road productions.

Bryce Puntenney from Pharmacy highlighted a new section of their site, a student life focused area. According to the tracking, the majority of their Web users are students, so a need for this focus arose. As for social networking, Pharmacy uses LinkedIn as it is a more professional type networking tool, which seems to fit their audience well. The School also has a strong alumni  network who will be likely to use the tool.

Ross Freese from the Central Ticket Office explained that Facebook is a top referring site to the CTO. He is very interested in Google Analytics to find out how people are finding their site.

As a reminder to the group, John Verssue mentioned that content is 85% of your Web site. People scan the content on your Web site, they do not read it word-for-word. Ensure that your content, even that it be for printed materials, is Web-ready so you only have to write it once.

Breakout session: Content Management Systems

Current CMS users on campus:

  • SBS will be using a custom CMS on their new site
  • Library uses Drupal
  • Conservatory is using a custom CMS
  • SOE is using a custom CMS

Pros:

  • Ease of editing for non-technical users.
  • Don’t have to set Web server permissions.
  • Can give a user access to only a portion of a page.
  • Gives you control over file organization so you can keep the server clean.

Cons:

  • No easy way to archive pages or to restore a previous version.
  • The editing interface can be so basic that users find it limiting or “clunky” to use.
  • Requires a dedicated person on staff to manage the CMS.
  • Out of the box solutions sometimes have too many bells and whistles for the typical user’s needs.

When should you implement a CMS?

  • If you have more than two or three people making edits to a Web site who need to access different areas of the site, or if you many areas of the site that need to be updated frequently, then a CMS would be a useful tool.
  • On the other hand, if you have only a couple pages that change frequently or one or two content editors maintaining the site, then it is probably not cost effective to use a CMS unless you use something like WordPress for the areas of your site that are updated frequently.

If you’re thinking about implementing a CMS, it’s best to do so before your site gets too big because transferring content is labor intensive. If you are anticipating a big surge in content in the future, then it might be a good time to implement.