The value of Open Days to Universities is significant as it allows prospective students to get a real feel for what the University has to offer. However, university open days are complex – there is so much going on for the attendees so we were really keen that they didn’t miss anything.
In addition to providing people with a programme for the day in paper format we looked at how mobile could support their open day experience. The result was a mobile app which aims to provide everyone with all of the information they need to make the most of the day and not miss anything they want to attend. And we were also aware that not everyone wants to attend the same events during the day so we added ‘build your own agenda’ functionality which allowed those attending to build an agenda for themselves which included push alerts to remind them of where to go next.
The hope is that we can use the infrastructure to support future events and open days. The initial results look positive with around a quarter of those attending downloading the app and around half of those using the ‘build your own agenda’ functionality. We will need to conduct some proper analysis of usage and source feedback but the initial stats look positive.
If you want to have a look you can download the App via
How publications that are designed for print work online is a continued issue for most marketing teams. Ultimately, creative teams need to be considering how the information will be consumed before deciding how to tackle the project so that the output is designed with the end user in mind. However, this does require a different mind set to that employed by a traditional marketing/publications team.
Although we are not there yet at Edinburgh Napier we have discovered this nice publication tool joomag that take a publication designed for print and gives it a little bit more life online – it’s a bit more interesting than a pdf and it is also not too expensive. It will be interesting to see what feedback we get from students.
The publication below is work in progress – I’m just testing it via the blog.
[joomag width=300 height=194 title=edinburgh-napier-university-newsfeed-2013-14 magazineId=0099210001378375587 backgroundImage=http://www.joomag.com/Frontend/flash/gui/themes/default_new/thumbnail.png ]
Or you can access via this link
It is needed and this month Edinburgh Napier University issued its ‘Social Media Policy‘.
As an institution we are keen to promote the use of social media as our Good Practice Social Media Participation Guidelines encourages.
However, two things that staff need to be very aware of are in Section 6 and 8.
Section 6 covers the University’s reputation:
‘Staff should avoid social media communications that may be misconstrued in a way that could damage the University’s reputation, whether directly or indirectly. Staff must not post inappropriate or defamatory statements’.
Section 8 goes on to address consent
‘ Staff must not post images of their colleagues or students without prior written consent‘.
And its serious stuff because employees who breach any of the University’s policies may be subject to disciplinary action which could ultimately lead to dismissal.
Food for thought for employees who post images of colleagues or are inclined to criticise the University via social.
The full policy can be downloaded via the Edinburgh Napier staff intranet HR documents page
At the start of the year I was asked to help out on the web/social media for a community cinema project – Balerno Village Screen.
On a budget of zero (or as close to zero as possible) my task was to do the digital stuff and allow customers to register for events online.
As cost was to be kept as low as possible, I went with WordPress.com and the twenty eleven theme in black with Facebook fan page and Twitter profile – the committee didn’t want wordpress in the url so we paid to have it upgraded and advertising removed – total cost came in at just under £50.
The next challenge was online booking and my initial investigation suggested Eventzilla was slightly easier to use and integrate than Eventbrite. However, it was only when i got under the skin of using the service that I identified some limitations and bugs – particularly related to the timing of the event – Eventzilla only allows the events to be per hour or every half hour – Eventbrite lets you break it down to 5 minute segments. This was a frustration with Zilla because our 3rd screening was at 15 minutes past the hour.
The biggest drawback i found though with Eventzilla is backend. Many of the processes around booking management don’t seem to work or time out. And although you can see each person’s ticket individually, you cannot cancel say 1 of their 4 tickets, you need to cancel their whole order. In contrast Eventbrite does allow this but more importantly for me, it allows those attending the event to cancel the tickets themselves via a logged in service. From an event admin perspective this is much better and saves time and effort of receiving cancellations and taking manual intervention.
So having used both Eventzilla and Eventbrite, I recommend Eventbrite.
We’ve all been there – a CC’d recipient on someone else’s email where there isn’t enough room to see all of the email addresses. They tend to go on and on and after a while we’re not sure why we started to read them but by that point it is too late.
Many companies have policies about what you can and cannot do with email from a legal/compliance/technical perspective but less address email use from an organisational efficiency or cultural perspective. Email is a tremendously useful tool but it needs to be used effectively making organisations more efficient and not making staff slaves to their inbox.
Emails should be:
- Action orientated
My assumption (and I might be wrong) is that if I CC someone on an email – they don’t need to read it and they probably will not read it anyway.
There is some good guidance on The 9 Simple Rules Of Email Mastery blog – my favorite para is:
Filter all CCs to subfolders…and ignore: This is one part training your co-workers and one part self-discipline. So much of office politics is played out in the CC: and BCC: fields. If I’m not in the “To:” field of an email thread, you’re not including me in the discussion directly—so I’m not interested, by definition. Even if I wasn’t obstinately trying to help you organize your communication better, in more than 20 years of using email in work and academic pursuits, I have rarely read something compelling, or in need of my action, that I was CC’d on.’
Not advocating this but certainly food for thought. And remember, email is a fantastic tool but there are other options: it’s good to talk.
My earlier blog on 13 July 2012 Scottish University League Table of Social media looked at the individual and collective social media reach of the University sector in Scotland. Given that was six months ago I thought it was about time to look again at the figures with a focus on Facebook fans. In the last 6 months we have seen an uplift of 32% in Facebook fan base with an overall increase of almost 60,000 fans.
Edinburgh Napier University continues to have the largest number of fans at 49,064 and also the largest increase over the last 6 months of 16,369. Whilst the University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh continue to show strong growth of 23% and 27% respectively the most notable change comes from The Robert Gordon University increasing its fan base by over 150% to over 20,000 fans. The combined increase from Edinburgh Napier and Robert Gordon almost accounts for 50% of the overall sector increase.
Social media may feel like a casual informal engagement – a bit like a chat on the bus – but beware the law courts don’t see it that way.
As soon as you post something on social media – legally you are regarded as a publisher – basically you are subject to the same legislation as newspapers and could be open to claims for libel.
The rules applies to all social/professional media and the issue has again come to the fore with the McAlpine case of mistaken identity.
And the rule covers both original and recycled content – both a tweet and a retweet are regarded as publication and the person who retweets is also regarded as having published the information.
You can access the Edinburgh Napier University quick guide to social media if you need guidance on how to engage on social media or you may find my earlier blog ‘Social media policy – do you have one?’ helpful.