Writing for the Web: Resources

We kicked off our Writing for the Web training today with the first of many presentations. More than 40 people attended (of the more than 100 who signed up), and we’re thrilled to see such an enthusiastic response from faculty and staff on campus.

If you’re looking for extra copies for others in your department or office, you can download them here:

Print versions of the Web Content Guidelines, Brand Quick Start Guide and the full Brand Guidelines are available from Public Affairs and Marketing. Just let us know what you need.

We’ve got two more trainings scheduled for next week, and plan to repeat the session on a regular basis as an ongoing resource for the campus community. If you’d like to attend one of the upcoming sessions, sign up today. There’s still plenty of room:

  • Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m. (Maas Conference Room)
  • Wednesday, March 25, 3 p.m. (Herrick Room)

Writing for the Web

The team here at Public Affairs and Marketing is excited to launch a new training session, Writing for the Web.

One thing we heard from the beginning of the website planning process is that many people on campus would like additional support for writing, editing and updating their department or office website. Some of you feel like you’re out there all alone, working without the tools and resources you need.

We’re going to change that with a series of training and support sessions available for everyone who works on the Hope website.

Writing for the Web will cover:

  • Content strategy
  • Best practices
  • Brand, voice and tone
  • Style and grammar

We’ll also discuss such topics as identifying and writing for your audience(s), as well as how users read web content (hint: they usually don’t)—and why that matters for how you write. Plus, we’ll make available tools that will let you hit the ground running as soon as you’re ready to work on your new web content.

We’re kicking off the training with three sessions:

  • Thursday, March 19, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, March 25, 3 p.m.

RSVP today for one of the trainings. All of them will be held in the Herrick Room.

Can’t make it? No worries: We’ll be repeating the session on a regular basis for those who can’t attend in March.

Writing for the Web is the first of many training sessions we’re planning for the web content community here at Hope. Stay tuned for more information on other sessions, including an OU Campus user’s guide.

Your Next Steps for the New Website

We’ve recently reached out to Department Chairs/Leaders, Office Managers, and Web Content Editors across campus to invite them to one of five sessions titled, “Your Next Steps for the new Website.”

At these sessions we’re excited to provide a report on the progress of the website redesign project and to lay out specific next steps and action items pertaining to department/office websites. The meetings will include tools and tasks for departments/offices to begin working through, including a Web Content Checklist for Departments document.

We’ll be following these meetings up with “Writing for the Web” training sessions which will be open to the entire campus community and designed to support those who develop content for departmental sites, more info to come on these soon!

Thank you to the campus community for your patience and partnership as we work together to tell our stories through the Hope College website. Please feel free to contact us at web@hope.edu with any questions.

Website and New Team!

Many of you have been asking about the new Hope College website. Thanks for your interest and your patience as we work through such a massive project!

In the next few weeks, we will be scheduling meetings for department chairs, office managers and others to lay out specific next steps and action items for the web. Those meetings will be followed by training sessions designed to support individuals involved in developing new content for their departmental sites. Also in the coming weeks, we will be rolling out new tools and processes for submitting your job requests — for web, print and more — to the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing. Our goal is to be more effective in serving the entire Hope community.

Many of you have already met the newest members of the Public Affairs and Marketing staff. We invite to drop by our offices on the second floor of the Anderson-Werkman building to say hello to:

Elizabeth Council, Digital Strategist: Elizabeth is focusing on social media, analytics, and other digital projects. She joined us from RCP Marketing in Muskegon where she served as a digital strategist and account manager for more than 20 clients including Muskegon Community College in addition to volunteering for TEDxMuskegon as the social media and website manager. She holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Josh Bishop, Web Content Manager: Josh will be critical in the development of fresh content for our new website. He came from Williams Group in Grand Rapids where he has served as a writer. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional writer and editor for production houses, magazine and book publishers, and digital media outlets. He volunteers as a writer and editor for Engedi Church. He holds an English and journalism degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Paul Willard, Graphic Designer: Paul is developing various print materials for campus departments. He joined us from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, having served as graphic designer and marketing specialist for auxiliary enterprises. Paul has held roles in student affairs including area coordinator, hall director and advisor for the Alpha XI Delta sorority. He holds a graphic design, advertising and marketing degree from Central Michigan University and is in the process of completing a master’s degree in college student affairs from Eastern Illinois University.

New Faces in Public Affairs and Marketing

We’re pleased to share that three new staff members joined our team today.

Elizabeth Council is our new Digital Strategist. She is joining us from RCP Marketing in Muskegon where she has served as a digital strategist and account manager for more than 20 clients including Muskegon Community College in addition to volunteering for TEDxMuskegon as the Social Media and Website Manager. She has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Josh Bishop is our new Web Content Manager. He is joining us from Williams Group in Grand Rapids where he has served as a writer. For the past eight years he has worked as a professional writer and editor for production houses, magazine and book publishers, and digital media outlets. He volunteers as a writer and editor for Engedi Church. He has an English and Journalism degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Paul Willard is our new Graphic Designer. He is joining us from Ferris State University in Big Rapids where he served as Graphic Designer and Marketing Specialist for Auxiliary Enterprises. He has previously held roles in student affairs including Area Coordinator and Hall Director and is an advisor for the Alpha XI Delta sorority. He has a Graphic Design, Advertising and Marketing degree from Central Michigan University and a masters degree in College Student Affairs in progress from Eastern Illinois University.

Please join us in welcoming our new members of our team as we begin the new year!

New developments in Public Affairs and Marketing

In the recent months, a number of changes have taken place as our new Public Affairs and Marketing division takes shape. As you may have noticed, we posted a number of new positions. Look for updates on those hires in the weeks ahead. Following are some of the internal staffing developments to more strategically support our responsibilities and the needs of campus.

Derek Emerson is now the Director of Public Affairs and Events. He will continue to be responsible for the Events and Conferences Office (ECO). Additionally, he is now working with the team responsible for public affairs – Alan Babbitt, Greg Olgers and Lynne Powe.

Theresa Bravata is now the Assistant Director of Events and Conferences, taking on additional supervisory and leadership responsibilities in ECO.

Jason Cash is the newly appointed Director of Web Communications. Jason is responsible for web development, social media and digital strategy, including the new hope.edu site.

Craig Tommola has joined our team in a full-time capacity as Web Developer and Designer.

Rebecca Robrahn is now the Director of Creative Services. She is managing both internal and external creative projects that involve graphic design, branding and messaging.

Please join me in congratulating them on their new roles! We all look forward to partnering with you on your events and projects!

Jennifer Fellinger
Vice President Public Affairs and Marketing​

URL Structure

There’s nothing like the topic of “URL structure” to really get your adreneline pumping on a Monday morning, right? Alright, so perhaps it’s not the first thing on your mind, but it’s an important part of a website readesign project!

We were recently asked if URLs will be changing during the site transition. Although some of the department and office URLs may change during the transition, we will work to setup redirects so that users don’t experience “not found” issues when we transition.

We also reached out to our experts at Mighty to weigh in on URL best practices:
When thinking about the URL structure for our new site, keep in mind that, in general, good URLs are relatively easy for human beings to read, understand, and type. URLs that make semantic sense are also easier to email, memorize, share, and guess, and positively influence SEO.

If we follow these five “rules” we should be in good shape:

  • Use natural language (avoid shorthand and abbreviations)
  • Separate words with dashes (not underscores or spaces)
  • Use lowercase
  • Avoid query parameters unless needed
  • Avoid file extensions