At Hope, life outside the classroom is as vibrant as it is inside. Our Student Life office offers an array of opportunities for students to get involved in more than 50 student-led organizations.
However, for many years our student groups were provided a fairly limiting template and embedded blog for sharing information (and many were not updated regularly). When we began the process of redesigning the new Student Life website, we knew a key aspect to success would be a finding a way to showcase the many student organizations and opportunities.
Together, we chose to abandon the one-size-fits-all approach of handing every group their own site, and worked toward a comprehensive Student Organizations Directory. The new directory provides an at-a-glance view of every Student Congress funded group, with quick access to social media links. The expanding accordions allow interested users to learn more about each group with a short description, photo, and email address to contact.
We also recognize that some groups or organizations do require more than a directory listing. For those, we work closely with the group to identify specific needs and a plan for sustainability. A few examples of custom sites for student organizations include:
Does your office or department frequently host events? Public Affairs and Marketing is happy to help you share your good news and get more people in your seats. The first place to start is the Hope Calendar when hosting an even for on-campus attendees.
Gone are the days of simply sending a campus mail and calling it good. Entries on the Hope calendar can serve as your event’s webpage with all the details your on-campus attendees need to know: who, what, when, where, why, and even photos or a video if you have one. Guests can informally “RSVP” to show their friends they’re interested in your event, they can easily share the event to social media, and see on a map where you’re event is located.
When reserving your room in EMS, select “Yes” when asked if you would like this event to display on the Hope College public calendar. Include any descriptive text that should appear on the web in the “Event Details” section of the room reservation. This ensures any potential changes in time or location are updated in both EMS and the calendar. Approved events typically appear on the campus calendar in 1–2 business days. See more Calendar tips.
Include all the details you would normally put in your Campusmail such as a title, description, time, dates, etc. in the description box. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the details, you can always update your entry later by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use the same email address to send us a photo or graphic, otherwise we will choose a default image, which are usually not as exciting as one promoting your event.
Please be sure your calendar entry is always current. Email changes or new information to email@example.com.
Tweet or post to Facebook
Once your event is listed on the calendar and your image is in place, start tweeting about it and share it with your Facebook fans, even if it’s six months away.
Always include a picture or graphic with your social media and link to the calendar entry.
Consider creating a Facebook Event if you’re feeling savvy with Facebook. We can even help you link the Facebook event with the Hope calendar entry, or help you advertise the event on Facebook if budget allows.
Speaking of advertising, promoting events to specific groups of people can help ensure you have a robust audience. We can help you devise a social media advertising plan if your budget allows.
A few weeks, or months, out
Don’t wait until the day or week of the event; Start talking about it early!
Use your office or division’s social media channels to promote your event. Be sure to include an eye catching graphic or a photo, and always link to the Hope calendar entry or Facebook event.
Use hashtags, when appropriate, but before you choose any old hashtag, talk to Public Affairs and Marketing. We’ll help you find the right one.
Tag other users or offices involved in the event.
Ask faculty and students in your department to share to their social media.
If your event is for students, consider how Instagram and Snapchat can be utilized for your event. Public Affairs and Marketing often offers offices the opportunity to “take over” the Hope account for special events and academic promotion.
Day of event
For big events, have someone tweet and post to Facebook during the event.
Consider adding photos and video to Instagram if your office has an account. This is the fastest growing social channel for Hope’s followers.
Share photos of the event (think “behind the scenes”) or take videos with a phone.
Use a hashtag if you have one — or use one that’s globally popular, yet relevant to your event. Example: “#MarchMadness”
After the Event
Be sure to post photos, videos or a “thank you” message to your social media followers
Most social media accounts allow you to look at data on your social media performance. Check it out to see which posts or tweets were most and least effective.
Recycle your posts and tweets throughout the year to continue talking about the event. This will help keep it top of mind for next year.
For more information on promoting your event or news online, please connect with Elizabeth Council, digital strategist, in Public Affairs and Marketing.
From the very beginning of the hope.edu relaunch, I’ve had two main priorities for web content:
1. Update and maintain live web content
2. Develop and launch new websites
These priorities aren’t changing, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to balance (juggle?) them.
In short, it’s taking me far too long to move websites from draft to launch. I’ve tried to be Johnny-on-the-spot about responding to OU Campus submissions as soon as I can, which pulls me away from my other projects. Something’s gotta give — and it ain’t the workload. I need to be smarter about my daily schedule.
So I’ve blocked off my calendar for two hours every morning. From 8–10 a.m., my number one priority will be working through my workflow queue. And if I need to, I’ll spend a little extra time to make sure I get through everything. This means that any changes submitted after 10 a.m. will be addressed the following morning. We’re still aiming to publish changes within 24 hours of receiving them.
The rest of my day will be reserved for other things — meetings, site building, launching new sites, and other projects. I’m hoping this will speed up the site launch process while still allowing me to turn around submissions within a reasonably quick timeframe.
Of course, if you have a truly urgent need, let me know, and I’ll get to it as quickly as I can.
At the beginning of last year I received an email from the communication department about an internship opportunity with Hope’s Public Affairs and Marketing Department. I applied and ultimately got the position, but was then left thinking, ‘okay, but what is it they do?’ (Great interview preparation, I know.)
Now, a year and a half later I find myself constantly thinking, “what is it they don’t do?!” I know, I know, this totally sounds like I’m trying to kiss up to my bosses here, but it’s true!
You may have noticed that this year Hope’s Snapchat account has really gotten an upgrade. Since it’s “debut” last year there have been serious efforts made to post fun and engaging content for both prospective students and current students. And the people behind this mystery Hope College account? Yep, you guessed it, Public Affairs and Marketing. The team here are the creative minds behind Visit Day, Game Day, campus events, and even just spur of the moment snapstories. That is, unless they lend it out for a Snapchat takeover. During Snapchat take overs we give full access to sports teams or student groups to upload their own content for a fun and dynamic change of pace.
In addition to maintaining the Snapchat account, we’re also responsible for keeping up to date and relevant information on all our social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you weren’t already aware of Hope’s presence on these platforms, be sure to check us out! We’re always eager to repost photos and tweets of Hope Students engaged in various activities around campus, so who knows, you could be featured and not even know it!
But our office is about more than just social media. Public Affairs and Marketing is responsible for the new website redesign, making content more easily accessible and tailored toward students. We also partner with offices and departments across campus to keep prospective students, parents and alumni involved in Hope College happenings via magazine.hope.edu, calendar.hope.edu, in.hope.edu. We work creatively to produce exciting content like videos and photos to engage prospective students, alumni, current students, and parents alike.
The Creative Services team is responsible for the News from Hope College magazine redesign, advertising, dozens of event posters, department and program brochures, event promotional materials for annual events like Homecoming and enough t-shirts to fill your closet (everything from Orientation to Spring Fling).
The Events and Conference office is also a part of the Public Affairs and Marketing division, which works to organize and coordinate all the campus wide events, as well as plan various conferences and arts events. This office is also responsible for managing any and all events held inside DeVos and Dimnent Chapel. So anyone with dreams of getting married in Dimnent now knows who to become friendly with.
Overwhelmed yet? Well if you can believe it, this is only a fraction of the things we do here, but I hope it’s helped to somewhat back my whole “what don’t they do?” comment from the beginning. It’s an office that really does it all, but to sum it up quickly: we’re in the business of storytelling. Whether it’s via social media, words, video or art, we want the stories of Hope to be told in the best way possible. So if you feel like you have a story to share, let us know, because we want to share it!
We’ve blocked out time in a computer lab for you to drop in and ask questions, get help or simply work on your website with fewer interruptions. I’ll be working in the lab the whole time to answer your questions or help solve problems.
There’s no need to register — just show up with your questions!
Monday, January 09, 1–5 p.m., Martha Miller Computer Lab 240
Tuesday, January 24, 8 a.m.–noon, Schaap Computer Lab 3002
Monday, February 06, 1–5 p.m., Martha Miller Computer Lab 240
Friday, February 24, 8 a.m.–noon, Schaap Computer Lab 3002
Tuesday, March 07, 1:30–5 p.m., Martha Miller Computer Lab 240
Friday, March 24, 8 a.m.–noon, Schaap Computer Lab 3002
Tuesday, April 11, 1:30–5 p.m., Martha Miller Computer Lab 240
Friday, April 28, 8 a.m.–noon, Schaap Computer Lab 3002
Two words spread quickly through the Public Affairs and Marketing Division last Friday morning:
We were holding in our hands the hot-off-the-presses, newly redesigned News From Hope College. If you know the Public Affairs and Marketing team, you know we like to celebrate. Last Friday, we were feeling especially celebratory as we paged through both the print version and the web version of Hope’s flagship magazine.
Admittedly, we were feeling a little tired, too. As with any design overhaul, the process was a long one. Well over a year ago, we collectively agreed that News From Hope College needed an update. It had been almost a decade since the last redesign, and feedback from an alumni survey indicated that our readers were eager for some changes.
Four individuals took the initiative to lead the redesign:
Greg Olgers, who kept us firmly rooted in Hope’s tradition of excellence. Greg, the longtime editor of News From Hope College, has provided steady leadership on the magazine for decades.
Samantha Bruin, who inspired us with her creative vision and can-do attitude. Sam eagerly raised her hand for this project and kept us energized, even when the process felt like a marathon.
Rebecca Robrahn, who challenged us to consider the new and the different. An enthusiastic champion of the redesign from the start, Rebecca sparked thinking on new possibilities throughout the magazine.
Derek Emerson, who quietly offered perspective, posed questions and provided critique —right when we needed it. A writer at heart, Derek understands the interplay between text and image.
In the final weeks before going to print, the intensity of this project increased, and Greg, Samantha, Rebecca and Derek put in some serious man- and woman-power to make sure our end product would be stellar. I suspect they’re all ready for a long winter’s nap.
So what kind of changes will you be seeing in News From Hope College? In his article, Greg explains the changes we’ve made to, which include:
Different size (yes, it travels well!)
A new look for the regular sections of the magazine, and a tailored design for each of the features
Better quality paper — sustainable as well as more affordable! (My favorite description of the cover texture: “buttery”)
I am a “print person” through and through. While I consume most of my news online, I still relish the opportunity to page through a magazine over a cup of coffee. It feels like a luxury, feeling the tooth of the paper, immersing myself in the text, swooning over the photos, dog-earing the pages. Often, the web experience just doesn’t match the print experience.
In the case of the News From Hope College website, however, there is much to love and much to relish. It echoes many of the great features of the redesign — a sleek new look, bold use of photography, seamless user experience. Kudos to Craig Tommola and Jason Cash for going above and beyond to ensure this beautiful website was ready to launch the day the magazine hit mailboxes.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express gratitude to Tom Renner, who laid the foundation for News From Hope College many years ago. Tom has been a faithful friend to Hope College and a cheerleader for the Public Affairs and Marketing team. We owe much to Tom!
What do you think of the new News From Hope College? Drop us a line and let us know.