We Have Hope signs

Hey all you fellow hunker downers!

We’re launching a fun new project for Hope employees to share some of the HOPE we have for our community, our students, our neighbors and so many others.
So we made a simple little sign. (Maybe you saw a sneak peak of it during yesterday’s Class of 2020 Celebration?) A printable version is available below!

Here’s what we hope you’ll do…

  • Print your sign at home.
  • Take a photo of you holding the sign or it displayed in your home’s front window or on the front door. (We miss seeing your faces!)
  • Send the photo to marketing@hope.edu so that we might share it further!
  • Or, post the photo on your own social media account using #KeepingHope and tagging @hopecollege. (This only works if your posts or account are public!)

No printer at home? No problem! Complete this form and a sign will be mailed to you at home in a few days.

Thanks for all you’re doing #keepinghope!

Color your world with Hope

A niche hobby? A worldwide trend? A piece of nostalgia? A therapeutic outlet? Whatever the reason, your needs are covered. Public Affairs and Marketing has created a series of Hope-specific coloring pages for you and your families, friends, neighbors and coworkers to enjoy!

Download and print one, two or all of them. Show us your skills and creativity! Share your work on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, tag @hopecollege, use the hashtag #KeepingHope. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see a competition or two pop up.

(Coloring inside the lines is 100% optional)

Completed example for inspiration:

Example contributed by Hillary Cash

New! Virtual Hope-themed Zoom backgrounds

Now that many of us are working from home, Zoom meetings and Google Hangouts are becoming part of our daily routines. It’s been fun to see how people are using technology like these and others to stay connected. Certainly, it’s not the same experience as being together in-person, but the changes we are experiencing are pushing all of us to think and work more creatively, and that’s a good thing!  

For example, now you can “attend” meetings from some of Hope’s most iconic campus locations — the Dimnent Chapel Rose Window, DeVos Fieldhouse, the Martha Miller Center, the Jack H. Miller Center, and of course, the Pine Grove (below) — with our new virtual Hope College Zoom backgrounds. If you haven’t heard of custom Zoom backgrounds yet, read this article from cnet.

Pine Grove Zoom Background

Download Hope College backgrounds

Hope College Zoom backgrounds are available for download here.

Add a Hope background to Zoom on a mobile device

  1. On your phone or tablet, open the Zoom app.
  2. Click to start a new meeting or join a meeting.
  3. Click anyone on your screen to see a menu on the bottom of your screen. In the lower right corner, click “More …” for more options.
  4. Click on “Meeting Settings” and select “Virtual Background.”
  5. Click the ➕ plus symbol to upload a new image. Select the image from your photo library, then close.

Add a Hope background to Zoom on a desktop computer

Note: Zoom backgrounds tend to work better using a mobile device than on your desktop. We suggest giving both methods a try to see which one works best for you.

  1. Open up the Zoom desktop app.
  2. Click the ⚙️ Settings gear.
  3. Click the “Virtual Backgrounds” section. If you don’t have that, you may need to enable “Virtual Background” in your Zoom Profile Settings.
  4. Click the ➕ plus symbol and choose one of the Hope backgrounds that you downloaded.
  5. Click the ➕ plus symbol and select “Add Image”, and choose one of the Hope backgrounds that you downloaded.

When using a background on a desktop, starting with a green or dark background may prevent a certain amount of ghosting. Whether or not you do this, it’s ideal that the color of your clothing be different from what is in the background, otherwise it may confuse the camera and prevent it from distinguishing between foreground and background. For more tips and instructions, check out the Zoom website.

Once you’re successfully using a Hope background, take a screenshot of yourself and tweet it to us @HopeCollege. Happy Zooming!

Monday Encouragement: Virtual Postcards of Hope

The Steering Committee has been getting lots of messages of appreciation from you, and it means the world to us. But here’s the thing: We couldn’t do any of our work without you… so, thank you! Our efforts would be fruitless if we weren’t part of such a caring, student-centered community. 

YOU are keeping HOPE alive! You are stepping up to help with the heavy lift, each in your own way, and you are making a difference. For that, we say, We are so grateful! — and we ask you to pass along that spirit of gratitude. 

Here’s our request: Every day this week, take a few minutes to send a virtual “Postcard of Hope” to at least one coworker. (“Virtual postcard” is just a fancy term for “email message.”) Choose someone who may need extra encouragement. Maybe someone from outside of your department or division. Maybe even someone you don’t know well… or at all. (Need some help? Take a look at the Hope directory and pick a coworker!)  

Tell ’em they’re appreciated. Tell ’em they’re missed. Tell ’em they’re doing a great job. Tell ’em you’re thinking of them and their loved ones. Help us spread a message of HOPE among all our colleagues.

Keep up the amazing work, everyone. And, don’t forget to post #KeepingHope messages from your social media accounts! 

Thank you for reminding us — everyday! — why we love Hope College.

Jennifer Fellinger
Kristyn Bochniak
Lindsey Engelsman
Jeff Pestun
Cady Short-Thompson

Steering Committee, COVID-19 Response Team
Hope College

Website Audit Checklist

It’s been a few years since we launched Hope’s new website, and some of the corners are starting to collect dust. It’s time to freshen things up a bit! So, we’re asking every department, office and program at Hope to take a close look at their websites and make sure everything is shipshape.

We’ve put together a Web Content Audit Checklist (PDF) to guide you in examining and assessing your current web content. Please take a look at the document and plan to set aside some time this semester to review your website.

Without getting too terribly formal about it, here are three different approaches you can take:

1. I can do it!

You’ve got the checklist, and you’ve got the OU Campus know-how. Off you go! Let us know if you have any questions along the way. Otherwise, just tell us when you’re done, and we’ll scratch your website off our list.

2. I need a little help.

You’re ready to get started, but there are a few things on the list that you know you’ll need help with. Perfect! Get a hold of Josh Bishop (bishopj@hope.edu or x7066) and let him know how he can help. He can answer your questions via email, or chat on the phone or set up a meeting. In the meantime, feel free to get started with the rest of it on your own.

3. I don’t know where to start.

That’s okay! Just let Josh know, and he’ll add you to our list of sites to audit on our own. We’ll run through the checklist for you, recommend some changes, and reach out to you if we have any questions.

Here’s that link to the Web Content Audit Checklist one more time.

As always, if you need any help with this project, don’t hesitate to let Josh know! He’ll be on hand to help with whatever you need.

Day of Giving Social Media Checklist

Six Weeks Out

  1. Do a quick checkup on your department’s social media accounts. Are they up to date? When is the last time you shared information? Are you following the Hope brand guidelines? Now is a good time to update your profiles to be ready for Day of Giving.
  2. Look for people you should be following on social media such as distinguished alumni, other Hope departments and offices, faculty and staff, etc. 
  3. Will you want to include videos in your outreach this year? What about making a Thank You video? Consider recording a video (using a smartphone) of your faculty and staff asking alumni and friends to give, or reach out to Elizabeth Council if you have another idea. Examples: https://twitter.com/HopeEnglishDept/status/1116506982540881922 and https://twitter.com/CheadlePsych/status/1116726374121857026

One Month Out

  1. Select who will manage your department/organization’s social media on Day of Giving. 
  2. Identify key influencers within your department who are already active on social media. Ask them to play an active role on social media that day. Example: https://twitter.com/LaurenJanes/status/1116368600632262662
  3. Begin promoting early by sharing the college’s “Save the Date” message

Week Before

  1. Make sure you have access to all the materials available for Day of Giving. PAM will provide sample photographs, graphics, social media updates, etc. Be sure your materials are readily available on Day of Giving. Example: https://twitter.com/hsrtheatre/status/1116551518994329606
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Giving dashboard – hope.edu/give2hope so that you understand how the giving process works.
  3. If you still have not made your video(s), now’s the time. Recording on your smartphone is a great option. https://twitter.com/HopeCollegeFB/status/1116461684485496832

Day Before

  1. Begin sharing information about Day of Giving such as the goal and a link to the giving page. You can use graphics provided in the resources folder or share the college’s tweets and posts.
  2. Send a reminder to faculty and staff who will be helping to promote social media. Remind them of the official hashtag: #give2hope and website hope.edu/give2hope.

Day Of

  1. Begin early by sharing the college’s kick-off message and video.
  2. Check in the resources folder for any last-minute updates to content/photos.
  3. Continue encouraging others to give throughout the day by sharing photos, videos or graphics about and in support of your department. These can be prepared in advance or taken on the day of. 
  4. Retweet/share your faculty and alumni’s posts and tweets. Example: https://twitter.com/westWfan/status/1116500773746012160
  5. Watch for competitive “challenges” such as matching funds and giveaways. Share these on social media and encourage others to get in on the fun. 
  6. The last few hours of the event will be exciting. Be sure to share updates and the final numbers when they are in! 
  7. Don’t forget to share a big THANK YOU message to your donors!

General Tips and Reminders for Marketing Day of Giving

New Hope Athletics Magazine Debuts

Teamwork makes the dream work!

How I love that cliché! (And I’m sure you are well aware that we sportswriters adore a good hackneyed phrase whenever possible. We like to go the extra mile, put the ball in play, and knock it out of the park!)

But this one cliché is different. I love it because it captures the true, full essence of sport, or any concerted endeavor really — because no person is an island (another cliché I admit, but this time not a sporty one) and we need talented, committed and forward-thinking people around us to achieve goals and make dreams come true.

Orange and Blue Illustrated, the new Hope College Athletics magazine, is that dream come true.

Rolled off the presses this week, and to be published twice a year, the first issue of Orange and Blue Illustrated is the culmination of months’ worth of brainstorming, proposal-making, photographing, interviewing, writing, designing, editing and proof-reading. Its goal is simply this:

To show and tell the many inspiring stories of how Hope student-athletes, coaches and staff live out their mission every day to compete with excellence, learn with diligence and lead lives of leadership and service. Their transformational experiences in competition, in the classroom, in service opportunities, internships and laboratories are Hope mainstays. The people you see in uniform competing, striving, winning and losing, are also the same people who spend hours upon hours in plain clothes becoming and being their best selves. Frankly, we are proud of these student-athletes and coaches who really do work hard, very hard, to make a difference in arenas of play but especially outside of them.

While I have the privilege of serving as the managing editor of Orange and Blue Illustrated, I am surrounded by extremely talented people on the OBI team — Sports information director Alan Babbitt, whose original idea to create a Hope sports magazine got this ball rolling (if you are counting, that’s my fifth sports cliché!); graphic designer Kate Folkert ’99 (and no, we are not related); photographers James Ellis, Steven Herppich, Jon Lundstrom, Lynne Powe ’86 and Tom Renner ’67; writers Josh Bishop, Odille Parker ’14, James Rogers ’14 and Kenedy Schoonveld ’21; and all of my Public Affairs and Marketing colleagues who advised and cheered this process on toward the finish line. Thank you all very much!

And my many thanks also go to the Hope student-athletes and coaches who agreed to be featured in this very first issue. They truly had no idea what they were getting themselves into, but they said “yes” anyway and I’m so glad they did. When you open Orange and Blue Illustrated, I think you’ll find — no, I know you’ll find — stories about those at Hope who play and compete, learn and live with a greater purpose just as God intended.

Enjoy the ride! Er, I mean, the read.

Orange and Blue Illustrated in its entirety

Orange and Blue Illustrated story by story

Where to find weather-related announcements

The first week of spring-semester classes is almost behind us! I wish I could say the same about winter weather, but alas, the snow, wind and cold temperatures will be with us for a while yet. So, here is some information that you may wish to keep handy until the tulips start blooming: 

A decision to close campus offices and cancel classes is typically announced prior to 6:30 a.m. In the rare — and friends, it *IS* rare! — event that offices are closed and classes are cancelled, you can find the announcement in the following places:

  • Hope website: The announcement will be posted on hope.edu/alert and InHope.
  • Media: The announcement will be shared with local media, including WTHS radio and WOOD, WZZM and WWMT television stations.
  • Text alert: The announcement will be issued via the HOPE ALERT emergency text messaging system. Please take a few minutes to verify that your emergency contact information is current by doing the following:
    • Go to plus.hope.edu.
    • Select “Personal Information.”
    • Select “Update Emergency Contacts.” Your name (Relationship: Self) and cell phone number entered as an Emergency Contact will register you to receive HOPE ALERT messages.

Remember, our proximity to Lake Michigan affects our temperatures and precipitation. This means that conditions on Hope’s campus may be very different from conditions on other college campuses across the state, even those nearby. If you see that a college in West Michigan is cancelling classes, please do not take it as an indication that Hope will, or should, cancel classes.

Bundle up, stay warm and enjoy the rest of the Michigan winter!

A Decade of Hope — 2010-2019

If you stand in the middle of the Pine Grove today, you’ll notice campus looks different than it did in 2010. It may feel a little different, too. As the landscape has changed with new facilities and improved amenities for students, so too has our ability to provide top-tier academic programs and life-changing faith formation experiences. 

New classes. New grants. New programs. New buildings … the list of ways we are innovating the student experience at Hope has us looking back at some of the most notable moments for the College over the past decade. 

Click the arrows in the presentation to navigate through some of the biggest moments at Hope over the past decade or click on a title block to read more. 

How to influence with LinkedIn

I recently attended the Detroit Digital Summit, an annual two-day event where digital marketers from industries across Michigan, Canada and beyond gather to share their best ideas and practices for working in the digital space. It’s one of my favorite conferences because it provides an opportunity to hear from marketing experts across all industries, and to learn how larger and smaller teams are tackling the same challenges we are. This year I took about 10 pages of notes. I was inspired.

One of the sessions I attended was focused on leveraging LinkedIn for thought leadership. Here’s a recap of my notes from that session.

linkedin app

What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership should be connected to your organization’s vision. Sounds simple, right? So how do you know if your content aligns with your organization or professional goals. Ask yourself this: “Is what I’m sharing on LinkedIn truly what I want to be known for? Will it benefit my organization and my professional ambitions?”

Let’s also consider why people use LinkedIn. People go to LinkedIn to read about:

  • Industry trends
  • Tips/best practices
  • Jobs/skills
  • Leadership
  • Industry events

But that doesn’t mean LinkedIn is only for people in leadership positions or job seekers. LinkedIn is a social media channel for professional learning and development, sharing what you’ve learned, and connecting with people who can help you get a leg up, whatever your line of work is.

This means your LinkedIn content should be:

  • Educational
  • Relevant
  • Up on the latest trends
  • Inspirational, or
  • Focused on skill development. 

So your content meets these requirements but you’re still not sure that it’s working in your favor. Try using SCOR as your guide:

  • S – Structure gives it simplicity. Your followers expect a format/structure. This includes how often and when you publish on LinkedIn. Be consistent with what and when you share information.
  • C – Sometimes being a contrarian can make you interesting. Do/say what no one else is, but be “right” about it, i.e. educated on the topic. This can include perspectives on unanswered questions or respectfully sharing beliefs that are against the grain — and subsequently being prepared to continue a respectful conversation.
  • O – Ownable makes it distinctive. Be distinctive with your brand assets (font, shapes, colors, etc). Use colors or fonts that are not related to your competitors. Own your “look” and “voice” so that your connections automatically distinguish your content from everyone else.
  • R – Replication makes it valuable. Don’t share just once and be done. Have something really good to share? Share it again in a few weeks or months.

More Best Practices and Tips

  • Add your voice to content you’re already producing. Share/comment on others’ blog posts, news stories, media, etc.
  • Try video. Share short candid videos of yourself talking about a topic you’re passionate about. Aim for 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
  • Tag other people in your posts.
  • Mega-batch your content, i.e. front load the work. Shoot 5 videos in one day to be distributed over time. Write 5 short posts in one sitting then periodically share each one.
  • 800-2000 words in an article gets the most engagement. 
  • Share content in at least 1 or 2 LinkedIn Groups. 
  • Reposition and repurpose your content – write about the same topic or idea from a different angle and share on other social media networks.
  • Look at analytics on your posts. Is this the data you expected? Analyze and adjust.

To talk more about best practices for social media engagement, contact Elizabeth Council, digital strategist at Hope College.