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.
Public Affairs and Marketing is excited to bring you Takeover Tuesdays beginning in December! Takeover Tuesdays are an opportunity for student organizations and Hope offices to “take over” the official Hope College Snapchat story in order to give our followers behind-the-scenes access, while promoting your group’s event and mission to Hope’s Snapchat Followers. We estimate more than 1,000 people, mostly students, are following us.
How does it work?
With guidance from PA&M, your organization will be given a temporary password to log in to the Hope College account on the day of your takeover. You will then be allowed to publish photos, videos, stickers and doodles to our Snapchat Story for up to 24 hours. No experience with Snapchat? No problem! Consider approaching a student worker or intern in your office to help.
We are proud of our reputation on Snapchat, so we ask that you give careful consideration to the type of story you plan to share. Below you will find links to our storyboard planning document and takeover guidelines, as well as a link to sign up for your Takeover Tuesday. We recommend that you plan your takeover near or on a Tuesday of an event or activity you’re hosting as a way to promote and build excitement for the event. Take a look at a few examples of recent Snapchat stories.
The Hope College Snapchat account was started in fall 2015 as a way to engage our students in personalized story telling. Since the account started, Public Affairs and Marketing has been working to increase its number of followers by creating engaging stories with unique content that showcases different aspects of our campus community. Our audience is primarily students so our content is geared towards them as well as our alumni and prospective students.
Being a high school student during the rise of Snapchat has given me a better understanding of the various features Snapchat offers. Each snap can last a maximum of 10 seconds, and a series of snaps can be combined to create a “story” which can last up to 24 hours. There are an array of photo filters to choose from, color options, variations in text formatting, and the decision itself to use photo or video for a snap. Utilizing these features, we have the exciting challenge to create stories that are not only fun to watch but also give our students and prospective students a behind-the-scenes look at our campus community.
Examples of our Snapchat stories include Visit Days, the Pull, Nykerk, Homecoming, athletic events and other special events happening around campus. Campus offices and student groups are invited to “takeover” our account on Tuesdays, or during special events, to engage with our followers and to promote their events and activities. Learn more about Takeover Tuesdays.
Groups that have taken over our account include Dance Marathon, The Hope College Alumni Association, Nykerk Cup Competition and The Panhellenic Council. Interested in taking over our account for a day? Let us know!
Once a story has run on our account for 24 hours, an archive is uploaded to the Hope College YouTube channel. Check out our Snapchat playlist below and make sure to follow us for live event coverage.