University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

November 2009 Archives

Interactive campus map launched (beta)

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The new interactive campus map is out of test and was launched in beta this morning. At the same time, the existing static map pages were updated to the new templates for a consistent look and feel across Twin Cities maps.

Give the new map a spin. Old links to map pages will continue to work. You might also notice that the maps index page is now under Also, you may advertise as an easy way to get to Twin Cities campus maps.

The map is in beta and there are several known issues being addressed. We welcome your feedback and ask that you submit any through the feedback form. You should see some gradual improvements quietly roll out before we exit beta.

Thanks to the University Services Program Management Office (PMO) and Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) for all their work on this project, especially PMO for their project management, all the GIS development, QA, and more.

960 Header and Footer

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Just a quick note to let you know that a standalone 960 header and footer (no body section) is now available for download on the template download page.

Updated Documentation

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We have posted updated documentation for both unit key contacts and contributors. A "Contributor User Guide" has been created to assist contributors on how to add, modify, and delete an event and also talks about how spotlighted events are chosen. A "Unit Administration Guide" has been created for unit key contacts to use. This guide talks about how to add users and also how to add unit categories. RSS feeds will be added to this guide when the documentation for them has been completed.

Contributor User Guide
Unit Administration Guide

Social Networking Link Page

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The U's social networking link page has launched! University units on all campuses are invited to submit their official social networking site links. Over 30 units responded to our initial invitation and we'd like to add more.

To be considered for inclusion on the link page, your social networking site:

A set of layered Photoshop files are now available from the Images Library (login required). These files can be customized for use as your profile image on many social networking sites.

Please send your link submissions to University Relations and consider adding a link to the Social Networking page on your Web sites.

Coca-Cola's biggest social-media push

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It seems that no matter what type of organization you are in, the digital age keeps you on your toes.

I recently read an article in Advertising Age called "Coca-Cola's Biggest Social-Media Push Yet." Coke is sending three brand ambassadors around the world on a 275,000-mile trek. Their journey will be tracked on a Web site and various major social networks.

Why? To drive good public relations for the company into the global economy. True, Coke is about a strong a brand as there is. Right? So, it made me think... If Coke is investing thousands of dollars to mimic the "Amazing Race," shouldn't this be a trigger to those of us who don't have a brand worth $58 billion?

The good news is I believe the University of Minnesota is taking steps in the right direction. How so?

Driven to Discover
The incredible successfulness of this initiative demonstrates the importance of sharing the greatness of the University's research, education, and outreach efforts with local, state, and global communities.

Integrated marketing
Like Coca-Cola, the University has forged many successful partnerships over the years to ensure resources are used wisely, cost efficiencies are gained, and most importantly, the brightest and most brilliant ideas bubble to the top.

Social networking guidelines
The University recently released its social networking guidelines as a starting point for how to best leverage the emerging media.

If you haven't had a chance to read the new social networking guidelines, I strongly urge you to. For the past few months, significant effort was focused on how to best help colleges/departments/units use social networking tools as well deliver curriculum while ensuring students intellectual property is protected.

Developing the guidelines is only the beginning for those of us at the University. Now, we should be asking ourselves the same questions Coke asked:

How does social networking fit into our communication strategies?
Coke assembled a multi-disciplinary team between communications, public relations, and marketing to develop its strategy.

Which of the social networking sites or tools best meet our business needs?
Coke has identified several sites including Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, and more. Since it's a global company I would venture it will also be using some of the other global main social channels such as China's QZone.

What measurement tools will be used to identify success?
Coke has indicated it will track media impressions, followers as well as page views.

The University of Minnesota guidelines simply highlight important subjects to consider such as legal ramifications, copyright infringement, terms of service, and more. Think of the guidelines as the base map for developing successful communications strategy. It's up to you to decide how far and high around the world you want to go.

Events Calendar News & Updates - November 10, 2009

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Sign In Link
We have added a link to the bottom of the screen allowing contributors to sign-in to the system. If you are not signed in, the link will display "Contributor sign in". If you signed into the system, then it will display the user that you are signed in as.

Change in Editing Events
When you are signed into the system and are viewing an event, an "Edit" link will appear above the event title, which will bring up the editing window. This replaces the need to press Ctrl-Shift-F5 and should make editing events easier.

Updated Documentation
We are continuously updating the documentation provided as we add new features, make modifications, and receive feedback. Please visit the e-Communications blog at for updates to the Events Calendar documentation. Updated documentation was posted last Friday.

Displaying Events on
An option has been added to the "Submit an event" page that allows contributors to decided if they want an event to display on If you select "Yes", then the event will appear on the site. If you select "No", then the events will only appear in RSS feeds. This will allow groups to add events that they wish to appear in RSS feeds, while restricting the event from showing on the site. This is helpful if a group has an event that they use the calendar to populate events on their website, but not on the site. Events that have the option set to "No" will still appear on to contributors logged into the system. This will allow groups to find these events if they need to edit them.

As we move forward with the Events Calendar, we would love to hear feedback from contributors on their experience with the system. We would like to hear what works and what could be improved. If you have any feedback that you would like to share, please send an e-mail to

Web Template Update

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A new batch of template docs are now available for download. Aside from some general clean up, there are 4 key changes. The suggestion for these changes came from Pat Haggerty in the University Technology Training Center (thanks, Pat!). Pat is teaching a fundamentals course in how to work with the templates; check it out!

The recent template changes include additional padding on list tags, fixing the locked HTML and CSS files, absolute link to the U's favicon, and fixing the "Related Links" navigation heading so it's no longer a link. Details can be found on the Template Change Log page.

Creating an elegant and effective website

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Although the articles below focus on prospective students, it seems any audience could be interchanged with students when thinking about communicating with your primary/secondary stakeholders.

For instance, this excerpt could be applied to donors, patients, parents, researchers, and more... "The trick is to communicate this sort of branded motivational information pervasively on your site in short, intriguing bits and pieces so that prospects are interested enough to get to the information they feel they need. "

I highly recommend you check out these two articles:
What Students Really Want
What Students Are Telling You About Your Website Design

How to write a great web link

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Gerry McGovern once again hits a home run with this article. Writing links for the web takes thought. Check out his recent article on how to help your readers and provide more value-added content:
How to write a great web link

Want some insight on how to improve your e-mail communications in the next year? Or, at least, figure out how you might go about it? Lyris is sponsoring a webinar next Thursday, November 12, from 1-2 p.m. on just this subject.

See the webinar registration page for more information.

Events Calendar Documentation (Updated 11-6-09)

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We have gotten some of the documentation done for the new Events Calendar. They are:

Adding Users to the Events Calendar
Editing Unit Categories within the Events Calendar
Adding Events
Revising Events

Google Sites

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U Relations has been working with the Google Apps pilot team to create U templates for Google sites. We're working on a solution that will allow us to use the full template header - including all the links and the search bar - within Google Sites. It's a little challenging, but I think we're close.

A template should be ready for pilot groups sometime next week (the second week of November). Watch this blog for updates!

Although none of us were fortunate enough to attend the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) summit in October, High Point Creative pointed out three of their big takeaways, specific to the From and Subject fields.

Much of the summit appears to have been focused on social media. You can find presentations on MIMA's For [Summit] Attendees page.