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

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

June 2010 Archives

UMContent Templates BETA

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Our group has been working the past couple months on bringing the UofM web templates available at and bringing them into UMContent. We are at the point where we are ready to start beta testing them.

The UMContent templates have been designed to serve two different groups. The first group is those who want to get a website up quickly and want to use a standard web template. The second group is web developers who use UMContent and want to re-use web template pieces where needed.

For the first group, the web templates allow users to quickly setup a website. Website wide settings are available for users to select pre-defined header images, pre-defined secondary colors, set a horizontal nav, site footer, show breadcrumbs, and other options. For layouts, users can select between one and two column layouts with a left navigation. We will be adding additional layouts and features as they are developed.

For site developers, pieces of the web templates will be available for units to re-use for their own sites. These pieces include the UofM Header, the Twin Cities campus footer, and breadcrumbs. Other pieces will become available as we make them more re-usable for other sites.

If a group is interesting in BETA testing the UMContent Templates, please e-mail Jeremy Casper at Documentation on how to use the templates will be posted within the next couple of days.

The content store: a shared repository for University content

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In the next week or two we expect to make an official announcement to University communicators about the project we've dubbed "content store." For now, here's the unofficial sneak preview.

How many different formats does the University have for stories? Press releases? Announcements? Promos? We don't know.

How many different news websites, email newsletters, RSS feeds and other channels are maintained to disseminate all this information? We don't know.

How can University Relations help to bring all this together? By developing a basic set of standards units can use to enter news into a shared system (UMContent), including a basic set of content fields, a standard taxonomy covering topics, sources and audiences. With the lack of consistency, some basic standards will allow for easier sharing of content between units (bubble up, trickle down, or lateral moves) and provisioning of that content to appropriate audiences. Don't use UMContent? No worries, you can still extract content from UMContent and repurpose it.

So, keep an eye out for the announcement. We're excited to begin this project and will be soliciting feedback from units as we move through requirements gathering.

Our Brand: How to Convey It

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I recently read Coca-Cola estimates its brand is worth $12 billion. Now, I'm not putting a dollar figure on the University of Minnesota brand but will simply state, "It is an extremely important asset."

Because the U of M's brand is so valuable, University Relations is embarking on a project to make it easy to give our brand the respect and care it deserves.

As many of you know, brand-related topics, assets, and information are now scattered among five websites: eCommunication Standards, eCommunications-Enterprise Mass E-mail, Graphic Standards, Images Library, and Style Manual. University Relations is unraveling each of these sites, reorganizing the information, streamlining navigation, and reassembling into ONE SITE. Yup! One site -

The new website will include the following for many mediums including electronic, multimedia, and print:
- Logo & Template Downloads
- Photos & Video
- Requirements & Guidelines
- Resources & Tools
- University Style

We are planning on building robust checklists, developing an easy-to-use "I want to..." section, and expanding the current eCommunications blog to address all communications-related topics.

The project is slated to be completed no later than January 2011.

P.S. Speaking of brand, here's a great article on measuring social media and its impact on brand.

P.S.S. One last note, University Relations recently changed two of its style guidelines...
- website is now one word; not two
- email is now one word; no hyphen

Tabbed search redux

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We've released a new version of the tabbed search application with a number of changes, including a rewritten document describing tabbed search and all its options.

We're continuing to look at tweaks and incremental changes to tabbed search and other search pages to improve the overall search experience for our visitors. Please feel free to write us at with any suggestions.

Policy Updates

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After a thorough review of the Brand policy, the Publishing Information on the WWW policy, and other related policies, it was determined that a policy that only addresses a communications delivery medium was not necessary.

In place of the Electronic Communications policy, there is new language in the Brand policy that directs people to the website for requirements related to use of University marks for both print and electronic communications. The Publishing Information on the WWW policy has been eliminated and the requirements and guidelines that had been included in that policy will be posted, along with additional requirements that had been written for the Electronic Communcations policy, on the site very soon.

In the mean time, if you have any policy-related questions for electronic communications, please email

Reminder: Lyris retention change coming June 13

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As noted on May 10, we will be changing the mailing and tracking history retention in Lyris ListManager on June 13. The retention will be reduced from 365 days to 190 days.

If you have a need to retain a history of your mailings or aggregate tracking information you should export this data from Lyris immediately. Members and content will be unaffected, it is only the extended history of mailings and associated tracking data that will be affected by this change.

Questions? Please write to