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

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

January 2011 Archives

Video: Usability Services at the U webinar

| No Comments

A recording of the "Usability Services at the U" webinar is now available. Unfortunately, the introductions were cut off.

The presenter is Josh Carroll, Senior Usability Consultant for Usability Services in the Office of Information Technology. The facilitator is Jennie Lijewski, Associate Director for Electronic Communications in University Relations.

We're still finalizing details, but mark your calendars for the next webinar on Tuesday, February 22 from 10-11. Announcement forthcoming.

Templates for UMContent Available

| No Comments

We have been working on developing templates for UMContent and we are pleased to announce that these are now available to the University community. The templates were developed from the viewpoint of allowing groups with minimal web knowledge create websites quickly based on the templates developed by University Relations.

These templates do not require any HTML knowledge for users to use them, just simply send a request to the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and they will create a UMContent site that users can start creating content immediately. Some of the features of the templates are:

  • Ability to create a horizontal navigation similar to the home page
  • Option to show breadcrumbs in the pages
  • Option to set header, footer, and background colors
  • Select from a couple of page layouts (one column, two column, etc)

If any group is interested in utilizing these templates, please look at the documentation available here.

FREE webinar - Usability Services at the U

| 1 Comment

Usability by David Rosen, Usability Services
Jan. 25, 2011; 10 a.m.
Attend via UMConnect

Join David Rosen, usability services manager, and learn about usability services' origins at the University, its accomplishments since David started leading the group in March 2009, and what future services and plans look like.

Register today! A confirmation email with the link to UMConnect will be sent to you prior to the webinar.

The Top Social Media Tool for 2011 is...


I came across this article posted on Social Media Examiner and thought it was worth sharing.

If you heard about a marketing strategy that could substantially lower your marketing expenses and return 600% or more of your investment, would you be interested in learning more about it?

When Social Media Examiner surveyed 1,900 marketers in 2010, half said they wanted to learn more about this strategy.

Of those just starting out in social media marketing, 65% wanted to learn more about it. And 81% of all the marketers surveyed said they would definitely increase their use of this strategy.

No, it's not Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.

Sure, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn were among the top four social media tools among this group of marketers.

But what was first?


Did you know that Technorati ranked Social Media Examiner the #1 small business blog in the world just five months after it was launched? "We didn't advertise, didn't rely on the press and almost none of our traffic is coming from search engines," said its founder, Mike Stelzner, in March 2010.

Blogging Isn't Just for Moms Anymore

If you work for a large corporation, you're probably not blogging yet, are you? Oh sure, you might have your own personal blog centered around your interests, hobbies or political views.

But I'm talking about a corporate blog. A blog sponsored, written and monitored by your company.

I'll bet these are some of the reasons you or your company isn't blogging:

* You don't know what to write about
* You think your employees are too busy to blog
* You don't want to reveal company secrets

If you're a small business owner, did you know that nearly half of your competitors will be using a blog for marketing purposes by next year? What's holding you back?

Making "Because" yours

| No Comments

You've probably seen it online or on television but now Because is yours! The campaign standards have been posted on the Our Brand site.

Here you'll find the usual tools (graphics, guidelines, examples, etc.) for crafting the campaign to fit your unit, but the most important takeaway is how to properly capture the tone and intent of Because.

At its core, the Because campaign draws in audiences by answering the question, "Why the University of Minnesota?" Why should people believe in us and support us? And it's up to you to answer those questions through Because statements.

Think big and forward-looking here. Like an inspiration-filled line from a speech by your favorite politician (if any of us still have one these days), a Because statement should evoke the highest of what is achievable. For instance, the University is driven to discover "Because damaged hearts and lungs must be mended." Or "Because creativity fuels the new economy." The possibilities are endless but just be sure to keep the guidelines in mind.

A unique aspect of this campaign is that University units can request, at no cost, an actual 3D Because model for use in their promotional efforts. Whether a large-scale event or photo shoot, you can add Because in another dimension to your promotions.

Sometimes there is confusion between Driven to Discover and Because. It is important to remember that Driven to Discover is the University's official brand now and into the future. Because does not replace it. The Because campaign is a continuation of that brand and a chance to further explore how and why the University is Driven to Discover.

Finally, have fun with Because (within the standards of course!). Make it yours and unique to your department, staff, students, professors or whatever helps convey the ways your units engages in discovery!

If you have any questions or thoughts about using the Because campaign for your unit, contact me at or 5-8962.

Happy New Year!