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

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

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Video storytelling: an update from our webinar

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Thanks to everyone for joining me on Tuesday for our webinar on Video Storytelling. I really enjoyed hearing from you about using video on your websites and found your questions to be insightful. The questions you asked touched on many of the issues that video professionals around the world are tackling: mobile device compatibility, choosing hosting and how do we use this effectively?

You can view and listen to the whole presentation here:

Now, let me take a moment to answer the questions I didn't have time to address.

Q. Is there training available for Final Cut Pro?

University Technology Training offers one introductory class to video production called, "Media production and publishing." You can read more about it here:
I have not taken this course, however, I have heard from others that this is an introductory course and doesn't go in depth on any particular software.

To be honest, I wouldn't advise trying to learn Final Cut Pro first if you are an absolute beginner. Most people that use FCP have taken several years of undergraduate coursework to learn how the software works. To put it in perspective, the user manual for Final Cut Pro is actually 6 books long! If you want to learn the basics of Final Cut, start with Final Cut Express. Apple's website offers some basic tutorials on how to use the software that will help you get started:
I like to think of Final Cut Express as the training wheels for Final Cut Pro - and we all know what happens if you try to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels!

If you want more training on Final Cut Pro, consider looking into taking a class from the Art Department, such as ART 1601, which is considered an introductory course.

Q. How do you decide between MediaMill and YouTube?

Every video I produce is stored in MediaMill and YouTube. Why? MediaMill is great for sharing content between my colleagues and provides us with a searchable archive of all of our content. It is also integrated with our content management system and provides the feed to our website. We also put the videos in YouTube because it then becomes part of the University's channel ( which is fed to YouTube EDU. (

I like to think of MediaMill as our primary hosting service and YouTube as one of our "outlets," which also includes iTunesU and Facebook.

Q. Have you done any research on whether your users want video vs. text and photos?

I know I discussed this a little bit during our webinar, but I wanted to touch on this again. One of the ways in which I can determine the "value" of video as a part of how we present information on the web is by looking at the ratio of "click-throughs to plays." For example, last week we had the story about the custom shoe designer on the home page and the story received 2,197 click-throughs between Tuesday and Sunday. The video logged 1,148 plays in that time. That means that 52% of the people that wanted to learn more ALSO spent 3 minutes with our content. While it is difficult to pin down an industry standard, in the time I've been logging this information it seems that anything above 30% is generally a sign of successful content integration.

As I mentioned during the webinar, every user is going to consume information differently. It's our job to try and provide them with the best content possible and be discerning about when to use video. Using video just because the media is fun and new isn't good enough. We need to be strategic about WHY we are choosing the medium.

Good luck on all your video projects and I'd love to see any final products as they become available!

FREE Webinar--Storytelling via video

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Storytelling via video
Presented by: Liz Giorgi, University Relations
November 30, 2010; 10 a.m.
Attend via UMConnect
Register at:

Liz Giorgi, University Relations' very own video guru, will present on November, 30. Video content is becoming more and more popular for visual storytelling on the web. But how do you know if something will make a good video? Not all videos are created equal, so what kind of elements separate the watched from the un-watched?

This webinar will cover:
- Basic visual storytelling for the web
- Using graphics and branding
- Approved formats
- Recommendations for success (captioning, seo, etc.)

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

Photo Library and DAM Presentation

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I gave a presentation on the Photo Library and UMContent Digital Asset Management (DAM) at the UMContent Site Developers meeting this afternoon. The presentation was about how we are able to use the UMContent Digital Asset Management (DAM) module to build the new Photo Library ( A copy of the presentation is available for download.

Examining eCommunications

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Join your colleagues as we explore topics specifically related to online communications.

Here's the scoop:

Who: Anyone can attend (University students/staff/faculty or the general public)
What: Examining eCommunications webinars. Each 45-minute presentation will focus specifically on online communication as it relates to the University.
Where: On the web
When: August 2010 - June 2011; 10 a.m. CDT
Why: Learn about new best practices, glean tips and tricks, and ask questions of your colleagues all from the comfort of your own chair.
How: Attendance is FREE with registration. Want to receive reminders of upcoming webinars? Send an email to with subject line "Webinar Reminder" and we'll be sure to give you ample notice.

Here's what's on tap:

August 24, 2010
Images library redesign by Jeremy Casper, University Relations

September 28, 2010
Content Store by Pete Wiringa, University Relations

October 26, 2010
Using UMContent by Tim Roman, College of Continuing Education

November 30, 2010
Video by Liz Giorgi, University Relations

January 25, 2011 **New speaker**
Usability by David Rosen, Usability Services Manager, Office of Information Technology

February 22, 2011
Content creation by Office of Information Technology

March 22. 2011
Analytics by Pete Wiringa & Jeremy Casper, University Relations

April 26, 2011
Social networking by Jennie Lijewski, University Relations

May 24, 2011
Working with web templates by Kathy Jensen, University Relations

June 28, 2011
Tabbed search and keyword by Jeremy Casper & Pete Wiringa, University Relations

July 26, 2011
Events calendar by Jeremy Casper, University Relations

P.S. The series was originally titled "The Super Karate Monkey Death Car Webinar Series: A University Relations Tribute to the Writers of Newsradio." Which title do you prefer?

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

Captioning: It's easier than you sync, ahem, think.

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Our marketing communications colleague Liz Giorgi graciously volunteered to share her expertise with captioning videos. Below is a post by Liz.

Captioning video content should be a priority for any one who is producing video. Not only will your video be ADA accessible, but it will also improve search engine optimization. Believe it or not, Google reports that their bots read through closed caption files, improving your search results. On top of all of this, if you are using MediaMill (which you should be) then the process of captioning is very simple.

First, you need to create a Flash8, Medium derivative and download it.

Your next steps depend on whether or not you have a text transcript of your video. If you have a complete transcript for your video, then save it as a .txt file. is a great, affordable solution for creating time coded caption files for a variety video platforms. If you have a transcript in hand, a five-minute video will cost you about $6 to caption. An hour long video costs roughly $70.

If you do not have a transcript, has a service that will create a transcript for you. On average, it doubles the cost of captioning and usually takes 1-3 business days, depending on the length of your video.

Because University Relations is familiar with AutomaticSync, I've put together some directions on using it. I thought you might find this interesting and helpful and wanted to share them with you.

Using AutomaticSync for Captioning Videos (PDF)

Captioning might seem intimidating at first, but the benefits are enormous to you and your viewers. Does any one else have a suggestion for another service that offers affordable captioning? I'd love to hear what else is out there.

Introducing Audio and Video Assets

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A wide selection of audio and video assets are now available on the Images Library. Working in partnership with the Office of Information Technology, we have produced assets that can be used "as is" or customized for your unit.

These assets were developed to complement the new electronic communications policy that is still in the works. The assets include all the components that will be required for University-produced audio and video.

Go to the Audio and Video Assets and Standards page to read about the standards and watch a video demonstration of ways to use the assets. Download the assets from the Images Library.

Make stuff scanable, skimable, usable

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Writing for the Web is a different beast. Those of us who live, breathe, eat, and sleep electronic communications must respect the differences and help others who are not as familiar with the online world.

For some great ideas on how to tame the beast and provide sharp, attention-grabbing content, check out "20 tips for writing for the web."


P.S I'd love to know if you think Web should be capped. Is it Web or web? Thoughts?

New Multimedia Resources are Coming

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University Relations has been working with Video Solutions in OIT to make resources for audio, video, and multimedia productions. The creative work is complete and guidelines and instructions are being written.

Look for these new resources -- including video intros and closings, UofM title bars, backgrounds, and music and voice-over audio intros -- on the eCommunication Standards site and the Images Library in the next week (or so).

Multimedia Standards

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In development, these standards will address audio and video at the University.