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University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

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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?

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!

Leveraging social networking

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Looking for some fresh ideas to spice up your social networking tactics or perhaps some reassurance that you are doing things a-okay? Check out this publication - How to Leverage Social Media for Public Relations Success.


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

4 ways to beat the clock in your social media efforts

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I am oftentimes asked about the best way to manage social networking efforts. Typically, the first response I offer is..."Be sure whatever you are contemplating doing, it is part of an integrated marketing strategy." There should be a method behind the madness of starting a Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc. Entering into the social networking arena -- absolutely, 100%, -- must support your main communications strategy and goals.

Second, I usually follow up with the caveat you must have the time to devote to maintaining the channels. It is much worse to have an out-of-date social networking presence rather than no page at all.

I came across this article about time management and thought it might be helpful when determining if entering the social networking sphere is right for your communications efforts.


"Fan us" is deadicus

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As many of you know, on April 21, Facebook announced several changes to its system. One of the most glaring changes was swapping the "Become a Fan" buttons for "like" buttons on brand pages.

This means that for all of us who chose to use the phrase "Fan us on Facebook," it is not gonna work anymore. University Relations is now adopting a more general term --"Join us on Facebook" -- and will be removing any "fan us" phrases on the websites it maintains. The "join us" phrase is generic enough so when Facebook either reverts back to "fan us" because of the swell of complaints it is receiving or decides to change "like" to "love" in the future, rework will not need to happen.

In addition, I just want you to know the "like" widget is being investigated as far as how easy it would be to embed into University web pages, any legal ramifications, and the potential need to update the University's privacy statement as the implications re: collecting personal data have just been amplified by the Facebook changes.

The electronic communications team has devoted significant time/resources on this issue since Facebook announced the changes. I want to assure you, the team is doing its best at being nimble and flexible and will keep you updated.

4 Ways To Monitor Your Facebook Page Traffic

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This looks like a very promising article. We haven't tried the new WebTrends yet but I hope to dig deeper into this.

Enjoy the article - 4 Ways to Monitor Your Facebook Page Traffic.

P.S. The website looks pretty decent on first glance too.

Blizzard of stats

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I admit. I love these kinds of videos. I particularly enjoy the global views as they really put the United States in perspective with the rest of the world.

Social Networks by Country.

Hope you enjoy the "animated avalanche" of statistics in this well-produced and worth- sharing video.

Social Networking Survey

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In conjunction with upcoming policy revisions related to electronic communications, University Relations is continuing to work on social networking guidelines that we hope will be helpful for units that want to make official pages for their unit or program.

Some of the things we plan to address include if and when to use social networking, how or if you should monitor comments, how to appropriately brand your social networking profile, how to combine social networking with your current promotional efforts, and balancing the time it takes to manage a social networking page or site.

We'd like to know a few things from University communicators to help us shape these guidelines. Please take a few minutes to respond to this short survey before Monday, March 15.