Marketing Director

How to publicize university IT resources to students and faculty

There are a large number of ways to publicize university IT resources to students and faculty.

First try and determine where your audience is. They all have institutional email and they all have to login to portals so start there.

Twitter is limited in the sense that it won't reach most of your students/staff. It also relies on your audience reading your tweet, something far beyond your control. Facebook is limited in the same way but also limited by the way people use it: mainly for socialization and communication versus receiving institutional information.

I would recommend using the existing portals and creating live/web events around the benefits of the resources. Use case studies or bring in experts or advocates for the tools from within the institution.

Finding students and staff who already use the IT resources to champion them is key.

Try to tie the resources to other campus events and leverage them while demonstrating how they can be used to help with events, classes, education and communication.

People also respond well to human stories. Success stories of people using the tools.

Mass emails can work but frequency becomes an issue. What are the benefits of using these resources? Basing your promotion of the services around the WIIFM(What's in it for me) principle will work better than blasting a fraction of your audience using Twitter or Facebook. Although Facebook or Twitter could be used to help build that 'army' of advocates though.

Encouraging faculty to use the tools in class and promote them to students can work, but the tools need to be useful and pertinent to the faculty. If the resources make their jobs easier they will use them and promote them.

A workshop or a panel event, which should be syndicated to the web, would create buzz and then provide a permanent resource through the online elements.

You could also build a Ning network or ELGG or Facebook to gather advocates and interested parties and allow them to organically discuss their experiences with the tools in an open forum for collaboration and information sharing.

There are a large number of possibilities but if the purpose is to publicize the resources setting up interactive stations on campus where students are encouraged, maybe even given a small incentive to use and learn the benefits of using new tools can aid in building momentum.

Find your audience. There is not a high enough concentration of them on either Facebook or Twitter but that concentration does exist on campus and inside the classroom. Starting there and leveraging success stories will ensure that your efforts aren't wasted on an audience that may already know about the new resources or isn't interested in using them.

Surveying and understanding how students and staff would like to receive information about new resources before 'publicizing' it all over the place will make your campaign more effective and help with long-term communications from IT to the entire institution.

Great question Jennifer, thanks.These are some thoughts on how to publicize IT resources to students and staff in education from a LinkedIn Answer.

What are some other ways to publicize new IT resources in education or any organization?

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