Portfolio > 2c > 2. PR Materials
Search this site

2. A dynamic change agent with skills in:
(c) Public relations/Communications

2c2 Developing public relations/communications materials

Development Plan Portfolio Documentation
Develop materials for obtaining buy-in and commitment of time resources for various high priority information technology projects. Document public relations/communications examples that illustrate the application of these skills in bringing about change.

1999 Leadership Faculty Retreat

I was one of the program participants invited to the May, 1999 Leadership Faculty Retreat.  I found it to be an enriching and enlightening experience, and decided to write about it on the LeadAll listserv.  My report generated a lot of very positive feedback, both to me for writing the report, and to the faculty about whom I wrote.  While generating good PR for the Leadership Faculty had not been my primary intention, it certainly achieved that result.

ITS Newsletters

From time to time (rather sporadically in fact), ITS published the ITS News newsletter.  In the Fall 1999 issue, I wrote a brief editorial listing the main services we offered in ITS, and the departments and persons in charge in each area.  It was effective in the short term, but awareness about some of the less sought after services soon faded.  We decided that a multi-faceted PR campaign was needed, including web, posters, even email and voicemail, to really get attention, and that it would need to be repeated in one form or another for the effect to "stick".  The Year 2000 Project would be the best example of this.  We used email as well as hard copy memos, presentations in meetings, a web site, and voicemail.  I wrote another editorial in the Winter 2000 issue of ITS News reviewing how we had survived Y2K.

Competency "Pep Talk"

At the end of November in 1999, I read something in the December issue of the little monthly booklet, " Bits & Pieces" that for me, added a new dimension to becoming competent.  Since I was feeling a little bogged down about the prospect of ever finishing my 20 competencies, I found this little piece gave me quite a lift, and I decided to share it.  While the communication was very simple, judging by 10 of the responses I received, I would say it was quite effective.

University Relations

There were ocassions when IT incidents occurred that we needed to advise the whole campus about and one of the avenues we used at such times was the University Relations email broadcast process.  One example was when we were suffering from slow email server performance due to having too many inboxes that were excessively large.

Communications in the local press

Andrews University was a leading innovator in its early deployment of wireless networking.  On March 5, 2000, a journalist from the Herald-Palladium interviewed a number of faculty and staff about our WirelessZone initiative.  I was one of those interviewed.  Around the same time, a student reporter for the University newspaper, the Student Movement, asked me to give him some material describing some of our current and proposed initiatives in IT.  I wrote something about web portals and workflow on the assumption that he would use it as source material for writing an article for public consumption.  Unfortunately for the readers, he published exactly as I gave it to him.  I wish I had known that in advance, because I would have condensed greatly, and would tried to highlight just a few of the most important points.  But I had assumed the reporter was going to do that, with his "in touch" feel for what his readers would be interested in reading.

Article in Europe 2000 Newsletter

In May, 2000, while Loretta Johns was still in England working with the Europe 2000 Cohort, Loretta asked me if I would prepare an article for a newsletter for that group of participants.  The year I joined the program (1998), the faculty gave everyone a marble paperweight inscribed with the words " I'm working on my Ph.D. today".  This made a vivid impression on my mind, and I attempted to apply the principle in a practical way as I created my IDP.  Since Loretta was my advisor, she had witnessed my attempts to apply this principle, and it was this experience of linking my work duties, responsibilities, and projects into my Ph.D. in Leadership that Loretta wanted me to report on in my article for the newsletter.  Appreciation was expressed for the way this article emphasized the work-embeded nature of the Leadership program.

Cabinet report on SCT Summit 2000

At the SCT Summit 2000 conference (the conference for users Banner software for higher education), I was able to get answers we had been asking about the Portal software that was integrated with Banner, as well as information about SCT's Workflow product, and some other developments happening at SCT.  In April, 2000, I presented a report to the President's Cabinet summarizing what I learned at the conference.  As a result, the University chose not to use the Campus Pipeline product that was bundled with Banner – we were unwilling to permit the advertisements that we would be required to show on our web portal pages.  On the matter of workflow, I judge myself to be unsuccessful in highlighting the need for radical reengineering as well as Continuous Quality Improvement in bringing about significant process improvement over time.

Comments on reporting of Regional Group meeting

Sometimes I have received personal comments regarding my reporting of regional group minutes.  Here are some of the responses I received following the posting of the minutes for the June 22, 2000 meeting of the Berrien Springs Local Regional Group.

Electronic Portfolios - Virtual Banana Boxes

In my IDP, there are some recurring themes, such as data warehousing.  It seemed to me that a linear representation, such as I would have with binders organized in "banana boxes" would have difficulties in cross referencing material, and having the artifacts appear in each of the places where I wanted to reference them.  Along with that dilemma, I have always shunned paper filing systems where possible in favor of electronic ones.  Together, these two pressures led me to the idea of presenting my portfolio as a hypertext linked web site, and that is what I have done.  As others in the program began to confront the question of how to present their portfolios, I began to receive questions about the approach I was taking.  As a result, I was asked by the Roundtable 2001 planning committee to prepare a concurrent session on electronic portfolios.  I called the presentation Virtual Banana Boxes.  In addition to the Roundtable 2001 concurrent session, I gave a brief report to the 2002 Cohort during their orientation, and have been asked to do another session for the 2003 Cohort.

New Leadership Web Site

The Leadership office introduced a new web site during the 2002 Roundtable, specifically targeting marketing and recruiting.  Using the same style, I built a new participant-specific web site, and introduced this site during 2002 Roundtable with a PowerPoint presentation.  It has enabled research resources and other information of specific interest to those already in the program to be collected together in a more focused way.

New way to post minutes

The LeadAll listserv was initially set up with no controls over who could send messages to it.  However, as the number of active participants in the program approached 100 students, many began to groan with the volume of email that was being sent to the list, and there were complaints about the questionable relevance of some of the messages.  So then we introduced the concept of a "moderated" list, where only the person designated as the WebCT Administrator for the regional group could send email to LeadAll.  Many were appreciative of the ensuing reduction if email on LeadAll, but some found it a humbug for the recorder of the minutes to have to forward the minutes to the group's WebCT Administrator for that person to send to LeadAll.  In a number of cases, people merely sent the minutes to Carol, the Program Manager, and let it be her problem to deal with.  I knew there had to be a way where students could do this easily for themselves over the web, and save Carol from having any involvement at all with regional group meeting minutes or attendance.  The technical challenge I had to solve was to find a way to submit minutes over the web and yet retain any formatting that the author had used.  So I was very pleased when I found a way to do this.  On February 17, 2003, I sent a message to LeadAll advising participants that there was a new way to post regional group minutes, with some brief instructions on how to do it.  Another factor driving this was the failure of the web server used for the Leadership Participant web site.  When it was finally restored (in a temporary fashion only), the routine that Carol had previously used for processing minutes would not work, so the web method had become the only way it could be done.
Return to 2(c) Public relations/Communications

Created: Sunday, February 20, 2000 05:05 PM 
Last Modified: Sunday, November 23, 2008 4:11 PM