2c2 Developing public relations/communications materials
materials for obtaining buy-in and commitment of time resources for various
high priority information technology projects.
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
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.
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
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
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
Sunday, November 23, 2008 4:11 PM