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The Rebirth of Email Newsletters

The hottest digital platform today arguably isn’t Periscope, Snapchat, or Yik Yak. In fact, it was invented in 1972. Yes, friends, I am talking about email. Email is experiencing a renaissance thanks in large part to a surge of popular newsletter products, whether it is the personal newsletter of a respected writer or a clever newsletter product written in a distinctively personal voice. The revival of email comes down to two things: 1) a … [Read more...]

Content Strategy Glossary of Terms

I spend a lot of time in my work cleaning up jargon on college websites, which is why it pains me when I find myself using jargony content strategy terms. Yet, like other specialty web disciplines, content strategy has a number of specific guides, tools and processes to help us get our work done. Designers, developers, UX-ers, we all have them — and we need to be able to communicate the purpose and value of these concepts to other people on our … [Read more...]

Considerations for Special Higher Ed Content Types

We know many of the ways that higher ed communications is unique in practice from other industries—the quirks of the academic calendar, the diverse range of audiences, the intense politics, working under a knowledge-centric mission, and so on. But another way in which higher ed stands out are the content types that only we get to wrangle—catalogs, handbooks, policies, program pages, and so, so much more. Just because they are native to … [Read more...]

Defining Target Audiences: Who Are We Talking To, Really?

When I ask higher ed web teams who their primary audience is, inevitably the answer is "prospective students." Makes sense, right? Since higher ed websites are such an important marketing tool, most people will agree prospective student is an appropriate primary audience. Yet, when you navigate college websites, how well does content speak to this audience? And what about other audiences? How do they fit in? The reality is we cater to … [Read more...]

Talking Silos and More with Amanda Costello

The Mississippi River begins in Minnesota and snakes its away down to through Louisiana bayou and into the Gulf of Mexico. While it remains to be seen if she will take a riverboat, University of Minnesota content strategist Amanda Costello will make her way to New Orleans as one of the keynotes for Confab Higher Ed this November. Costello, who works at the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development, will speak about … [Read more...]