The meeting point for digital marketing in higher education

HighEdWeb 2016 - Xavier University: The content owner debate

Sure, Rome can be built in a day. But can it be maintained?

Rob Liesland from Xavier University discussed how an IA overhaul caused the Marketing and Communication department at the University to rethink who maintains the content for key sites. The end result meant taking back control of many websites that for years had been maintained by academic departments and support offices.

Rob and the team wanted to change the look and feel of site to show the real Xavier campus with images of the campus, improved content and facts.

Scheduled sessions were held with all departments to discuss the changes. Communication was key as it was important to get their support to what they were doing and why they were doing it. Define the guidelines and style guide. What can be changed and not changed.

However, it was not all smooth sailing. Some departments were not happy with having less control on their site. They have different priorities, so the team has to get the deans onboard above the offices and departments.

To show departments and offices that the new website design and IA overhaul is working, back it up with data. Apply user polls to your site to find out did the user find the information they needed. Also use Analytics to support your design change with departments who may not be fully onboard with the restructure.

Ensure to do run tutorials, create style templates and also create a demo site to show to each department and get their support.

This was a presentation that definitely resonated with me. The politics of content ownership and intelligent content planning is increasingly the elephant in the room when it comes to web transformation projects.  The Xavier University example really demonstrates the importance and power of data driven decision making.  Check out the presentation (aided by the images of a truly beautiful campus).  

View Rob's presentation online.

Tagged: Higher Education , Content Planning

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