'Mini' mouse

Everyone has an opinion!
In the haze of interviewing for new staff (I've been on three panels this week) I thought it was about time that I authored a new post! At the moment it seems we've got loads of mini-projects on the go and I'm trying to get these signed off so we can focus on some big web developments and improvements. A lot of the ideas for the latter have stemmed from our Web Strategy meetings. I've had to be very careful to ensure that, from now on, all decisions and developments are informed by our target audience. The last thing we want is a room full of middle aged men deciding on what's cool! That's why I've started properly organising some focus groups with our feeder colleges, some proper user testing and usage analysis. Stay tuned for the results..

Another thing the team have been working on has been data capture for our latest Postgraduate virtual event. Previously, we've helped get the the event up and running but this time we wanted to 'gate' it to ensure we had some meaningful leads afterwards. This did mean a drop in attendance (people are quite wary before giving away their contact details) but hopefully will mean we can send them some useful follow up material to show them the benefits of becoming students with us!

A campaign
skyscraper advert
Another series of mini-projects has been evidenced in our 'pre-clearing campaign' which runs until June. In the past, this has mainly been to showcase our open days but I have now put together a full plan of activity (with budget) to highlight the great reasons why students should choose us over our competitors. The bulk of this has been through Google AdWords and we have three adjacent campaigns running (branding, under recruiting courses and new courses). As I usually handle all of this myself it's been a great opportunity to get the team trained up in AdWords and share the burden courtesy of our friends at Jellyfish. One thing we do have is a generous training budget!

An example campaign landing page
We've created bespoke landing pages for every subject area and with the new addition of student blogs have plugged these in to each page using a great little RSS tool I found called Feeder Ninja.

We also have been creating the usual radio adverts, MPUs, leaderboards and skyscrapers and a full content strategy for social media. Promoted Tweets are working particularly well for us and our account managers there have been great at advising on our choice of content and ways to track our campaigns - the platform is developing daily!

There has still been time for the odd little improvement to our website though and we got the jquery accordion up and running. This is something which I've previously used on a personal project for my brother in law and already is being utilised by our power users across the University.

That's about it for now. Finally, my quest to get my professional profile seen across the entire internet was helped by Spectrecom Films, who asked if I could do an interview for their February 2014 sector report (included below!) We're also in the initial stages of another exciting new project with them so I should have something to report back on that very soon. Enjoy! ;)
Click for a larger version. From the photo it looks like I live in our student halls!
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