Crossing paths

We're now back to a full quota of staff following a number of summer holidays which meant a team meeting was an urgent requirement!

This allowed me to bring everyone up to speed on current and future projects. We also had a few guests from within the department which helped to keep them all up to date on what we are doing. I feel that these informal meetings give everyone a chance to share their ideas and to talk about what they have been doing. It's also a good chance to have a fancy coffee and enjoy some Portuguese cakes (thanks Angela!)

An item at the top of the agenda was our current winter campaign and the online rollout. This is currently going great guns and is informed by lessons learned from Clearing. For example, this time we've decided to create a series of videos which cross-edit everyone who features in the campaign by theme instead of them featuring in their own individual videos:

This allowed us to use more footage from the people who were more natural in front of camera and also to see if this approach has any effect on audience retention.

Talking of analytics we've been working with our CRM team in order to develop some meaningful statistics from our live chat system. This Clearing we've found that it has been used more than ever (even picking up some of the slack from Twitter) and therefore we need to be able to effectively measure ROI. The system we use is called 'ISL Pronto' and one of my first initiatives was to plug it in to the homepage to see what the take up would be. I can proudly say that it's been growing year on year (despite some initial reservations internally) and is the first port of call for many of our International students.

We've also been beta testing our new internal and external document search which is looking good. There have been a number of tweaks (such as adding icons for the document type and displaying the meta tags on the front end) and the real challenge will come with educating staff on the new naming, tagging and location conventions when adding documents themselves through the CMS. However, we've added this to our staff training programme and have also produced a concise helpsheet to refer to if required.

This Wednesday was a landmark day on both of our main campuses as we hosted our first open day for 2015 applicants. Historically this has been held later in the year but the idea was that by holding it earlier we could capitalise on some early interest. As usual, my team were busy filming at both campuses (I even dusted off some of the old skills to muck in) and videos of the happenings of both days are in the process of being edited as I type.

Finally, we received some great news regarding the Prospects Postgraduate Awards 2014 in Manchester (where we won 'Best Website' last year). I'm not officially able to share it yet but we have been emailed a little logo which we can use. I'll just leave this here...
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