Uptime and downtime

Despite having most of our large campaigns up and running the team remain hectic with all sorts of different projects. When I first started over two years ago this was the time of year when we could have a bit of downtime from the daily pressures of student recruitment and concentrate on things like developing our website content or some campaign planning. There's no such luxury these days but I also seem to be my own worst enemy by talking on more work external work.

The first of these was taking up Inside Government on their invitation to present at their 'Enhancing the Standards and Quality of UK Postgraduate Education' event. I had presented for them before and was obviously deemed good enough to be asked back. Therefore in order to keep my skills up to date (and seek a challenge) I decided to try out some new online presentation software in the form of Emaze. Whilst I found it a little buggy (it kept switching to presenter mode when I was adding text) it was an excellent tool for collaboration with some lovely templates and minus the roller coaster sick inducing transitions of Prezi. Apparently I used it so well that Emaze featured me on their homepage and gave me this little badge to use!
The conference itself went really well despite me feeling a little intimidated after reading the delegate list (Deputy VC's, Directors and Heads of Faculty). It was clear I had some work to do as I was the only person tweeting on the hashtag as well - it was pretty lonely in there! I stuck to time and got some lovely comments from some other universities on the issues I raised. My topic was Digital Transformation so check it out for yourself (I used our current campaign artwork for the slides):



Another big project with which we've just gone live is a total revamp of our 'Student Life' section on our website. We've now titled it 'Student Experience' as this is a big part of our strategic plan and the remit was to author new content to better sell what it is like to be a student with us. The idea was to re-order pages based on input from our Student Union and also by using our analytics to highlight what users engage with most. We also re-wrote all top level content to better showcase the student voice (and embedded videos where possible). This was also a great exercise to tell us where we were missing video content so we're getting editing immediately to plug those gaps.

Another more fun and festive project has been launched this week too - Bedsmas! The idea of this is that we will post a Christmassy photo from one of our campuses via social media each day of December and encourage people to do the same using the hashtag #bedsmas14. These will then be added to a Tagboard which is embedded on our website to show what a vibrant place the University is at this time of year. The winner will then get a £50 Amazon voucher - just in time to spend in the sales! So why not head over yourself and get posting?!

Finally, I just wanted to do another shameless plug for this blog where I have been shortlisted for another blog award (this time for 2015). This time it's in the PR, Marketing, Media and Comms category so if you'd vote for me I'd be extremely grateful. Especially as last year's ceremony was my favourite awards night I've attended (although being able to celebrate my win with a glass of gin and tonic with my wife may well mean I am biased!)
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