Make the Most of Your News Section, Part 2

Posted on 2/21/2008 3:13:04 PM

Since our last post about using your news feed, we’ve seen a lot of activity on news feeds and events calendars cross the whole site—and if you’ve been watching, you’ve seen a lot of activity on Inside IUP and our Campus Bulletins page.

To help you get the most out of these new, powerful tools, we’d like to share with you what we consider to be the best practices for using them. Follow these suggestions to make sure the whole campus knows about your event.

Best Practices for News and Events

First what, then why. Whenever you have an event you’d like to promote, do the following:

  1. Post a news item. You can do this as soon as you know the details of the event. This post should be something like a press release, and include a description of what’s happening, when and where, a speaker bio, and photos if you have them. This is going to be, more or less, the official online description of your event, so feel free to put in any and all relevant information.

    Also note that our news feeds can be syndicated, and can end up appearing in lots of places on and off the IUP website—for instance, they could show up on someone’s Yahoo! home page. So make sure you provide any needed context in the news item itself. More on this in Part 3

  2. Add the event to your site calendar, with a quicklink to the news post. Calendar events have a long description field, but we recommend not using it. Instead click on the book icon and make a quicklink from the event to the news item you created above.

  3. As the event draws near, put out another news item. You might do this a week or so beforehand, or the Friday beforehand. This can be a short reminder, with a link back to the original post for all the details.

OK, So Why Am I Doing All That?

Good question. Here are the answers:

  1. Posting an announcement in your news feed:

    1. Gives visitors a complete source with all the information they need.

    2. Syndicates your info via RSS (if you know what RSS is, you know that’s a Good Thing. If not, we’ll explain it more fully in part 3).

    3. Puts your announcement on the Campus Bulletins page

    4. Puts your announcement in contention to be one our our Featured Campus Bulletins on Inside IUP.

    5. Automatically posts your event on your news and home pages.

  2. Adding your event to your calendar with a quicklink to the news post:

    1. Makes your event appear automatically on your home page as an “upcoming event.”

    2. Puts your event in contention to be one of our “daily highlights” on Inside IUP (look at the top left of the page).

    3. Will make additional Good Things happen in the future. (More on those things when they come to pass.)

  3. Posting a reminder note:

    1. Puts your event back on your news and home pages.

    2. Send out your event via RSS once more.

    3. Puts your event back on the Campus Bulletins page.

    4. Once again puts your announcement in contention to be one our our Featured Campus Bulletins on Inside IUP.

Doing this does take some time and effort. But we think the payoff will be worth it. The Web Team is heavily promoting Inside IUP as the home page for those of us who study, work, and live at IUP. To do that we need to have everything that happens on our campus every day represented there. The more information you provide to us, the more eyeballs we can provide to you!