Reflections from CASE seminar: Part 2...

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Further to my previous post about the CASE seminar held on Tuesday...

Following Helen's enlightening talk about re-branding the University of Southampton (and implications for the web), my former colleague Roy Bayfield from Edge Hill University took to the stage to talk about how the web sits at the centre of marketing at Edge Hill.

Having worked with Roy for many years I was fully aware that he, as Director of Corporate Marketing, was switched on to the web as a key marketing tool. He's twittered, blogged and (social) networked for some time and has been keen to embrace new technologies to enhance marketing/communications.

Roy demonstrated the award-winning Hi - Applicant Site and explained how the site helped to guide applications through the applications process and brought them into the 'University' community; allowing them to meet new friends, chat with current students and form a picture of the life that awaited them.

As a public site Roy highlighted some of the concerns surrounding opening up informal University communication channels and some of the benefits and opportunities this opened up.

Next we had a presentation from Pamela Michael from Imperial College London. Pamela explained the reasons why Imperial completely re-designed their website last year and talked us through their research-led approach to the whole process. As one of the top Universities in the world, Imperial have a vast audience to engage with and the re-design was initiated following a review of their (old) site which highlighted the fact that key research and strengths were not being effectively showcased via the web. What I found most interesting from Pamela's talk was the approach. Imperial engaged and communicated with the college at every stage and the changes were measured and effective and very in-keeping the strong brand.

Finally we had a presentation from Emma Leech, Head of Marketing and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University. I'd previously heard Emma described as the "head of a very new media savvy team" so I was interested in her talk focussing on extending marketing using third party site and services.

Emma showcased some very interesting examples of how MMU have utilised third party services such as Facebook and YouTube to maximise their web presence. She discussed the importance of having a switched on new media team to keep their eye on new developments and seek out new marketing opportunities.

Overall the feedback from the event was very positive. I certainly felt (and others have also commented) that the event brought together a community waiting to form. The web is fundamental to marketing/communications. It no longer sits outside traditional marketing. Communicating isn't simply "... and also put it up on the web". A strategic approach is required to maximise exposure, engage users and to provide an experience which compliments and strengthens the brand of a University.

Many thanks to all the speakers who did a sterling job on the day. I am inspired!

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