Observations of a Digital Editor (a three-week analysis)

Posted in: DMC team

I’ve been with the Digital Marketing and Communications team for a few weeks now, and these are the things that I can say with certainty:

  • I’ve seen both Star Wars and Star Trek imagery around the office, which means that there’s either an uneasy peace between factions or a cordial ceasefire
  • Justin’s ability to kill fruit flies is both impressive and disturbing
  • Dan’s penchant for producing a fly-kill scoreboard would be infinitely more disturbing, but his Game of Thrones coffee mug overrules this concern and makes him ok in my book

This is clearly a good time to come into the team. With the bulk of student recruitment content going live on my first day (and thus the dragon roared, as is its wont), there’s a tangible sense of achievement and the conquering of a mountain in the office. It makes for a feel-good atmosphere, which has naturally helped me to settle in.

The Content Publisher and me

In my time here, I will have a few key things to achieve:

1. Update our internationally targeted content to ensure we’re delivering messages prospective and current students want and need

2. Keep this consistent with the overall transition project

3. Do this sufficiently well to ensure that Miao doesn’t look at the website when she returns from maternity leave and wonder why it’s fluorescent green, in Comic Sans and based around a gif of a dachshund dressed as a reindeer

To reassure Miao and others, none of these issues appear on my first creation, the new international landing page.

This was created using the Content Publisher, which I can recommend for its ease of use. Thanks to the Content Publisher our content is much more focused and streamlined compared with that on the OpenCMS site, and I’m looking forward to carrying on in this vein for all things international. The Content Publisher also allows us to be flexible with our content when required, which means we can be more time-sensitive with our messages going forward.

Agility training

Digital practises the Agile methodology, which in grossly oversimplified terms means that we work on projects in two-week ‘sprints’, reviewing and reworking our content collaboratively as we go.

I’d heard about Agile previously but not been involved in an organisation using it, so there are definitely a few teething issues there for me to work on. Being used to working on about four billion things needing my attention at once, I’m finding Agile more focused, and the departmental methodology is one that encourages collaboration.

This may, of course, all be a case of the team ushering me in slowly. Once they read this post I’ll probably be sent forty billion content maintenance requests.

Digital Marketing in China workshop

A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) focusing on how UK universities can develop their messages for prospective students from China.

This was eye-opening in many ways. In particular, the purposes and structure of videos shared on Chinese social media platforms are often atypical to what we see in the West. This raises a number of questions regarding the content we currently have, and what we may wish to create and promote in the future.

In summary

To avoid turning this blog post into a long-winded dalliance through my tangential ruminations, simply put there’s plenty for me to think about. You have me until Miao returns in December. Feel free to swing by and say hello.

Posted in: DMC team


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