GETTING STARTED (Project planning)
Develop a Clear Vision
The key to a successful marketing project is understanding. Know the goals you want to achieve. By answering the questions below, you clarify the purpose and logistics of the project.
Who are you trying to reach?
Prospective students? Current students? Graduate or undergraduate? Alumni? Donors? Internal audiences? All of these? The message should be tailored specifically for your readers.
What’s your message?
Are you trying to recruit? Educate, publicize, bring in audiences, generate goodwill or raise funds? How does your message tie in with the University message?
Are you trying to update/improve a current publication or site, or do you want to develop a new one?
Either way, content is key.
Do you have the photographs you need or do you need photographers to help?
Photos can make or break a piece. How will you use photos in communicating your message?
What is the budget for the project or piece?
Knowing your budget up front can help us decide what is most cost effective.
What is your deadline?
Start planning far enough in advance that you can allow sufficient time with your publication. Communications & Marketing shouldn’t be the last to know!
How will the publication be distributed or marketed?
Do you have a mailing list? Have you thought about how to drive people to the site?
Gather your content
Once you’ve answered these questions, start gathering your information. Be sure you are writing for your audience. Your approach should be different for a high school senior than for a prospective graduate student or prospective donor. If you are updating existing content, be sure the text is accurate, up-to-date, and of appropriate length.
Look at other publications or Web sites you like... we do! Bring examples to your marketing consultation meeting and tell us what aspects you think are effective or interesting.
The text should be as accurate and complete as possible when you submit it to us. Minor changes after we start working are usually not a problem, but substantial changes will delay completion of the project.
Fill out the Project Request Form
Now it’s time to get us involved. Jobs in the Office of Communications and Marketing start with a project/job request . This assists us in assigning your publication to the appropriate people and helps us keep track of the job while it’s in progress. Submit all supporting graphics, Word files, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consult with OCM Staff
When we receive your work order, we’ll contact you to set up an initial meeting with the creative staff assigned to your project. From this point, we work with you to develop the print or Web publication you want. You have several opportunities along the way to review drafts and proofs and make alterations.
We take care of developing print specs and working with Document Services to get you a printing estimate. Modifications can be made, if needed, to stay within your budget. When everything is approved and ready to go, the job is sent to print. You will receive a final proof to ensure all specifications are being met. Once you approve that proof, the job is printed and your publication is delivered to you.
If your project involves the Web, when everything is approved, the site will go live. Maintaining the site will be up to you. Remember that people who will visit your Web pages expect them to contain the latest and most accurate information. It’s vital that you keep everything current.