I don’t have your Ph.D Working with Faculty and the Web

I Don’t Have Your Ph.D. – Working with Faculty and the Web
Amanda Costello, Web Content Strategist, University of Minnesota

Amanda Costello works at the University of Minnesota and talked about “Ph.d people problems”
Faculty are specialists – they do their jobs very very well — and they tend to focus on themselves (their work, their brand, what they’re doing)

Web folks, however, are the “swiss army knife” of higher ed. Our work changes all the time and we need to be nimble.

Making it work:

1) Meet everyone
Get in on those faculty meetings! Let people get to know you; it will facilitate your future work. Sell them on their importance and knowledge to your job.

2) Set up Solo Meetings
Pick the faculty member who’s crazy is like your crazy! This is your investment relationship: what are they doing that you can promote on the web. This relationship will set the precedent in working with other professors in that department. you’ll create demand!

3) Listen
Find out both what’s being said & what’s not being said. You’ll discover 3 faculty personas:
Highly participative faculty member — this comes out of a trusting relationship
Very interested in being in social media, and is demanding about it!
These are involved people – all you need to do is get them to release the medium but hold on to engaging with audiences

(Conversation prism – use to illustrate that social media is comprehensive adn there are lots of ways to engage!)
Let them know you’re going to focus on their goals and audience and THEN choose a medium.

Ask faculty:
who’s the website for
who’s the website NOT for
are there other sites like this? Why would this site be different?
what’s the name of this project?

Homework for for faculty and you
strategy worksheets
z.umn.edu/mnhsworksheets (fyi – doens’t work on an ipad)

persona 3 – The web is scary adn my work shouldn’t be there at all. Listen to the faculty member — it could be that a previous web experience was negative. Build trust and acknowledge their experiences and work.
Show that you’re taking their hard work and disseminating it.

4) You’re a Pro!
Just because you don’t have an advanced degree doesn’t mean you don’t know what your talking about. BUT, have backup – reach out to the web community, resources, data, and coworkers to help you make your case.

Sometimes you’ll hit a wall. So- don’t tolerate incivility, pick your battles, and work with grad students (and give them food!) because they can give you access where you might not otherwise get it.

What should you do on YOUR Campus?
Make allies with faculty – you’ve got shared interests!
Build up your listening skils
Be accessible – to reach, to talk to, to find!