Ideas, musings and inspirations.

Come January 20th hate will have a new home. It’s called the White House.

Not every person or even the majority of people who voted for Donald Trump is hateful, but haters do love him.

They see a guy who is now leader of the free world, and they believe that deep down he’s just like them. They feel empowered. They’re emboldened. And they’re starting to act out.

At a lunch counter a few days ago, I met a priest who told me that spray-painted swastikas are already springing up on churches near his home of Carlisle, PA.

Just over a week ago, student demonstrators at a high school in York, PA could be seen and heard shouting “White power!” The moment was captured on You Tube and prompted our Governor to convene Pennsylvania’s public school’s leadership for a special strategy session.

It’s not even Christmas yet, and haters are overjoyed.

They’ve been busy on the brand front too. Last week, Digiday reported that a writer for the Neo Nazi blog called Daily Stormer endorsed New Balance as the “official shoes of white people.” New Balance is spending a fortune trying to undo the damage to its brand.

In addition, thanks to the brave new world of overly automated media buying known as Programmatic, beloved brands like Nissan are advertising on Breitbart. This has caused some loyal drivers to question Nissan’s values and second-guess their choice in a car.

You better hope like hell that hate doesn’t take a liking to your brand.

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend that any business wishing to remain in business for very long take a hard political stand, but this is not business or politics as usual. This isn’t about just getting along and hoping for the best. Hope is not a strategy.

In times like these you need a plan and here’s what I suggest you do:

1. Know who you are and what values you hold most dear. While you’re at it, make sure your employees know who you are and what you stand for too. Be very clear on how you expect them to behave as ambassadors of your business.

2. Lead with your values. Don’t just talk about them. Do something about them. Frankly, if I were New Balance I wouldn’t be fighting some skinhead’s endorsement of my products with reactionary words alone. I’d put new soles on every pair of New Balance shoes that left a footprint that reads #Stamp Out Hate. Then I’d donate a portion of the proceeds from every pair sold to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

3. Lastly, carefully consider whom you give business to. No individual or organization should ever profit from a belief system that marginalizes and instills fear in the diverse people who have made America great.

Brands have always battled for hearts and minds, but we are entering a new kind of war. It’s not just about profit and loss and market share. It’s not just about ring around the collar, or just doing it.

It’s about proactive leadership, and making it clear where you stand.

My last blog post I wrote about the future of web grids by using CSS Grid Layouts. Recently I have been finding a lot of inspiration off of the grid. Finding a way to incorporate some more organic or random elements on the page.

Over the weekend I visited the home page for one of my favorite photography social media and mobile app called VSCO  and was surprised to see a very unorthodox homepage (figure 1, 2, and 3) The site looks normal at first glance, a simple nav and a list of recent blog posts, but on hover (at large desktop sizes) the post items will load images from the post behind the text in a somewhat random order and position.

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 9.29.38 AM

Figure 1 (vsco.co)

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 1.23.19 PM

Figure 2 (vsco.co)

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 9.29.53 AM

Figure 3 (vsco.co)

 

The interiors are more structured (figure 4) but still give the appearance of a random placement for images and text.

screencapture-vsco-co-explore-entertainment-collection-1-1480357897425

Figure 4 (vsco.co)

It is easy to keep the web in a grid structure using frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, or others. Intentionally moving an element off this grid to draw the attention of the user or just for some design flare is easier said than done. VSCO’s site might be a stretch but sites like this (also see a wealth of interesting layouts check out Site Inspire and Brutalist Websites) could inspire you to reach outside of the box on your next project.

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As the band Led Zeppelin aptly put it—way back in 1969: “Communication breakdown. It’s always the same.” Truer words may have never been spoken; or wailed.

Man hole cover reading "communication"

Just search the phrase “communication breakdown in an organization” and you’ll get over a million results. Given the amount that has been written on this subject, it clearly effects many organizations and people.

The photo on the left is meant to illustrate one cause of communication breakdown in (or between) organizations: lack of transparency. This can happen for a number of reasons, both innocent and otherwise.

One example of a seemingly innocuous situation is where an employee of Company ABC communicates directly with an employee of Company XYZ. Together, they begin to make decisions which allow them to complete their individual tasks. Unfortunately, these independent decisions are unknown to their respective organizations, so the effects go unheeded until they surface at a later time. The ramifications of these decisions can come in the form of sullied relationships, loss of respect, or loss of time — all of them costly.

One Oxford Dictionary definition of the word communication is “The successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.”* Organizations must work to ensure that their employees (well-meaning as they may be) are aware of the hidden costs associated with lack of transparency and unilateral decision making. Employees must also consider the needs of the larger organization before taking action.

Skeptics should go talk to their project manager.

*https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/communication

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Are you still debating whether blogging and content creation is beneficial for your business/higher education institution or not?

Here are four reasons why blogging matters for inbound marketing strategy:

  1. Higher exposure and more ranking opportunities: Google algorithm updates in recent years have made fresh content on a website a crucial ranking signal. As a result, blogging on a regular basis allows us to add fresh content on a website. This results in better rankings which leads to higher traffic to the website. Also, as each page added to the website or blog is indexed by search engines, each blog post provides an opportunity to rank in search engine results. This provides more opportunities to get found by visitors on search engines.
  2. Content relevance = authority: The more content a website has on a specific topic the more authoritative they are deemed by search engines. Thus resulting in higher rankings for searches related to that topic. In order to build this kind of credibility, blogging becomes a very important tool. Blogging allows us to add more relevant content for a subject, without adding navigational/content bloat on the main site.
  3. More opportunities to retain visitors and build a following: Blogs allow us to add more in-depth content on your social networks without allowing users to leave your site. It’s a tool to retain visitors on your networks, be it the website, social networks, blogs, etc. It provides a variety of content so visitors can get useful content all in one place.
  4. Conversational, less formal content with higher shareability potential: Blogs are generally less formal allowing for more flexibility. Readers of blogs also understand and expect the more casual tone and structure, which is why they can be created and added more frequently than deeper articles, keeping in line with today’s fast moving, mobile culture.

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Manufacturing Day Logo 2016

Manufacturing Day, an annual event held on the first Friday in October, “is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.” Each year, hundreds to thousands (this year 2,200 and counting) of manufacturers open their doors to students and educators to showcase their business and to develop relationships with the community.

A few goals of the nationwide initiative are: to display the potential in manufacturing, to generate interest in manufacturing careers, and to set right public perception of the industry.

In his 2014 presidential proclamation addressing National Manufacturing Day, Barack Obama declared, “With ingenuity and a determined spirit, hardworking Americans are creating products and unlocking new technologies that will shape our Nation and grow our economy.”

In honor of these innovators of the future, we’re featuring several Manufacturing Day champions from the rust belt that are opening their doors and putting a face on the industry. Read on to learn about these organizations, and the common threads that keep them participating in Manufacturing Day year after year.

  • Robinson Fans (@RobinsonFansInc) – Located in the quaint Zelienople borough of Butler County in Northwest Pennsylvania, Robinson Fans has over Robinson Fans100 years of experience in manufacturing industrial air movement equipment for the mining, pulp and paper, cement, chemical process, and steel industries. When asked about their involvement in Manufacturing Day, representative April Vitovsky explained, “We are excited to invite the community into Robinson Fans to see the daily process of manufacturing our highly engineered, custom-built industrial air moving equipment. Having been in Zelienople for almost a century, we very rarely have the opportunity to open our doors to the public and show them there are manufacturing jobs here at home.”
  • Miller Welding & Machine Co. (@MillerWeld) – Spread across three facilities in Western Pennsylvania, Miller Welding & Machine Co. has 50+ years of experience under its belt. What started as a company that catered to the mining and lumber industries, expanded into the steel industry, and eventually developed into a single-source supplier for every metal manufacturing need. Eric Miller, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, understands the importance of rectifying the public’s image of the industry through strategic opportunities, saying: “Manufacturing environments, which include highly trained, well-paid employees who work on state-of-the-art equipment, are commonly thought of as antiquated factories designed for low-skilled workers. Manufacturing Day addresses this misperception by giving all manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, exactly what manufacturing is and what it isn’t.”
  • Starwin Industries – Starwin Industries, headquartered in a 30,000 square foot facility in Kettering, Ohio, has served the aerospace and automotive industries for over 50 years. Providing specialized production parts, test rig components, instrumentation, and prototype parts, Starwin Industries commits to quality in engineering and production. President Rick Little added a personal sentiment to their motivation to participate in Manufacturing Day — “As a kid I loved science, understanding how things work, and making things. I started at Starwin as a machinist and have served as its president now for eleven years. I want to show young people that there is a good career path for others like me who enjoy making things.”
  • Projects Unlimited, Inc. (@PUIelectronics)Projects Unlimited in Dayton, Ohio, serves Aerospace and Defense companies worldwide as an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider. It has been described by clients as “the smallest big company” for its ability to remain flexible and efficient while providing the equipment and expertise frequently associated with much larger organizations. Speaking to the goals of Manufacturing Day, Projects Unlimited President and CEO, Chris Wyse, explained, “We’re very excited to show the future workforce that a career in manufacturing can be clean, safe, enjoyable, and fulfilling…There are plenty of manufacturing careers available that are interesting, rewarding, provide good benefits, and still allow your brain to be challenged.”
  • Hendrick Manufacturing – Founded over a century ago in 1876, Hendrick Manufacturing is a leader in perforated and fabricated metal products. With offices in Carbondale, PA, and Elgin, IL, Hendrick Manufacturing is known for American-made products, long-term reliability, and cutting-edge solutions. Representative Sandy Winkelman explained, “Manufacturing Day presents an opportunity to open our doors to the public and give visitors an up-close view of our daily operations and learn about the value of what we do and its impact on the community.  It also allows us to introduce manufacturing as a career choice to young people—who are key to Hendrick’s sustainability as a manufacturer in the future.”
  • ATAS International, Inc. (@ATAS_Intl_Inc) – Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Allentown, PA, ATAS International, Inc. also has facilities in Maryville, Tennessee and Mesa, Arizona. A leading manufacturer of metal roofing, metal wall cladding, metal ceiling panels, and metal accessories for commercial and residential buildings, ATAS International was also named as a Lehigh Valley 2016 Top Workplace. Spokeswoman Anne Hicks explained the value of the industry and Manufacturing Day to local communities; “The Manufacturing industry has been a part of the Bus heritage for 50+ years.  ATAS International’s family and staff know that manufacturing plays a vital role in the health of the Lehigh Valley and US economies.  We open the doors to educate students and the public to the advancements and ideal opportunities manufacturing has to offer.”
  • Pace Industries, Airo Division (@diecasting) – The Airo Division of Pace Industries, founded in 1975, resides in a 155,400 square foot facility in Loyalhanna, PA. Serving the automotive, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, and heatsink technology industries, the Airo Division specializes in operations including die-casting, tool design and construction, impregnating, pressure testing, chromating, and painting and assembly. Representative Ethan Robinson describes the skills gap, an issue facing the industry and a major motivation to continue Manufacturing Day: “America is facing what educators and industry alike call the ‘skills gap.’ With technology making huge advances every day, jobs are becoming more and more technical, thus requiring more education. The problem is that students aren’t seeking education in these areas, they believe that trade skill jobs are a dead end. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The skills gap refers to the high number of jobs that employers need to fill but not having enough qualified applicants to choose from. The reality of the situation is that students that have knowledge of these trade skills are more valuable than ever and capable of achieving high wages and explosive job growth potential. We want to educate students on what modern manufacturing has become. Pace Industries is dedicated to finding these students with knowledge of our industry and offering them an opportunity to begin an excellent career. These students are the future of Pace Industries.”
  • eRocketseRockets, from Dayton, Ohio, was formed when owner Randy Boadway’s rocketry hobby intersected with opportunity. After a right-sizing at hisSemroc Mars Lander Rocket organization left him unemployed, he launched what is now a flying model rocket retailer with the world’s largest selection of rocket kits. In addition, eRockets also manufactures 121 of its own kits under the Semroc brand. Boadway explains that their products allow students to mix fun with learning: “We participate in MFG Day because we feel kids today do not have the skills to actually build something!  Rocketry gives them that chance.  Not only are valuable construction techniques learned but also the engineering that has to go along with something that flies.  We like to encourage kids to select a STEM field and model rocketry helps introduce them to different ideas.”

Read more about Manufacturing Day 2016, including a full list of events, and follow the conversation online using #MFGday16.

Manufacturing Day 2016 InformationElliance, a manufacturing marketing agency located in Pittsburgh, PA, partners with manufacturers to strengthen their brand and to increase their digital footprint. We are pleased to express our respect and gratitude for the work manufacturers accomplish on a daily basis.

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It’s called Back to School, Welcome Week and New Student Orientation and it is a fall ritual at most higher education institutions.  These fun-filled social events are an annual right for returning students and an initiation of sorts for incoming freshmen. College events like Back to School Week are ingrained in the campus experience and they take on a whole new language and culture in itself. If you are not familiar with a particular school’s rituals then you would probably have no idea what some students and alumni are talking about when it comes to their own school’s unique events.

So how does higher education marketing distill these internal campus phenomena into an external global message that could help attract prospective right-fit students?  Go heavy on the digital – use university and college higher education marketing websites, social media channels and blog platforms to broadcast all of the exciting, spirit-filled on-boarding and welcome week events.  Show prospective high school, international and transfer students what they will experience and feel as a student in the first few days on campus.

Check out some of these cool Welcome Week activities that schools like William Woods University, The Catholic University of America, West Virginia University and The University of Delaware host for their student bodies.  And by the way, all of these events were easily found and prominently displayed on each school’s higher ed marketing website, landing pages and social media channels making them good examples on how to approach higher education digital marketing.


The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C.
Orientation 2016

The Catholic University of America Orientation 2016
Orientation 2016, the next four days will prepare for the next four years at CUA. You will learn about the campus, DC, your classes and what it means to be a CUA student. Be sure to say hi to everyone you see and have A LOT of fun!

Orientation- House of Cards: Spend the last night of Orientation in style! Dress to impress for a casino night and sharpen up your blackjack skills! Come win tickets to Adele or a new Keurig for your dorm all while sipping some sparkling cider!

Orientation Late Night Breakfast: come get some breakfast for a midnight snack on the first night of Orientation! Spend time with new friends, and have some laughs all while enjoying delicious pancakes and tater tots!

Go Cardinals!


West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia
Welcome Week

West Virginia University Welcome Week
Welcome home. As you begin your academic year, we kick off our celebration of students returning to campus and continue the celebration through the first day of class. Welcome Week offers a nonstop schedule of events and experiences. There’s an activity for everyone.

WVU’s freshman class gathered on Mountaineer Field

WVUp All Night: WVU’s freshman class gathered on Mountaineer Field for a group photo – and a few selfies – at the Monday Night Lights celebration Aug. 15. With 5,400 students, this year’s class of new students is one of the largest in school history.

Mountaineer Midway: A carnival extraordinaire – Mountaineer style! Bring your friends for fun games, good food and an opportunity to check out ways to get involved in student organizations.

Bumper Cars: In response to a Twitter poll to see what our students would like to have in the Food Court, bumper cars will be FREE for you to enjoy with your new Mountaineer friends.

Super Trikes:  Heavy-duty oversized trikes that accommodate adults of all sizes. Fitted with helmets, racers make their way around the inflatable course outside on the Mountainlair Plaza.

Let’s Go Mountaineers!


William Woods University
Fulton, Missouri
Brick Blast

William Woods University Brick Blast
Members of the Brick District in downtown Fulton would like to welcome new and returning William Woods and Westminster students with the third annual Brick Blast. The event will provide an opportunity for students to mingle and become familiar with the city of Fulton.

Celebrate Brick Blast: The event will feature a DJ, food from local restaurants, and a scavenger hunt which will allow the students to explore local stores and potentially meet the Mayor of Fulton!

Run With It: A rising powerhouse pop-rock trio from Kansas City, will perform at William Woods University. The show, which is free and open to the public, will be at the new Sam B. Cook Amphitheatre on campus.

Welcome Back Owls!


University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware
1743 Welcome Days

University of Delaware 1743 Welcome Days
We can’t wait to welcome you back to campus for 1743 Welcome Days! These three fun-filled days prior to classes will help you transition socially and academically as a new UD student. Our goal is to give you time to settle into your new home, meet and socialize with your new classmates, and learn more about your new academic life at the University of Delaware. We invite you to CONNECT with your new community, EXPLORE all that UD has to offer, and consider how you will CONTRIBUTE during your time at UD.

Hen Zone: Gather in the Hen Zone to play board games, Wii, Xbox, Playstation, air hockey, billiards, chess, foosball, table tennis, and much more!

Meet and Eat Welcome Picnic: We’re roundin’ up the first year class for an outdoor picnic, university style. Join your RA and new student community for an outdoor picnic on the Central Green.

Fall Activities Night: There are over 400 Registered Student Organizations on campus and more than 200 of them will have information tables set up in the two student centers: Perkins and Trabant, so make sure to stop by both locations.

Late Night Pancake Breakfast: Wrap up your day with pancakes and your Blue Hen Friends in the Caesar Rodney Dining Hall.

Welcome Home Blue Hens!


Penn State
University Park , Pennsylvania
Welcome Week
Penn State Welcome Week 2016
Fall Welcome is a tradition at Penn State. Welcome Week is full of activities to help you get to know University Park, meet new friends, and learn about the new opportunities available to you here.

Nittany Block Party: Come to the block party for live entertainment, free food, and activities.

Blue & White Bash: Join the student membership of the Penn State Alumni Association for their annual celebration! Free food, fun games and opportunities to get involved with the largest active student organization on campus – BASH has it all! New and returning students welcome.

LION Bash: Get to know downtown State College! Enjoy live music, food, face painting, photo booths, and a dunk tank.

We Are Penn State!


Long live school spirit, campus culture and just plain excitement for college life.  What are some of your favorite Back to School and Welcome Week memories?

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In the past, universities have created both a Company Page and a University Page within Linkedin – mainly because each page offered different features and functionalities. Linkedin has been getting feedback, especially from higher education marketers, of this causing redundancy for admins and providing a confusing experience for Linkedin members. So to simplify this, they are merging the two pages into one combined Page.

higher education marketing

What is happening right now?

Linkedin is merging the University and Company pages into one page – an upgraded University page that will have all of the features of the Company pages.

New higher education marketing features include:

  • Real-time analytics on people who visit your page, instead of a weekly analytics email
  • Sponsored Content to reach prospective students and alumni right in their LinkedIn feed
  • Career Pages so you can show potential hires what working at your university is like (you can now pay for this upgrade)

Pros:

  • Besides the new features, the biggest pro is that it will now be easier to reach all of your followers at once.

Cons:

  • The Notable Alumni and Recommendations features will not be available in the new design (this showed a list of successful alumni and allowed alumni to write recommendations about the university).

We’ll keep you posted as the new, upgraded University pages roll out and what effects it has for higher education marketing campaigns…

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A colleague of mine spoke a phrase several months ago that won’t stop ringing a clear and undeniable truth in my ear. After I showed him video from a flash mob brand launch, he said, “I hate that kind of fake energy.”

That bell rang again for me this week as imposter birthday greetings between dropping through my apartment door mail slot. Nice to hear from you, chiropractor I saw once and then ran from in horror. You too, hair stylist who binges a little too hard on caffeine and can’t stop her scissors from shaking. Welcome, dentist who bought one of my best friend’s once-thriving practice only to run it into the ground with incompetence. And let’s not forget you good neighbor State Farm agent who ceaselessly tries to upsell me renters insurance no matter how often I refuse.

Anyone with access to a birthdate now feels emboldened to enter your private space without so much as the courtesy of knocking; to pose as a kind of trusted, intimate friend knowing full well they’ve never once backed that gesture up with the kind of real action that might earn my permission or trust.

This strain of “fake energy” recalls recent memories of my son’s junior and senior year college search. Some glitch at College Board Data Entry Central rendered my son’s bulk mailing list name unrecognizable — replacing his first name with his mother’s last name and his last name with his middle initial C.

Every school sold at a higher education marketing conference on the idea of “personalized mailing” was now bombarding a really great prospect with expensive branded print collateral addressed to Stufft Erkel Remy C. That gesture of insincerity simply accelerated and cemented his decision to avoid any college that could not bother to learn his name.

Here’s how one higher education marketing firm makes the case:

“A personalized enrollment marketing approach is particularly effective with the current generation of prospective students. The negative stereotype is that Millennials are self-obsessed. The reality is that they want recognition. By personalizing your enrollment marketing, you are recognizing individuality and creating the impression that you are speaking directly to that student.”

Left unchecked, fake energy finds its way into nearly every higher education marketing gesture, event, piece of content and communication. It can quietly metastasize until one day, it consumes an entire college or university culture, strategy and brand. That’s when you have a really “big problem.”

In the “content is king” era, we all feel pressure each day to settle on creating the impression that we really know or care about a subject matter. Blogs wait to be fed. Print pieces run behind schedule. Who has the time, patience or discipline required for real reporting or argument construction?

And even if we chose to follow old school rules about the validity of content, do readers (let alone the Google bot) discern any difference? After all, many people think that enduring musical artists can be minted between commercials on a game show and that great film can be made without the hard work of crafting a story or script.

I hold out hope for the few remaining college presidents or vice presidents of marketing who understand the enduring attraction that story holds for the human imagination, the power of an authentic brand voice, and the scarcity of genuinely human era higher education brands.

As college communicators, we’re the final line of defense against a web of near total insincerity. Your college or university may have already been swept up in the race to the bottom — where people and institutions lose all sense of authenticity, grace or humility.

Holding the line requires tough but crucial conversations with clients rather than allowing the hard sell of fake energy to blur important strategic considerations.

Stufft Erkel Remy C — we know how much you’re waiting for that envelope of fake energy to arrive on your birthday.

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Prospects… Prospects Everywhere

College is expensive. The average cost of a four-year college degree in the United States is something like $31,374, per year. Which adds up to a whopping $125,498 by the time graduation rolls around.

I’m frugal. Which basically means that I Google everything I buy in order to find the best quality and price available. And I’m not alone. According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying.

It makes sense that prospective college students are heading online to research their top schools in order to get the best quality education for their investment. And your homepage isn’t the only place their searches are taking them.

A survey by Global Web Index found that 36% of teens and young adults ages 16-24 use social media to research brands, products or services. A similar survey by Uversity found that 68% of high school students use social media to research colleges.

So how can you maximize your social media potential?

1. Start thinking about your Instagram account as a viewbook that keeps revolving. Be thoughtful about the variety of photos you post and stick to a schedule for when to post. I recommend posting a new photo or video once every 2-3 days.

Ensure that you’re posting a melting pot of content; athletics, campus architecture, academics and some student life shots. Try be authentic and post photos of things that happened on the day you captured the photos. And most importantly, be sure to tag your photos with the appropriate location tags and hashtags to reach the most users.

Insta pros: Bucknell, Kenyon, University of Kansas, Berklee College, Darmouth

2. Your Facebook page is a place to engage with visitors. Share news, events and highlights. Encourage and facilitate conversation, and interact with alumni, parents, current students and prospects in real time.

Take advantage of the comments feature on Facebook and reply to users who ask questions. Don’t be afraid to let loose and crack a few jokes from time to time.

Facebook gurus: Susquehanna, Boston College, Dayton, University of Kentucky, University of Houston, University of California

3. Twitter is a great conversation starter and an even better news engine. The chronological nature of twitter makes it great for organizing current events. Tweet news, photos and important information.

Show your community your care by favoriting, retweeting and replying to tweets relevant to the university.

I recently tweeted “Just bought my first pair of @LulaRoe leggings. Naturally, they’re orange and maroon. #susqu” And my alma mater, Susquehanna, favorited it. #AlumniEngagment.

Tweet stars: MIT, Georgetown, Princeton, Ohio State, Indiana University

4. Consider Snapchat an informal sneak peek into the campus experience. A virtual campus tour, that happens ten seconds at a time. Every. Single. Day. Student “account take-overs” are a great way to ensure a good variety of content gets pushed to your account regularly.

Geo-filters are also an essential way to encourage community spirit! You can read more about the benefits of a great Geo-filter here.

Snaperts: UofMichigan, mitstudents, ColoradoStateU, Dukestudents

Interested in learning more about how social media can help your admission process? Let us help! We’ve got a bunch of tricks and tips up our sleeve to help you maximize your social media impact score.

This past June several Elliance team members had the pleasure of attending Web Design Day 2016. While many of the speakers presented interesting new ideas and techniques one seemed to stand out of the crowd for me, Jen Simmons’ ‘Revolutionize Your Page: Real Art Direction on the Web’. Her talk focused on upcoming web standards that will have great impact on how we design and develop web page layouts. You can watch a similar talk here.
One of the most exciting features she covered was CSS Grid Layouts.
What is a CSS Grid Layout? It is a browser native feature for making 2 dimensional grids on the web. In the past, after the introduction of CSS, we used tables to create layouts, this was followed by the use of floated elements and most recently we’ve been dabbling in flexbox.

Of course CSS Grid Layouts are not ready for production, but Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are testing this new standard that you can use today (after altering some developer settings).

Like Jen Simmons, several developers have gotten out ahead of the pack and have made wonderful guides and even books on the subject.

Here are some of my favorite:

There are CSS Grid Layout polyfills currently in development to help us in our backwards compatibility browser support when this working standard becomes fully supported.