Serving up a site with a striking design and carefully crafted content reflecting your organization's personality and goals is an essential part of any contemporary communication strategy. I doubt this is news to anyone reading this. Certainly, everyone here at Silverpoint understands this, and we take the job of supplying you with a great site very seriously. That said, websites are really just a means to an end - a tool in your communication arsenal.
Getting wrapped up in tools can be counter productive. I grapple with this problem myself. An example - in my Freshman year of college, I devoted hours every semester to organizing my tools. My drawing pencils, X-Acto knives, tubes of gouache, and countless Sharpies had to be placed just-so in my Artbin tote. This was great when I needed find that one special pen in a hurry, but it took time to maintain. I could have much better balanced my focus on tools with my end goal: putting out top notch design work. By the end of school, I figured it out. My tote wasn't quite as neat, but it matured into a functional, well rounded kit that supported my goals.
Given that it's spring and we're in the lull between admission season and the summer rush, now's a good time to step back and evaluate how you split your focus between your tools and your goals. Understanding what you want to achieve helps you refine your website. And enhancing your site better facilitates your web strategy. Consider the following practical examples:
Can your organization's Facebook or Twitter presence justify placing links in your footer and adding social media web parts to dozens of pages on your site? While adding links and feeds will build interest in your pages on social media sites, you may want to consider cultivating constituent interest in other ways before going 'all out' with social media on you site.
Do certain Site Mangers or site editors in your organization share all their news to all categories? It's easy to share articles between content categories in SchoolSuite, but is it always appropriate? Think about the pros and cons of segmenting out your news and calendars so they don't all end up being homogeneous.
What kind of content are you including in your broadcast emails, and to whom is it directed? The producers at Silverpoint can put together great looking templates that help you stay in touch with your constituents. But what use is a great communication channel if it is empty, or filled with watered down content?
Mull over your video and multimedia - just like social media outlets and broadcast emails, what are you trying to say with the videos posted to your site - and who are you saying it to? Will anyone actually watch them given their length and location on the site. Video and multimedia are easy to add to Managed Pages using our Video Player, Audio Player and Embed webparts, but before you place it consider the prior points.
Arranging a chat with your Silverpoint Account Manager would be a great way to start this process of splitting your focus between the tools and your goals. We can discuss what you really want from your site and what services we can provide to help you. And we are always available assist with technical questions and SchoolSuite.
Even better, consider coming to Silverpoint's 2012 User Conference in June. It'll be a great opportunity to strategize and see what's possible for your website. Attendees leave with plenty of new ideas for the upcoming school year and a solid action plan for the summer.