Monthly Meeting Recap—August 2016

Since we’re nearing the end of summer vacation (and maybe the end of summer relaxation!), we focused on taking care of yourself as you prepare for the new semester.

Monthly Meeting Recap—July 2016

Even though we’ve been wilting in the heat, summer is the time to heat up the creative fires. Here’s a quick recap of what we shared—please share more apps, podcasts, and inspirations here or on the Facebook group.
  • Remember we’re all connected. Here’s what Brene Brown says about empathy.
  • Check out Trello for staying organized (and read their tips below on staving off frazzled feelings.)
  • Note-taking apps are awesome; Evernote, recommended by Jeff Lewin (bio sci), has some good pdf capture and OCR features
  • Write better and sound smart with Grammarly, a more-than-spellcheck chrome plug-in
  • WOOP: 4 simple steps to make stuff actually happen using mental contrasting (stands for wish-outcome-obstacle-plan)
  • Some podcasts to up your game: Happier with Gretchen RubinHidden Brain (including this one on WOOP), Note to Self (check out their Infomagical boot camp)

Monthly Meeting Recap—June 2016

June’s Campus Communicators meeting focused on the new website design, brand updates, and the upcoming alumni reunion.

Website Design

Joel Vertin ran us through some of the strategies behind the new (and beautiful!) The new site uses the new brand look, is responsive, and has some awesome coding on the back end, such as:

  • ARIA tagging for screen readers
  • Schema tagging to make our content more informative to search engines
  • Enhanced social media tagging, so linked photos and text look great on all major platforms.

The new template went live on in early June, and will be rolled out to individual sites over the summer. If you’re interested in getting on the list for a refresh, please contact your web liaison or Tips to help you prepare are also included in Joel’s presentation.

New Brand—The Look

Ian Repp discussed the transition process for the new brand identity. We saw samples of business cards, letterhead, and name tags. These will be rolled out in late July and early August. Everyone will be eligible for a starter set of a name tag, business cards, and letterhead. Keep an eye on Tech Today for more information.

New Brand—The Language

Real. Short. To the point. Shannon Rinkinen presented some tips about the new brand writing style. There will also be a brand blog rolling out soon—we’ll give you a link when it’s live.

Alumni Reunion

Erin Thompson talked about Alumni Reunion, to be held on August 4-6. This year’s reunion will have new activities and more activities for all ages. This could be a great post (or two or three!) for your social media over the summer. View Erin’s presentation to learn more.


Monthly Meeting Recap — May 2016

Happy summer, everyone! We made it through another year. Today’s campus comm meeting discussed strategies to stay active over the summer, #FieldWorkFriday, and ended with a creative persona exercise.

Keep Communicating This Summer

  • Jeff Lewin showed how to keep your blog content fresh
    • Grab news announcements from Tech Today
    • Links from will auto-populate in your blog if your department is tagged. However, if someone searches your blog, news content won’t appear. You may want to do a small excerpt of the news article as a blog post, and link to news. Don’t copy/paste verbatim—Google will hurt your overall search standing
    • 50 ways to stay fresh—Check out our list below!


  • Jessica Brassard presented our summer social media campaign, #FieldworkFriday. This is a great time to show researchers out in the field or in the lab.
  • Contact Shannon Rinkenen or Becky Barnard if you know anyone who would like to take the banner for an on-site photo shoot. Researchers will sign and date the banner as it travels
Michigan Tech fieldwork banner
Help us make this Michigan Tech’s best-traveled banner!

50 ways to keep Michigan Tech communications active over the summer

  1. Re-share content from @michigantech and @mturesearch platforms
  2. Use TweetDeck to schedule tweets when you’re out of the office Friday
  3. Ask some of your favorite students to send in photos during their internship or co-ops
  4. Snap a photo and send an update of any department renovations
  5. Head to and share one of our campus scenics
  6. Read or submit to Tech Today (deadline is noon each day!)
  7. Catch up on our communicator’s blog:
  8. Snap and share a photo of special alumni visiting over summer
  9. Search hashtags and see what you find
  10. Stay tuned here for re-brand updates
  11. Like and follow all Michigan Tech-affiliated social platforms
  12. Add your accounts to our social media directory:!/directory
  13. Delete stagnant social media and web pages
  14. Update faculty bios
  15. Welcome alumni back to campus—Reunion is August 4–6
  16. Talk to Admissions and take a campus tour
  17. Email and set up a social media strategy chat
  18. Read
  19. Check out the new Unscripted research and science stories
  20. Share a digital magazine story at
  21. Search the Archives for a throwback campus shot
  22. Submit next year’s events to
  23. Promo some of your new classes
  24. Work with the Unscripted team to offer media training for your faculty
  25. Write a LinkedIn blog post
  26. Have a brand question? Email
  27. Walk around your office and take down out-of-date material
  28. Brainstorm next year’s ideas—at the beach!
  29. Talk to UMC and get logged into Cumulus to access your department photo assets
  30. Add tags to your blog posts so they can be linked to other pages
  31. Recycle campus news stories in your blogs and social media accounts (hint: “ICYMI” helps)
  32. Eat lunch in Wads and chat with students or SYP participants
  33. Make like a student and take your work to the library
  34. Head to the Campus Bookstore to sport the new spirit mark!
  35. Read up on social media best practices from Social Media Examiner
  36. Lurk on other university web and social media sites for ideas; Princeton, Baylor, and University of Texas at Austin all do social really well!
  37. Share our crazy smart scholarships
  38. Follow Allison Mills’ “Michigan Tech Folks” list on Twitter
  39. Add social and web links to your email signature
  40. Review your website and publication photos—are safety protocols properly exhibited?
  41. Try tweeting your news twice—maybe at different days/times
  42. Do or share a #FieldworkFriday post
  43. Review and update your Open House materials
  44. Create a social media content calendar for the next academic year
  45. Clean up your email lists
  46. Follow the 4-10-1 rule on Twitter
  47. Ask a faculty member to pen a blog post
  48. August 1. The new University logo may now be used!
  49. Know a faculty member doing research in a cool location? Send them with a University banner.
  50. What else?

Monthly Meeting Recap — April 2016

New news!

  • Allison Mills gave us a tour of Unscripted, Michigan Tech’s new science news site. To borrow a phrase, Unscripted carries the rest of the story—in-depth looks at current research, commentary on science trends, and sometimes just some good old-fashioned nerdery.
  • Unscripted was designed on the  responsive template that is now used by Michigan Tech news, Michigan Tech magazine, and Research magazine.

Responsive Websites

  • We will be moving to a responsive template over the summer. Becky Barnard gave a presentation introducing responsive design, discussing the timeline for our university-wide rollout, and how to prepare for the transition.

Spring Cleaning

One of the best ways to prepare for the responsive template is to clean things up a bit. If you have free time this summer, we suggest you:

  • Ask faculty to update their bios at
  • Look at to make sure accounts affiliated with your department are still in use. Let us know if you’d like anything removed.
  • Spring clean your current website to reduce page count and tighten up the navigation

Join us for the brand unveiling!

Hope to see you all for the new brand unveiling, tomorrow, Friday, February 26 at 1:30 p.m. in the Opie Reading Room of the library. There will be goodies and freebies! You were some of the first to see and hear about our new visual identity and messaging, so we’d love to see you there for the big day! If you cannot check it our in person, it will be live-streamed and viewable here:

Monthly Meeting Recap – February 2016

Photography day! University Photographer Sarah Bird shared some tips on how to obtain and use University photos, how to set up your own photos to look their best, and a few fun tricks. (Did you know that if a photo looks dark on your iPhone, you can increase the exposure to brighten the area? Just click on the focal point, and swipe up.)  Then Becky Barnard (Digital Services Specialist, UMC) gave a quick run-through of how to use these photos on social media, and the importance of sizing.

Links Discussed

And remember to join us for the brand launch on Friday, February 26 1:30 p.m. in the library!


Monthly Meeting Recap – December 2015

Social Media Field Guide

Scott Balyo

SocMediaFieldGuideAfter many edits and a lot of hard work, the Social Media Field Guide is available. The layout is pretty intuitive – it’s broken into chapters, such as Guiding Principles: tone and personality and Hashtags. If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the content, feel free to contact Scott Balyo, Shannon Rinkinen, or another member of the social media team at UMC.

It is a living document meaning that it will continue to evolve and grow. If you notice any errors or have any suggestions, please email Scott Balyo. The University Marketing and Communications team is looking forward to getting your feedback.

Haven’t gotten a copy yet? Hard copies of the 2016 edition can be picked up at our monthly meetings or you can email Scott Balyo for a PDF copy.

End of Semester Creativity Exercise

Cynthia Drake, Openings Life Coaching

The end of the semester is always chaotic, so what better time to take a step back and exercise our creativity for an hour? For those of you that missed the creativity exercise, there will be another at the end of the spring semester.

Welcome, Campus Communicators!

Hi everyone! We’re moving our content from a Google group to a blog to be a bit more accessible. This blog is a work in progress, so please let me know if there is anything you’d like me to add that would make it more useful to you. I’m rbarnard at

If you’re new: the group meets on the third Thursday of each month and covers an array of timely topics like best times to post on Facebook, how to launch a University-affiliated Twitter account, iPhone photo hacks, how to draft a media release and a lot more.

Not sure if you should join us? You may be a Campus Communicator if you:

  • Update department social media pages
  • Manage or update CMS content
  • Write or send emails and newsletters
  • Plan and advertise events

If you’re interested in joining the group, email Allison Mills to be put on our meeting invitation. And join our Facebook group for interesting links and discussion.