Perspectives

Perspectives on communications management in a socially-connected world

A strategic approach to complex educational organisation websites

June2019 Audit in June 2019 of an incomplete Teacher page

School Districts and educational organisations in the United States face many of the same issues – tight budgets, large personnel cohorts, tens of thousands of students, and thousands of teachers. They face logistics issues with busing kids, have to display frugality in using taxpayer money, need to tell the many success stories provided by their students and teachers, must keep parents in the loop, and face the daunting prospect of communicating catastrophic events like school shootings or extreme weather.

One would imagine that school websites would be considered key infrastructure and that they’d be adequately staffed. You'd be wrong. Many would get a failing grade if they were evaluated. Other districts risk litigation daily due to poor online practices that are unlikely to change unless they are forced to do so at enormous cost.

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Years of work at risk

Years of work at risk

A communications project with which Integrated Media Strategies was involved for four years is at risk.  The visibility our communications afforded the initiative attracted more than $1.2 billion in new investments and expansions to North Carolina in the advanced manufacturing sector and helped create more than 6,000 new jobs.  You could have read about it on the website, but the website is down, returning a Fatal error.

At the heart of the project was a website that supported the advanced manufacturing training departments of 10 community colleges. The statewide training initiative showcased the specialized equipment, close collaborations with industry, instructor credentials, and technical curricula.  It also provided successful examples of how graduates and students were placed as interns in the workplace at facilities across the state. This information gave industry a risk-free method to find candidates for advanced manufacturing positions - a win-win for both candidates and industry. In the same way as complex multi-axis machine tools need maintenance, so too do websites based on database-driven content management systems.  

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Twitter Impersonator

Twitter Impersonator

I discovered on Twitter today that Integrated Media Strategies' account has been impersonated.  Our account name is @coherentmedia. The impersonator is @zobugelexuci.  I have reported the fake account to Twitter both in my personal capacity - because the tweets on that account are mine - and in a professional capacity, because that account is contravening my copyright through the use of my logo and tagline.

It brings up a few points - the first is to do a regular review of your accounts.  At least annually is a good idea. We do so more regularly, but many small businesses don't build the time in, period. The second is to check if you are receiving unusual email.  The internet can turn up strange activity, but by this I mean if you are getting out of the ordinary requests to connect on social media, follow up and check to see the source, or why. Often it will be innocent, but if not, it's worth catching it before it can do real damage. 

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