More takeaways from the EAIE Academy in Tallinn: website management & creating promotional materials

More takeaways from the EAIE Academy in Tallinn: website management & creating promotional materials

The EAIE Academy in Tallinn continues with a second series of courses. In addition to skills on how to advise international students, participants have also gained takeaways on how to optimise and maintain their universities’ websites and how to create effective promotional materials in English. Here are some tips to help you upgrade your marketing and communications techniques.

Managing your university’s website

Laura Montgomery, Senior Consultant at the Brenn-White Group, USA and Michiel Doetjes, Marketing & Communications Officer at Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands shared some really valuable insights. Laura explains: “A great way to get a handle on the status of your international university website and develop a strategy for managing it is by starting with a content audit. This involves creating a spreadsheet listing every single page, labeling each page for relevance and quality, and deciding what to do with it. A really helpful method you can use to audit and label the content of your international website (which probably contains text in multiple languages) is the “TOUCH” method (Translate, Outdated, Unnecessary, Current, Have to Write). After completing a content audit, it will be much easier to improve and manage your site, knowing what is needed and what is not,”

The content audit should go hand in hand with analysing your website’s analytics. As Michiel adds, “being able to measure results from your international university website is valuable, but how do you define ‘success’? Building a solid measurement plan before implementing Google Analytics (or other web analytics tools) is a crucial but often overlooked step. A measurement plan forces you to answer important questions:

1. What are your institutions’ objectives?
2. What are your goals?
3. What are key performance indicators?
4. Can you define segments of web traffic that contribute to your goals?
5. What are your targets?

Answering these questions will give you a head-start when implementing goals and analysing your web traffic.”

Creating effective promotional materials in English

Depending on the scope of your work, in addition to website management you might be involved in creating promotional materials in English. Megan Brenn-White, Director and Founder of the Brenn-White Group, USA and Louise Stansfield Senior Lecturer in Business Communication Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland shared in their course that being very clear about roles and processes is one of the best ways to ensure that the promotional brochures and texts about your institution in English maintain a high level of quality. Working with tight deadlines and scant resources requires close coordination within your communications or marketing department, as well as, potentially, with the international office or academic departments. Have a clear plan about who will write or translate each text, as well as who needs to approve, edit, proofread, and upload it. One person can fill multiple roles if you’re in a small team. A few minutes spent in planning before the writing begins can improve the process enormously – as well as the end result.

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when writing about your institution in English for international audiences:

1. Keep sentences short and relatively simple – especially for the web!
2. Avoid or explain words and concepts specific to your institution or country.
3. Commit to using British or American English.
4. Have every important text edited by at least two people.
5. Have clear goals and target audiences for each piece of writing.
6. Not every text needs to be perfect – people are much more willing to accept mistakes in social media or correspondence than a brochure!

What other tips do you have regarding these topics? Leave your comments below. Also remember to follow #EAIEAcademy on Twitter for real-time updates from the event and check out some great photos on our Facebook page!

Sign up for the upcoming EAIE Academy to learn more about the topic.