The Academic Staff Communications Committee (ASCC) has been charged with developing a plan to effectively manage communications for UW-Madison Academic Staff (AS). The aim is to encourage involvement and instill pride in AS by keeping them informed and motivated about issues of concern to them.
AS perform many valuable job functions, but we are largely invisible relative to faculty, students and other campus constituencies. We are professionals. We teach and help students achieve. We do research. We serve as administrators. We care for the community (health care and active volunteer efforts). While AS ‘insiders' are well aware of the value and work of AS, many other constituencies—among them the 7,500 AS at UW-Madison—are not.
There are many symptoms of this problem. The AS web site is old and insular. News about the good things being done by AS is largely unreported. Benefits shared with AS are not always obvious to them—especially those who are new AS. Basically, both internal and external university audiences are unaware of the value AS provide to the community.
We want to change that.
Through this plan, we will accomplish the following.
1.Raise campus awareness of the value of AS.
2.Motivate AS to greater involvement in their organization.
3.Garner appreciation and support from senior UW administration, the legislature and statewide supporters of the UW.
The primary audience is the 7,500-plus Academic Staff. Secondary are the Academic Staff Assembly representatives. Tertiary audiences include those future academic staff hires, faculty and staff at Madison and on other UW System campuses, as well as state citizens and the legislature.
The AS Executive Committee, particularly Susan Crowley and Colleen McCabe, are to be served in the plan by providing content for many of the communications.
Our main message is simple: Academic Staff are valuable partners in teaching, research and service at the UW-Madison. A secondary message to AS is that the AS organization helps maintain their standing in the university. They would do well to engage and support it.
1. Create and maintain a web site that is easy to understand, navigate and update. The site will use a content management system (CMS) and hosting service purchased from DoIT. The CMS will include the developer as "super-administrator," Donna Silver and Heather Daniels as administrators, and ASEC members and committee chairs as content editors. Web content should be secure and backed-up at regular intervals. Transfer ownership of web CMS to Secretary's office. [Brian R., Bob A., Mary Johansen]
2. Collaborate with UW Communications to implement the plan. Specifically, to develop and publicize stories about AS contributions. Invite their designee (Ellen Yazbec Page) to our meetings to coordinate efforts. Also collaborate with UW state relations staff and the new vice chancellor for external relations. [Renee M., Bob. R.]
3. Create a fact sheet of the who, what, when, where, how, and why of AS. [Greg I.]
4. Coordinate publication of articles and news about AS. Includes text and rich media. Work with Wisconsin Week editor to re-use published pieces, anticipate new ones and write original stories when practical. Collect AS articles and story ideas from college and department communicators. Also work with communications staff in schools and colleges to share AS accomplishments and strategies. Catalog AS contributions in the form of profiles and stories. In publications and on the AS web. Investigate use of the Digital Measures database for this. [Renee M., Dick G.]
5. Create and send a ‘welcome' email to new AS, pointing them to the "what, who and why" of AS found on the web site. [Mark L.]
[UPDATE/NOTE: ASEC has created an Academic Staff Welcome and Orientation Committee. One of its goals is to work on similar items. Greg I. is the Communications Committee representative to this committee.]
6. Facilitate establishment of guidelines for communications between the Secretary of the Academic Staff, ASEC, Standing Committees, governance bodies, and campus administrators and constituencies to make sure they are communicating in accordance with the plan. [UPDATE/NOTE: Renee M. and Greg I. worked on a communications matrix with Mary Ray from ASEC, which was a snapshot of communications flow between and among all key parties of governance and appropriate administrators and constituencies.]
7. Gather feedback and improve plans. Solicit AS Assembly input. Survey AS and other audiences to determine effectiveness of our plans. Document how to go about evaluating and tracking feedback. [Bob R., Bob A.]
Draft/approve plan 11/08 ASCC/ASEC
Relaunch web 12/1 Brian
Invite UW Comm. Liaison and AS Secretary to meetings.
Write fact sheet
Write background statement
Coordinate articles about AS ongoing
Review ASEC comm. with Deans/Dirs. monthly
Catalog AS contributions monthly all
Liaison with school/college communicators quarterly
Gather web stats and feedback biannually