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Invigorating the NC State Communications Network

Seems too obvious, but a vigorous university communications group appears to be a necessity at NC State. Especially given the charge provided by the Chancellor and the budget challenges every major university in the nation is facing these days. The group already exists, but there doesn’t appear to be a lot of structure around it and no real purpose except to provide an opportunity for communications professionals on campus to network from time to time.

The group at UF was fractured at times, but has pulled together during a strategic communications planning process that started before I left.  Be that as it may, there is a lot we can learn from the organization at UF, Michigan, Vanderbilt and other universities.  Sounds like a benchmarking opportunity to me.  http://ufcn.urel.ufl.edu/index.shtml

Group would need to include a steering committee made up of communicators from University Communications, the colleges, and key units across campus. Might also want to include a representative(s) from faculty and senior staff. Subcommittees for public relations, media relations, Web communications, internal communications and publications also make sense.  Best practices as well, but I think we’d benchmark best practices on the corporate side first.  The profit motive is a powerful influence and I think we can learn a lot from the commercial world.  Too many subcommittees may be difficult to manage so need to consider their focus carefully.

Initial task of the steering committee would be to develop a university-wide strategic communications plan. Not easy considering the decentralization on campus, but necessary to enhance the brand outreach and impact of the university on the local, state, national and international levels.  And isn’t that what we all need to be striving toward.

Objectives of the plan would be to provide processes whereby we could:

  • To consistently communicate unified messages and initiatives to NC State Communicators
  • To serve as a clearinghouse for  NC State issues, incidents and plans
  • To coordinate and promote training and professional development opportunities for its members
  • To take advantage of shared resources and ideas among members
  • To promote camaraderie among members

More details to follow in the days ahead and will be anxious to hear what people think.

I should note that the outline is based on work done at UF.  It has proven effective and will provide a great starting point for our efforts at NC State.

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1 Nicole Wood { 10.01.09 at 6:58 am }

I believe that many of the university communicators, including myself, would love to have a more structured group with a purpose. Hope we can get it going soon.

2 Joe Hice { 10.01.09 at 5:36 pm }

Check out the jump page on today’s blog for more information about goals, objectives and structure of the group.

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