The redesigned Saint Mary’s College website is an integral component of the College’s institutional marketing plan. As such, it should support the vision, objectives and positioning set out in that plan.
We envision an even more distinguished future for Saint Mary’s College of California. We envision a future that builds on our strengths, our tradition of academic excellence and the vibrancy of our community while identifying and articulating our unique place in the emergent environment of higher education in the 21st century.
Our vision serves as the foundation for our plan of action. The real measure of our success will be whether by 2012 Saint Mary’s College has: A liberal arts education that is recognized as a model for cultivating the whole person; Faculty, students and programs, both undergraduate and graduate, that are well-known for their impact on the social fabric of the local, national and international community; A faculty body renowned as experts in their fields and as an essential resource for the media; An alumni body that knows Saint Mary’s strengths and is more engaged in the life of the College; A community that is admired for graciously welcoming all people; A strong and stable financial position supported and sustained through our alumni, friends, community and increasing endowment; An athletics program recognized not only for its winning record, but also for its athletes achievements in the classroom and the community; Unique undergraduate curriculum.
Institutional Marketing Plan Objectives
- Raise the local, state and national profile of and positive awareness for Saint Mary’s College of California.
- Strengthen the academic reputation of the College among key constituents, including alumni, donors, parents, students, prospective students, faculty and staff.
- Build loyalty to the College and increase motivation for desired actions, such as: Giving by alumni, parents and friends; Positive responses from the academic community in national reputational surveys; Increase the number of highly qualified students who apply to the College; Participation by alumni and friends in College activities and events; and Successful recruitment and retention of talented faculty and staff.
- Foster a College-wide culture of data-driven marketing and outreach strategies.
- Reflects the breadth, depth, vibrancy and activity of Saint Mary’s College.
- Communicates the essence of the position statement and integrates the points of differentiation that make Saint Mary’s special.
- Represents Saint Mary’s College as a nationally recognized institution of academic excellence, diverse community, top-tier, preparer of students for the future (including undergraduate and graduate academics).
- Incorporates an approach to search engine optimization that can be implemented by campus users.
- Exploits College connections to social media channels, in particular Linked In and Facebook.
- Expands video capabilities to better support the needs of the campus ;
- Clearly catalogs Saint Mary’s distinctions, including rankings, alumni achievements/famous alumni, discoveries and artistic accomplishments, public service/outreach outcomes, athletic achievement, statistics the exemplify our stature and faculty accolades;
- Provides comprehensive information to aid in faculty and staff recruiting;
- Aids in the development of an institutional data collection strategy that aims acquire more and better constituent data, in particular e-mail addresses. (Summer 2010);
- Aids in the development of an advocacy program to engage constituents in political and social issues related critical to the College’s continued growth and success;
- Provides an analytics framework so that monthly reports for key areas of the Saint Mary’s site can be generated.
- Provide information to current students, faculty, and staff, some of which requires the user to be authenticated to Drupal.
User Interface and Information Architecture Goals: design a site that…
- Insures a consistent user interface on the home and sub-level pages of the site, while providing an appropriate level of flexibility in layout that provides several options, particularly in regard to landing pages and event pages;
- Is an engaging and usable graphical interface that is compatible with the established brand identity of Saint Mary’s College as outlined in the Saint Mary’s brand book;
- Maximizes content area on screen. Allows for timely, dynamic content;
- Employs an information architecture that increases the site’s ease of use, allowing users to find content they are looking for;
- Is not organized to reflect the College’s administrative structure, but is organized in a way that prioritizes the needs and desires of its audiences;
- Allow users to self-identify right from the home page; and
- Enables easy media access to Saint Mary’s College subject matter experts.
Technology Goals: design a site that…
- Facilitates ongoing site maintenance and updating with in-house resources;
- Is flexible in accommodating new content, such as events on campus and marketing/communication campaigns;
- Accommodates new, existing, or enhanced functional and nonfunctional features;
- Visually and architecturally supports the Saint Mary’s College brand, reflects who the institution is today, and accommodates where the College is heading in the future;
- Has navigational structures and a content strategy that work together;
- Sets high information and visual design standards.