Below is an important email for what we may and may not include on our web pages.
On 12/11/2012 09:19 AM, Cook, Jason D wrote:
Brand Council — As many of you have seen, Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman Trophy has brought unparalleled national exposure for Texas A&M. Many of you have inquired about tapping into this excitement in your respective marketing and communications efforts. Unfortunately, we will need to be very restrictive in how such promotional efforts proceed, for the following reasons:
– Per NCAA rules, we, nor any third parties, are not allowed to profit from a student-athlete’s name, image or likeness.
– “Johnny Football” is currently being trademarked by the Manziel family, with our involvement and assistance. This is to protect his current eligibility and future interests.
– “Heisman” is a registered trademark of The Heisman Trust, and all use must be pre-approved by the Trust.
We will proceed under the guideline that current student-athletes are not to be used to promote department- or college-level initiatives. University-level use may be approved based on review from the Athletic Compliance Office, Athletics External Ops and Division of Marketing and Communications.
We understand that there may be special circumstances from time to time, as we want to continue using athletics to introduce audiences to the greater University. Please feel free to contact Diane or Shane if you have any questions and we will engage the appropriate parties in Athletics. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Sent from my iPad
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Texas A&M University
As always seems to happen over the summer, our scheduled list of projects got an unexpected addition last month. President Loftin’s mandate that university units transition from individual logos to university logos goes into effect today, so we were asked to revise and republish the university Brand Guide site to help support the transition. This site will give official color palettes, logo downloads, writing and photography guidelines, and much more.
Kim and the brand team will be actively soliciting feedback, which we will then incorporate back into the site. We expect at least one or two major updates to the site over the next month or two as this feedback gets digested and added.
The university marketing group has launched a new initiative that attempts to introduce and strengthen the university brand with targeted audiences, position Texas A&M as a Tier-I university, advance our core values, and deepen the brand affinity.
Building on the concept of the Twelfth Man, the program looks to feature twelve impacts that showcase the impact of Texas A&M at the state and national levels. Each month articles from across the university will showcase a particular topic… Energy, Environment, Public Policy & Service, etc.
As Erick noted a few posts back, we’ve done some updating to our “Campus viewpoint” on the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s website. Well as part of our redo on that, we’re going to be doing some extra marketing with them using some of our recent ads.
The ad points them to the “inside story” on a number of topics (you might have seen ads for Dr. Berry, Dr. Liu, Dr. Lee, TAMU-Q, and the like) so we needed a quick little mini site. However, I was also looking for an opportunity to try something a little different.
So, we went out and built “http://www.tamu.edu/itstime/” as a down and dirty micro site to house the elements and assets of the It’s Time campaign. I’ve been wanting to find a more robust way of doing slideshows/galleries and so I found the jQuery-based “Galleriffic” slideshow.
What I like about the way the Galleriffic developer implemented his JS gallery and CSS is that he realizes that many people in a slideshow/lightbox want the ability to add significant HTML content like links, lists, bullet points and copy. This way, I was able to render a fully realized slideshow with copy and links in a short period of time.
Ultimately, the gallery just represents the start as I think we’re going to add on to the microsite to provide a point of reference and support for those wanting to start incorporating the It’s Time theme into their web and print materials. It will have assets (like logos and templates), examples, and ways to contact DMC folks if you are wanting to create ads like the ones displayed in the It’s Time gallery.
Though the closing keynote speaker at eduWeb conference did approach student recruitment from the perspective of commercial marketing and even salesmanship, his concept of marketing also embraces more personal factors: relationships and customer service. As Erick noted, he sometimes sounded ruthless, but he tempered his ruthlessness by saying, for example, that we shouldn’t try to convince every student to enroll, only those we can best serve. › Continue reading
A summary of relevant elements from the outline:
Always use third-party email providers. They may be expensive but it is much better than trying to do things in-house. If nothing else, these providers won’t get you blocked/blacklisted by the spam monitors. They also offer analytics to let you track your mail campaign that home-grown systems do not have.
Make your HTML templates simple and unobstructive. Remember that most people view with images off, so look at your email that way before you send it and make sure that it doesn’t lose meaning. Use clear and concise alt tags!
Your email campaign should have a look and feel that corresponds to your public web site. They don’t need to be identical, but that visual similarity helps to reinforce your brand and your campaign points.
Use table structure to create your outlines, not CSS. Email clients haven’t caught up with browsers in how they render things, so don’t be a standards-snob. Many will not support the paragraph <p> tag either, so it is best to stick with divs and tables.
Always test your email templates. Using Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and HotMail should cover the majority of the public mail clients. You can also consult http://email-standards.org or any similar blog that tracks supported features of the various mail readers.
Content is king. Keep your call to action short and concise. Ideally your email should be centered around one topic or idea. Keep content short – “Don’t make me scroll.” Long newsletters are particularly burdensome.
Use descriptive subject lines – tell us what’s inside the email. Users will often decide how much attention to give the email (even once opened) by what they first read in the subject.
Assuming you are using HTML mail, use the HTML. Link your URLs, don’t write them out or put them afterward in parentheses. You should never have visible URLs unless you expect the email to be printed.
Examples of how to use videos on campus:
Create a “build your own adventure” virtual tour, where the tour changes depending on answers provided by the user. For example, those indicating that they will live on-campus go to one branch while those living off-campus go through another. A good example is http://www.laverne.edu/virtualtour/
- The successful video is short and to the point: ~2.6 minutes
- Give a Share This option
- Catchy titles make a difference. Think “Ninja!” Here title truly is more important than content.
An admissions office might want to create a series of How-Tos
- Use these to create a knowledge center
- admissions, financial aid, tutoring, etc.
Think outside the box. Online videos are great, but consider distributing through DVD. This might be of particular use to recruitment centers in urban environments.
Prospective students generally look at video for one thing – “Will I fit in?”
Be creative. Boon Oakley on YouTube uses visual elements of the “page” as a progress meter / navigation bar.
We know many of you have been waiting for this, and we apologize for the delay. The new version of the Texas A&M University Brand Guide is now up and running. The URL hasn’t changed, but the contents have. The new version provides guidance for all print pieces done by the university, from brochures to photos to departmental stationery. There is also a new section discussing our electronic publications and social media efforts. The heart of the site, though, will likely be the extensive downloads section. This section will allow designers to obtain university logos, presentation templates, labels, and hundreds of other graphical elements, all matched to the university brand.
As a reminder, the companion web style guide can be found on our webmaster’s blog. Properly formatted graphical elements mentioned in the style guide may be downloaded from the new Brand Guide site.