Let’s talk senior project.
Miss Amanda Toth and I made a decision last year.
The Wood Word, our University’s newspaper, had to be online.
Way back when in 2008, The Wood Word was available online in the form of a PDF, which would often take time to download, and for some, would be too cumbersome for their internet connections. Now, with a newly designed University website, it’s more difficult than ever for budding young student journalists (or readers for that matter) to find the newspaper we work so hard on.
The time has come for that to change. Last fall, Amanda, the Editor-in-Chief, and I sat down and started discussing options. We both had just started blogging, were somewhat familiar with WordPress, and felt that we could do something that would be user-friendly enough so that future staff members could tackle the project of managing, posting, and editing an online publication.
Now, I personally have a love of online communications. After interning in the Internet Marketing Department at Solid Cactus, I found that blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media were invaluable skills that could be utilized in tandem with the traditional media tactics I had already become experienced in throughout my studies in the Advertising and Public Relations program at Marywood. Despite my soft spot for outdoor and print media, I knew that online was the right place for me. Today, I currently work part-time as an SEO Specialist for Solid Cactus, writing copy, generating online strategies, and implementing communication tactics that actually mean something outside the classroom. I’m doing it for real…and loving every minute of it.
So, bringing that love and experience to the table when it came to our senior project was a no-brainer. With this project, we both had a chance to implement real change within our University while at the same time expanding our skills in new media communications. We both blog personally, we both are committed to The Wood Word, and we both wanted to do something beyond any of the projects we’ve tackled in the classroom. And, truth be told, I think Amanda and I make a great team. We both bring different strengths to the table, plus, we’re both committed to being successful at this – ingredients which will prove to be invaluable over the next 15 weeks as we make our senior project idea a reality.
1.) Design and implement a website dedicated to the publication. We need an online presence now more than ever.
2.) Create style guides, manuals, and other important documents to perpetuate the success of an online edition.
3.) Be rock stars at promoting the new site through events, campaigns, and of course, social media.
4.) Publish unique and engaging content on the new site that will engage readers, improve visibility of the paper, and reinforce positive branding messages in relation to the paper itself, as well as the academic departments which support it.
5.) Learn a lot. Laugh a lot. Have fun with it.
Welcome to the journey. It’s going to be one heck of a ride.