Why the change?
Faculty, staff, and students want an easy-to-navigate, central source of information they need to do their jobs, finish a degree program, or enjoy campus activities.
The Office of Communications is working to streamline and improve email communications. The goal is to develop an internal communications tool that delivers campus news and events in an organized, easy-to-navigate newsletter.
How often will Campus Memo be distributed?
Initial plans call for a weekly email newsletter on Tuesday. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. the previous Thursday.
Depending on the results of a survey and possible focus group sessions, a second weekly issue may be considered.
Why do this now?
Changes in the College’s calendar system and the computer programs backing it contributed to the timing. So did an ongoing discussion of the number of different email publications in circulation and the need to address concerns about email volume.
In addition, our new internal communications coordinator, Dana Boone, began work last month, allowing greater progress on this work. Preparations for the newsletter included a survey of peer institutions to review their full complement of internal communications vehicles, and an internal discussion of best practices.
Dana will help guide efforts to deliver a curated and newly designed e-newsletter that should be a must-read for faculty, students, and staff. You will find a clickable index and links to more information.
Isn’t some of this information already on the Web?
Campus Memo will complement our web offerings. Of course, www.grinnell.edu will continue to offer a calendar and a range of other information.
How do I submit information?
We are reviewing best practices, but an online form will be the main submission tool.
Does this mean the end of Faculty News Digest?
The dean's office will publish the Faculty News Digest as before. We’ll look for the best combination of products as we go along.
Will there be other key sources of information?
We want Campus Memo to be considered a must-read. But a new intranet is on the way, too, and will be a key source of information campuswide, tailored to faculty, staff, and students. Information Technology Services (ITS) and Spindustry begin work on that project later this month.
How will you select content?
Communications staff members will select information faculty, staff, and students need to know to conduct their official business, above all. Of course, we’ll highlight major events, too.
What are the budgetary implications?
The cost will include mostly time allotted by ITS, Communications, and partner departments developing announcements. The service is expected to be a substantial part of Dana Boone’s work as internal communications coordinator. We hope that after the initial ramp-up, demands on ITS will diminish. The office of Institutional Research reports the surveying will take a modest amount of staff time, but will not constitute a separate budget item. A focus group would require a fee, but the exact cost depends on the protocol.
How will you know if the new publication is effective?
ITS is working with Communications to explore a software solution that will provide metrics on how Campus Memo is used. The effectiveness also will be tested by survey, and perhaps focus groups, periodically. The Office of Communications will, of course, encourage feedback regarding early versions of this newsletter. Changes are expected over the months as we look to fine-tune Campus Memo.