"To the designers, content editors, and all those "department of technology" folks who had a hand in creating and maintaining the Wright State University website: As a parent of an enrolling student you have my sincerest thanks for presenting such a well organized and informative site. The pages are easy to navigate and the information is presented in chunks that are easy to digest. As an office professional who spends 8+ hours a day using a variety of software applications and internet sites, your efforts on the Wright State University website are deserving of the highest praise. The pages are not overburdened with pic-heavy downloads and it seems that your team has made great programming choices to keep the site user friendly. So, again, I offer my thanks and compliments"
— Sincerely, Stephanie Mills
Wright State has a single web system for all university colleges and departments. This is unusual in a university setting and makes many benefits possible. We invite you to contact the web team to learn more about our content manangement system.
We look forward to partnering with you on all of your web needs.
Let Us Help You
- Current website analysis and improvement
- Navigation strategy
- Event websites and landing pages
- Search engine marketing (SEO) optimization and strategy
Recent Web Blog Posts
Praise for the Web Team
10 Tips to Trim Your Bill
We understand that every unit and program on campus has limited resources to spend on marketing, yet no one can afford to stop recruiting students or communicating to various stakeholders. Our office is committed to helping you meet your goals while maximizing the return on your investment. (Yes, Wright State Policy requires most projects to go through the Office of Marketing, but that’s for a great reason—we save you a lot of money!)
Here are a few ways we can make your marketing dollars go further.
1. Timing is everything
Contact the Office of Marketing well before a printed or other product is needed, and we can work with you to deliver products that are comparable to or better than those done by external agencies or by your internal team. If you come at the last minute, you may have to pay premium prices for rushed printing by our partners.
2. Use e-stationery
Avoid using costly pre-printed letterhead for mass mailings by using the electronic letterhead. Download the letterhead template at http://www.wright.edu/marketing/brand/other-downloads, then customize and print.
3. Intake is your friend
Before starting any project, schedule an intake meeting where we can really flesh out your ideas and concepts. There is no charge for an intake meeting or consultation, and we can work together to decide if your project is feasible to accomplish within your timeframe and budget, and if not, what alternatives may be suitable for your needs. If there are multiple decisionmakers involved in your project, please try to have a consensus on the key objectives, audiences, and messages for your project.
4. Reduce changes, reduce cost
For every round of changes you submit for your project, you will be paying the hourly rate for changes, billed by quarter-hour increments (at the time this is written, the rate is $70 per hour). So for every change you send, you’ll be adding more costs. We have seen this total add up well into the hundreds of dollars. If you consolidate all of your changes before sending them to the editor or project manager, you can save a substantial amount.
5. Use digital freebies
The Office of Marketing can create many digital products for free for you. Make sure to leave enough time, but we can make customized social media profile pictures, cover photos, email templates, Snapchat filters, web and social graphics, and more. Visit http://www.wright.edu/marketing/services/getting-started for more information.
6. If it sounds too good to be true…
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We are often approached to help resolve issues that arise when these offers don’t work out the way you had hoped. Save time and money by coming straight to the Office of Marketing with your idea or project. And if you do want to proceed with a great offer, please send the information to our office first so we can see if it will meet your needs, or if they are trying to take advantage of you.
7. Don’t throw away money due to noncompliance
Our Wright State Brandbook, available at http://wright.edu/brand, outlines all the ways our logo and associated marks can and cannot be used. Any new materials that violate these rules cannot be used. Come to us first to save money and avoid frustration down the line.
8. Bundle your image needs
Do you know you’re going to need different photos for projects throughout the year? Rather than schedule a photographer for each one, consider gathering all the people and props for all of your photos at once, and just schedule a single photoshoot. This will save you the cost of additional shoots, travel, etc.
9. Measure twice, cut once
You always want to double-check when you do the work yourself. If you are working on a project, you can contact the Office of Marketing to inquire if you are using our logo or marks appropriately, if the sizing will work with postal regulations, and other details that can derail your project, costing you additional time and money.
10. Don’t forget about the Office of Communications
The Office of Marketing partners with the Office of Communications frequently for projects and stories that may be of interest to the media or other markets. Their professional writers and videographer tell and show the stories of Wright State to the world. If you have news that you want to get out about an activity, award, project, or person, send them an email to email@example.com. Due to staffing limitations, they cannot cover everything, but they may be able to offer you tips that are invaluable—and free.
**BONUS TIP** Remember that advice is free
We’re always happy to chat about your challenges and come up with creative solutions. And we don’t charge for consultation. Our team is very knowledgeable about current trends and best practices. We can advise you on strategy, tactics, and messaging. If you like, we can create comprehensive short- and long-term marketing plans to help you accomplish your goals. We’ll also help you prioritize to make the most of your marketing budget.
Science Olympiad National Tournament
Wright State University was honored to host the 2017 Science Olympiad National Tournament (SONT). Teams from around the nation represented their states at the highest level of academic achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math. The weekend featured intense competition among 120 of the best Science Olympiad teams in the nation, striving for honors in events like Electric Vehicle, Disease Detectives, and Hovercraft. Each of the 46 events requires in-depth understanding of rigorous science content, teamwork, and real-world problem solving.
The Office of Marketing was an integral part of planning and executing this complex event. We worked closely with the Science Olympiad organization, university leadership, Event Services, Nutter Center, IT (CaTS), Foundation, and academic units to coordinate the many details of this multi-day tournament.
An event of this magnitude has many moving parts. It required months of planning, working together with a wide variety of internal and external folks. The overall goal was to ensure that teams and visitors had a smooth competition and a great experience on our campus. From a marketing perspective, this was a fantastic opportunity to show off everything Wright State has to offer to high-achieving students.
Prior to the event, we needed to provide teams with all the information they would need to plan their trip and communicate competition-specific details to coaches and event supervisors. Once teams arrived, we had to ensure that they could easily navigate campus, find merchandise and food, and have some fun in their down time. We also needed to pull off two huge ceremonies in the Nutter Center with the same level of excitement and production value as a professional awards show.
The good news was that Wright State hosted the SONT in 2013, so we had a basic blueprint to follow. However, in 2013 the university was in a very different financial situation. We had to find creative ways to meet the same standards of quality with fewer resources. Many things that were done in 2013 by outside vendors were pulled in-house. It was a daunting task, but one that allowed us to stretch ourselves and try new things. We had a blast working on some types of projects we don't often have the opportunity to work on.
The first order of business was to establish a visual identity for our tournament that fit harmoniously with the Wright State brand. We created a flag logo that utilized the official Wright State green and gold and included our university single line wordmark. This logo was the main branding element that was used on everything related to the tournament. We collaborated with the university bookstore to get this logo on several merchandise items that were sold leading up to and during the tournament.
We also created icons for each of the 46 unique competition events. The icon shapes were inspired by nautical flags and also used our official colors. These event icons appeared on signage, in the program, and on the official event T-shirt.
As we got closer to the tournament, we expanded the branding into a fuller look and feel. We took a map background and layered on the tournament logo, some artwork from the icons, and an airplane with a dotted "route." These elements were then adapted into the covers of our printed programs and maps, signage templates, web content, and graphics for the two ceremonies.
The Office of Marketing created several printed pieces for the Science Olympiad National Tournament.
Early on, we created a document to help Advancement attract outside sponsors. It explained what Science Olympiad was and what would happen at the tournament. It also explained the two levels of sponsorships available.
Next, we created a small piece that had just a campus map and the competition schedule to help everyone easily navigate campus. This was designed to fold down small enough to fit in each participant and volunteer's name badge holder for convenience.
The final and most important piece we worked on was the tournament program. Not only did this piece need to communicate a lot of information, it was also expected to serve as a souvenir for students and their parents. It had to be laid out in a way that presented a wide range of detailed information without overwhelming the reader. The final 23-page booklet looked polished and also prominiently featured great content about Wright State University.
We created an event site for the tournament that communicated a vast amount of information to both internal and external audiences.
The Plan Your Trip section gave visitors everything they would need to do just that. It had information on accommodations in campus housing or local hotels, meal plans and on-campus dining, local emergency resources and tourist attractions, etc. The Competition section included schedules, photos of the rooms each event would be held in, a roster of participating teams, and other event-specific information. The Additional Events section featured details on the Opening and Awards Ceremonies, team banquets, and the fun activities academic units had planned for students prior to the competition day. There was a Coaches Corner page where coaches could read FAQs that pertained to them and download the forms they would be required to turn in at registration. There was a section for volunteers that linked to a sign-up form. We also included pages to help visitors learn about Wright State and about Science Olympiad, as well as a contact form.
In the weeks leading up to the event, the web team made updates to this site nearly daily as more information became available. They made live changes during the event, posting the final results within minutes of the Awards Ceremony's conclusion.
Following the tournament, we've transitioned the site into an "evergreen" state so that it now serves as more of a historical record of the event. We've stripped out content that isn't relevant after the fact and changed verbs from future to past tense. The homepage now prominently features a highlights video and a link to the final results spreadsheet. We've also added a photo/video page so viewers can watch the Opening and Awards Ceremony videos, see a photo gallery, and purchase photos from the event from the university's SmugMug account.
Opening and Award Ceremonies
Perhaps the biggest task of the entire tournament was pulling off the two massive ceremonies that officially open and close the competition.
On Friday night, teams filled the Nutter Center with fun costumes and electric excitement. Representatives from each team marched into the arena during an energetic Parade of State. Several speakers then took the stage to welcome competitors and congratulate them on making it this far. Wright State reseacher Elliot Brown, Ph.D., gave the keynote address, presenting his latest work on terahertz radiation.
On Saturday evening, teams dressed in their best to learn who took top honors in the day's competition. Medals were awarded for the top six finishers in each of the 46 individual events and trophies were given to the top 10 teams overall in each division. Along the way, there were special scholarships and prizes handed out by sponsors and for categories like exceptional coaching and team spirit.
Both ceremonies needed to have the same production values as a professional concert or awards show. With attendance of more than 3,000 and thousands more watching the livestream, this was a great opportunity to further the university brand at a national level. The Office of Marketing worked with CaTS, the Nutter Center staff, and Purchasing to draft the ITN and evaluate bids for an outside vendor to bring in staging, lighting, sound, and large video screens. We coordinated with the chosen vendor, Communicore, as well as the local stagehands union for weeks to plan every small detail of the ceremonies.
Our office produced all of the graphics and animations used throughout both events. This included all lower third content for the livestream and graphics for all four screens that make up the scoreboard in the center of the arena.
We wrote the scripts for several portions of the ceremonies, including Doug Fecher's welcome address on Friday, which highlighted the similarities between Science Olympiad competitors and the Wright brothers. We also produced a "Welcome to Wright State" video to further show off all our university has to offer.
On both nights, teams would be milling about the Nutter Center for a few hours prior to the start of the ceremonies. We capitalized on this captive audience and used that time to market Wright State to these students. We curated several hours of existing video from the Wright State Newsroom and cut those segments together with trivia slides we created that featured fun facts about Wright State, the Dayton region, and science in general. We believe the final result was a preshow that was both informative and engaging.
Overall, the ceremonies went very smoothly and we received lots of positive feedback from coaches, students, and parents.
The coordination of all organizations, materials, website, print, and digital showed a high level of integration across our university and elevated our brand on a national scale. The Office of Marketing is very proud of the outcomes produced by this event and looks forward to further opportunities to work on similar projects.
- The Opening Ceremony livestream was viewed by more than 800 worldwide and the Awards Ceremony streamed to more than 2,400.
- The PDF of final results from the tournament was downloaded from our website more than 4,000 times in just the first week following the event.
- Video and graphics assets produced for the tournament will be used in other contexts to maximize our time investment on this project.
An Important Lesson
In the Office of Marketing, we pride ourselves on our exceptional attention to detail. However, we're all human and occasionally mistakes do happen. In the weeks leading up to the SONT, our team worked countless hours to create the hundreds of graphics shown on the multiple screens throughout the two main ceremonies. We carefully reviewed each graphic for typos, paying special attention to getting the names of each speaker, team, and sponsor exactly correct.
On the night of the Awards Ceremony, three members of our team sat with the production crew backstage, prepared to spring into action and make changes on the fly if necessary. The event went perfectly smoothly. The winning teams were announced, the presenters thanked everyone for attending the tournament, and the house lights came up.
Just as we started to relax and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, we noticed a tiny typo on the closing slide. "Final results are available at wright.edu/sont17." Just two transposed letters in a common word. For professionals who had just pulled off a Herculean task, it was a heartbreaking way to end an otherwise amazing event. But it was a great reminder to never let our guard down, even on the parts of a project that seem the simplest.
That said, the Science Olympiad National Tournament was a fabulous event and something that we are truly proud to have worked on. Nearly every member of our staff played a role in this project and our efforts helped Wright State University to shine on a national stage.