Past events

Captioning at MIT: What Do I Need to Do Now?

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
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In a few months, new requirements will go into effect around captioning video and audio content hosted on MIT websites and platforms, resulting from a settlement with the National Association of the Deaf. We’ll cover the key terms of the settlement and the new captioning requirements, best practices, and the captioning process itself. Come with your questions, and you’ll leave with the tools and resources needed to address the new requirements.

This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters:
Dahlia Fetouh and Anthony Moriello, Office of the General Counsel
Kathy Cahill and Katherine Wahl, Disability and Access Services
Ann Adelsberger, MIT Medical
Kris Brewer, Center for Brains, Minds & Machines

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POSTPONED: Communicating with Students

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
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We will reschedule this presentation in the fall.

As MIT communications staff, engaging with students is often a primary part of our work. Staff from the Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor, and the Division of Student Life will share how they reach undergraduate and graduate students through social media, program-based campaigns, message amplification, and emergency communications. They’ll also provide tips on the most effective ways to communicate with your own student audiences.

This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters:
Communications staff from the Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor, and the Division of Student Life

Getting to Know You... Communications Collaboration

Monday, December 9, 2019 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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Many MIT offices offer valuable services to the community, but are you aware of the opportunities to engage with them to promote your programs and services? Join us to learn about the work of a few key offices and find out how to effectively collaborate with them to spread your message.

This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenting offices:

  • Career Advising & Professional Development: Kendyl Maher-Trumble, Communications Specialist
  • Office of Government & Community Relations: Sarah Gallop, Co-Director; Ashley Kennedy, Financial and Communications Coordinator
  • Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center: Halley Kamerkar, Communication and Development Manager
  • Reference Publications: Kimberly Mancino, Director

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Design Trend Forecast 2020

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am
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Upstatement, a Boston-based digital communications firm, will share graphic and digital designs from around the web that show where typography, art direction, interaction, and interfaces are headed.

This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters:
Scott Dasse, Principal
Holly Copeland, Creative Director
Nathan Hass, Creative Director

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Essentials of Search Engine Optimization

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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Search engine optimization (SEO) plays an important role in helping your audiences easily access your website’s content. Join us to learn some easy steps you can take to improve your site’s ranking on Google and other search engines. We will address:

  • What SEO is and why it’s important
  • How Google identifies the most relevant websites related to search terms
  • How to develop a list of targeted keywords
  • Drupal modules and WordPress plug-ins that assist with SEO performance

This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenter
Skadi Gidionsen, UX and Digital Director, Opus Design

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Intro to Facebook Live

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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Facebook Live video streaming has become increasingly popular, and it can be an effective way to showcase your department’s events and grow your followers. Join us at a panel discussion to learn about the resources available at MIT, best practices, and the process for hosting a successful live stream. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters
Chia Evers, Communications Associate, Media Lab
Jenny Fowler, Manager of Social Media Strategy, Communications Initiatives
Kevin Tierney, Streaming Media Manager, MIT Video Productions

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Communications Case Studies, Round 5

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
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Join us for the latest installment of this series that features recent projects by MIT communications staff. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters

Lori LoTurco, Human Resources
HR website

Mary Beth O’Leary, Mechanical Engineering
Video and news story strategy

David Orenstein, Picower Center for Learning and Memory
Innovations & Inventions print and web integration

Andi Sutton, Abdul Latif Jameel Water & Food Systems Lab
J-WAFS name change

Stephanie Tran, Division of Student Life
Instagram student takeover

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Discovering Discovery: Uncovering What Your Audience Wants and Needs

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
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Your supervisor just said it’s time to redesign the department website. The project stakeholders—at least the ones you know about—have a very specific idea for the new site, but how do you know it’s the right approach for your audience? How can you make sure your colleagues are on the same page about the most effective, desirable, maintainable, and economical approach for the project before it even really gets underway?

Discovery is the process of identifying who your users are, what they value, and what they want, as well as the challenges your site or application must address. No matter whether you’re using a traditional waterfall project management process or the rapid iterations of Agile, you need to understand your audience’s behavior and goals in order to deliver the best solution for everyone.

In this presentation for MIT staff, you’ll learn:

  • Why every website or application development project should include a discovery process
  • What tasks discovery includes, and what documentation you’ll have at the end 
  • How to convince stakeholders to invest in discovery, either with a vendor or with internal resources
  • How to run “quick and dirty” discovery on your own

Presenter
Debby Levinson, UX Design & Consultation

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Optimizing Your Office of One

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am
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Being a communications department of one can definitely bring its challenges. But being small doesn’t mean you can’t be mighty! Join us to learn actionable tips for strategically planning, executing, and reporting on communications projects and how to prioritize your project list. Even if you are part of a communications team, you’ll still get some practical take-aways. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters
Matt Cyr, Vice President of Strategic Practices, Primacy
Michelle Lentz, Account Director, Primacy
Regina O’Toole, Senior Project Manager, Primacy

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Top 10 Best Practices for Department Websites

Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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MIT will be launching its new homepage and top-level experience this summer. A key focus of that effort has been to help our audiences more easily find the information they seek. We already know from analytics and survey data that learning more about MIT departments is a top user goal.

This presentation will provide practical tips about how to create a better user experience on your department’s website based on best practices and research conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group across more than 100 university websites.

We will discuss and highlight key recommendations geared specifically toward what we know about MIT’s audiences, their top reasons for visiting our sites, and how they’ve told us we could improve their experience. Topics will include common characteristics of MIT’s audience segments, tips for organizing content to serve each group, and methods for making it easier to navigate through your site.

This presentation is for MIT staff, particularly those responsible for managing their department’s website(s).

Presenters
Mark Brown, Director of Digital Learning Experience, Open Learning
Mike Pastore, Communications Specialist, Communications Initiatives

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Survey Says... Best Practices in Surveys

Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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Platforms such as SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics have made it easy for us to create and administer our own surveys, but did you know that MIT Institutional Research (IR) has survey data you can access about many of MIT’s audiences?

We’ll cover the types of data IR has available, which types of surveys you can conduct with broader coordination across the Institute, and which populations require prior approval to survey. We’ll also cover best practices when creating your own surveys. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenter
Jon Daries, Senior Project Manager, MIT Institutional Research

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Content Strategy’s Role in Creating Good User Experiences

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
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Many of us know that we should have a content strategy for our websites, social media, and other communications, but how do we go about it? We’ll cover the principles of content strategy for creating an optimal user experience and some tips for getting started. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenter
Chris LaRoche, User Experience Consultant, MIT Accessibility & Usability Team

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Communicating with Designers

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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Working with designers is often an integral part of our job, but it isn’t always easy to express our vision and needs. Through this session, we’ll learn actionable techniques to better communicate with designers using basic design vocabulary, processes, and principles. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenter
Julia Frenkle, Creative Director, Opus Design

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Web Accessibility: Encouraging Digital Diversity

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
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Join us to learn how you can make your websites and applications more accessible, an important step to ensure inclusiveness and meet established standards. We'll cover how and where to get started with assessment, what questions to ask vendors, and when to seek assistance. The presenters will give a brief overview of accessibility, describe the most common issues they encounter, and discuss how to address them. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenters
Kathy Cahill
, Associate Dean, Accessibility and Usability, Office of Undergraduate Education
Rich Caloggero, Accessibility Consultant, Office of Undergraduate Education
Chris LaRoche, User Experience Consultant,  Office of Undergraduate Education
Katherine Wahl, Accessibility and Usability Consultant,  Office of Undergraduate Education

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Channel Your Way to YouTube Success

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
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Join us to learn how to best leverage YouTube for your department or program's communications goals, and find out what makes MIT’s main YouTube channel so successful. We'll cover tips and best practices for optimizing your channel, closed captioning, uploading videos, thumbnail choice, channel organization, playlists, cards, cross-promotion, metadata, and much more. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenter
Melanie Gonick, Video Producer and Editor, MIT News Office

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Intro to Human-Centered Design

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
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There is a lot of rhetoric about being more audience-centric but very little information on how to take action as an individual or team. Join us if you and your team are hungry to build communications from the outside in, rather than the inside out. This interactive presentation will introduce you to hands-on tools and supporting resources to help you integrate human-centered design into your work and the work of your team. This presentation is for MIT staff.

Presenter
Caitlin Silverstein, LUMA Institute

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Intro to Inclusive Communications

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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How is MIT’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion represented in your communications efforts? Do you feel you could be more comfortable when it comes to issues of identity: gender, race, sexual orientation, ability, etc.?

This session will give you the foundation you need to incorporate an inclusive communications approach into your current strategy. We’ll take a look at inspirational examples and total failures with an eye toward how you can create an inclusive digital environment while avoiding stereotypes and other common pitfalls.

Presenter
Jessica Fish, Senior Strategist, Leader Networks

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Digging Deeper Into Google Analytics

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
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You’ve got data flowing in, but how do you make it actionable? Join us to learn about reporting, measurement, and optimization within Google Analytics so you can understand your audience and make data-driven decisions.

Presenter
Ryan McMorrow, Analytical Lead, Google

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Communications Case Studies, Round 4

Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
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Join us for the latest installment of this series that features recent projects by MIT communications staff.

Presenters
Jennifer Burke, Communications Manager, and Laurie Everett, Communications Officer, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Vice President for Finance website

Laura Chichisan, Communications Coordinator, Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center
CityDays campaign

Jenny Fowler, Manager of Social Media Strategy, Communications Initiatives
Century in Cambridge social media

Chad Galts, Director of Communications, School of Engineering
Spotlight on collaboration: NSE, SoE, and MIT News

Stacie Slotnick, Assistant Director of Communications, Media Lab
Media Lab website

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User-Centered Design: A Practical Toolkit for Making Sites That Work

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 10:00 am to 11:00 am
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User-centered design might sound intimidating, or get framed by stakeholders as “extra work,” but it can be very simple, straightforward, and valuable. In this presentation, we’ll walk through a set of exercises, practices, and rationales that you can follow to make sure that the websites or tools you’re creating are designed with your customers in mind.

Presenter
Mark Brown, Director of Digital Learning Experience, Office of Digital Learning

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Communications Case Studies, Round 3

Thursday, May 12, 2016
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Lots of great communications work is happening across campus. Come and learn from your peers as they share their experiences on recent projects.
 
Afterward, join us at a social gathering for fellow communications staff.
 
Presenters
Barbara Malec, Art Director, Resource Development
Yvonne Ng, External Outreach and Annual Giving Manager, and Aimee Gillespie, Digital Publication Specialist, OpenCourseWare
Michael Rutter, Director of Media Relations, School of Engineering
Leah Talatinian, Communications Officer, Office of the Arts
Andrew Whitacre, Communications Manager, Comparative Media Studies/Writing

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Creating Great Videos on a Budget

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
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While most of us have limited media production resources, that shouldn’t stop us from creating engaging, dynamic videos. Our neighbors from the Harvard Graduate School of Education will share some tips and techniques for making great content with the tools you have.
 
Presenters
Iman Rastegari, Multimedia Producer, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Matthew Weber, Director, Digital Communications Strategy, Harvard Graduate School of Education

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Trello for Project Management and Successful Teams

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
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Learn why relying on email alone breeds chaos for project managers and how better tools can help create effective and organized teams. Understand how to use Trello (launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011), which is used by The New York Times, Adobe, PayPal, and Google, as well as by teams across MIT, to improve the way they work.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Stephanie Leishman, Apiarity

Media Relations in the MIT News Office

Friday, December 11, 2015
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Learn how the News Office approaches and measures its work with members of the media. Also, get tips on how to assess and respond to media inquiries to your department, lab, or center (DLC); ways you can leverage the MIT News platform to promote your news; and approaches to media monitoring and coverage reports for your DLC. This presentation also will go over Institute procedures for filming requests, such as documentary productions, and requests from sponsors to reference your DLC, faculty member, or MIT in a press release. 
 
Presenters
Kimberly Allen, Director of Media Relations and Deputy Director, MIT News Office
Sarah McDonnell, Manager, Media Relations, MIT News Office

Using Hootsuite to Manage Social Media

Thursday, November 5, 2015
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Learn how colleges and universities are using Hootsuite to manage social media. This presentation will highlight real-world examples with a focus on student engagement, building public and influencer awareness, and fundraising and recruiting.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Erica Ayotte, Customer Success, Hootsuite

Advanced Media Integration

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
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Join us to learn how to break down the silos in your marketing efforts and create campaigns that take advantage of the connections among social networking, traditional media, and websites. You will see case studies that show how universities and businesses are integrating social media with traditional and web communications to reach key objectives.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter: Stephanie Leishman, Social Media Strategist, Communication Production Services

Google Updates: Panda and Penguin and Hummingbird, Oh My!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
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According to Compete PRO, 34.52% of the incoming traffic to mit.edu sites in July 2014 came from Google.com. That’s 1,403,774 out of the 4,065,881 visits to these sites from the U.S. that month. This presentation will explain how search works and give an overview of the more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that Google’s algorithms use today. It also will cover three major updates to Google’s algorithms, named Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. And it will take a look at the algorithms of the second-largest search engine, YouTube.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Greg Jarboe, Co-founder and President, SEO-PR

The Power of Images in Social Media

Thursday, September 25, 2014
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Images are an integral part of online social communication: Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion; according to Flickr, 3.5 million photos were being uploaded to their site every day in 2014; and Snapchat messages require an image, but not necessarily text.
 
In this presentation, you’ll learn about the power of images specifically in online media as it relates to communicating for your department. You’ll also get tips on how to include more images in your social media content. 
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch Leishman, Social Media Strategist, Communication Production Services

Time Management for Social Media

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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Whether social media management is 5%, 50%, or 100% of your job description, you want to do it the best you can in the time you have. Learn how to be more efficient with your social media management through tools and techniques.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch Leishman, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist, Communication Production Services

Creating Communications That Connect: What’s Your Strategy?

Thursday, April 17, 2014
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In a world where the average person is bombarded with more than 3,500 marketing messages per day, it is crucial that organizations communicate clearly and consistently. Learn how to best develop a strategic roadmap for identifying and creating the right mix of communications vehicles–whether web, print, or social media–ensuring consistent visual identity, message, voice, and alignment with the MIT brand.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenters
Tammy Dayton, Moth Design
Dave Demerjian, 43,000 Feet

Instagram 101

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Launched in the fall of 2010, Instagram is a relatively new platform next to giants like Facebook and Twitter. What makes this social network unique is that it restricts content creation to mobile devices and its content to a square. Learn what makes Instagram wildly popular and how to use it for higher education communications.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
MIT on Instagram
Stephanie Hatch Leishman on Instagram
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch Leishman, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist, Communication Production Services

Social Media for Events

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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With social media, you can feel the pulse of an event and listen in on the many different conversations that stem from one keynote speaker’s remarks. The immediacy and connectivity provided by social networks help participants engage more with one another and give more people a voice. Learn how to optimize your social media efforts before, during, and after an event.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
Storify recap of how attendees shared their thoughts via Twitter during the presentation
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch Leishman, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist, Communication Production Services

Video on the Web: Plan It, Make It, Share It

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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Over one billion videos are watched online every day. In a month, over four billion hours of video are watched on YouTube alone. In this online video world, it’s important to know how to effectively use this medium:

Preparing: What are good uses for online video, and how can video play a role in a broader communications plan? What does it take to produce a video? How much does it cost?

Short-form storytelling: What are the elements of a good story? How can you effectively tell your story in a small package? What are some optimal video lengths? What makes a video go viral?

Production basics: When does a DIY approach work? What about working with professionals? What are some key technical issues and considerations?

Sharing video: What are the most popular video platforms? How can you integrate videos with social media?

Presentation materials
Options for captioning video at MIT

Presenters
Lawrence Gallagher, Director, MIT Video Productions/AMPS
Chris Boebel, Manager, Multimedia Development, MIT Video Productions/AMPS
Amanda Justice, Operations Coordinator, MIT Video Productions/AMPS
Stephani Roberts, Web Accessibility Consultant, Information Systems & Technology

Introduction to MailChimp

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
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More than 3 million people and companies of all sizes use MailChimp to send about 6 billion emails every month. Join us to learn about the ease of sending targeted emails and creating mobile-friendly campaigns.

Helpful tips

Presenters
Amy Ellis, Head of Partnerships and Integrations, MailChimp
Ashley Wilson, Senior Client Relations Lead, MailChimp 

Best Uses of Images in Social Media

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
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More than 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day, and 250 million to Facebook, according to the Huffington Post. Learn how images can change the way people interact with your department and how to best use imagery in your own content creation.
 
Presentation materials
Why images are important
What to post
How and where to post
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist, MIT Communication Production Services

Integrating Social and Traditional Media

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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Social media works best when combined with other types of media, including web and print. In this presentation, you’ll learn methods for effectively integrating social and traditional media.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist, MIT Communication Production Services

Email Marketing Best Practices

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
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According to the email marketing service MailChimp, the average eduction/training-related email campaign has an open rate of just under 17%, and for events, 16%. The click rate is even lower, at about 3%. The numbers show that getting your email read is becoming more difficult. Join us to learn how to increase opens and clicks, from choosing the right subject line and incorporating a more readable design to list management and measuring results.
 
Presentation materials
Slides
 
Presenter
Stephanie Hatch, Social Media and Email Marketing Specialist, MIT Communication Production Services