Web and Social Media
When communicating online, especially through the RMU website, know that a vast audience sees your content. Each faculty and staff member is responsible for ensuring that their content reflects the brand of the university and promotes the institution in the best way possible. The guidelines below will help you develop a website that works well for your users and meets your department’s goals.
Leverage and Honor the University Brand
Making your department’s website look like part of RMU provides your visitors with a valuable frame of reference. A user should never have to question if they’re on a university website – there should be enough visual branding on a page that reflects the images of Robert Morris University’s brand.
Know Your Audience
Find out what your audience needs and then center your department’s website on those needs. Don’t assume your users know your department’s internal structures and terminology. Focus the user’s attention on what is important to them. Tell users what is unique and important about your department, but do so without getting in their way.
Make It Easy for Your Users to Succeed
Users shouldn’t have to figure out how to find what they’re looking for. It’s important to lay out your content in a visually appealing way that is easy for users to find. Use bullet points and navigational directories when necessary. Navigation should present the minimum necessary number of choices with short, yet descriptive labels.
Be Consistent, Clear and Concise
This applies to every aspect of your site. Your writing should be clear, free of jargon and no longer than it has to be. More detail can be made available, but only if necessary. Be consistent across your site in terminology, labels, layout and positioning, style and navigation.
As information changes, it’s important for the website to reflect those changes. At RMU it’s simple to have a change made to your department’s website. Simply email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org with specific directions on what you’d like changed. Be sure to include any links, photos, or graphics you may be referring to in your email.
Social Media Guidelines
If you are promoting a Robert Morris University- affiliated organization or event through a website like Facebook or Twitter—or even considering it— you’re not alone. Social media outlets are increasingly popular tools for engaging target audiences and developing relationships with customers and organizational stakeholders. Unlike traditional media outlets, in which information generally flows in one direction, social media offers a highly interactive communication method. It’s best to think of social media as an ongoing conversation that involves a great deal of back-and- forth with a number of people. Because social media offers direct access to a target audience, it’s an ideal method for taking your message straight to the people you want to reach the most. Many social media outlets also offer the opportunity to examine statistics that show how effective, or ineffective, your communications are. The RMU Social Media Guidelines provides the basics on several social media outlets and offers suggestions as to how you can maximize their potential. You should consider this guidebook the official university policy when it comes to RMU-related social media activity.
Email Marketing Guidelines
When sending out emails to a mass audience, consider conferring with the PR/Marketing Department. It’s best practice to compose an email in a visually appealing way that includes the RMU logo or custom header and footer. The PR/Marketing Department can assist you with emailing your audience, to ensure you’re sending it at the more ideal time, which can help increase the open rate and user engagement.