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KU Talking Points: January 2013

Communications audit

The Office of Public Affairs will be conducting an audit this spring to collect all marketing and communications collateral distributed by units for recruitment, alumni relations, advancement and public outreach.

As part of the audit, communicators also will be asked to identify usage of the three message themes — educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world — in their materials. Data on circulation, brand usage, frequency and audiences will be collected. So please begin collecting your materials for the past year, April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013. More details on the audit will be coming soon.

New KU home and KU News web pages

Next week we will unveil a new university home page and a new site for KU News as part of the conversion to Drupal-based CMS.  

The home page redesign will include new second-level pages, such as Research and About KU, and some changes to links found on the current home page. However, there are no changes to the top level links to email, Blackboard, Kyou and Enroll & Pay. 

For the news redesign, say goodbye to the chronological, artless list of news releases and hello to daily coverage designed to resemble major news outlets. News media still will be able to locate news releases, and media and other audiences will find editor's picks and stories classified by topic area. Eventually, all news releases will be submitted via the CMS system. For now, please continue to email your news to kunews@ku.edu, and we'll take care of the rest.

Also, as part on ongoing refinements to the CMS template based on initial experiences and feedback, the "KU Navigator" (red button on top right) will be changed to "KU Directory." The A to Z listing will continue to be available within the KU Directory drop–down menu, which will have additional information added to its offerings. 

Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Please send any constructive comments to webcomms@ku.eduDescription: Description: Description: https://d2q0qd5iz04n9u.cloudfront.net/_ssl/proxy.php/http/gallery.mailchimp.com/653153ae841fd11de66ad181a/images/transparent.gif.

Upcoming message themes

Two of the first three message themes of the year are in support of our recruitment yield campaign, which reaches a high point with the March 1 FAFSA priority date.

From now through January 26, we’re highlighting the KU difference: what sets the University of Kansas apart from other universities. These can be institution-wide differentiators, or ways that individual units and programs are a cut above the rest.
From January 27 to February 16, and in conjunction with the first few weeks of the 2013 Kansas Legislature, we’ll be highlighting how KU benefits the economy. These benefits include educated graduates, healthier and more vibrant communities, and discoveries that create jobs and well-being.
And from February 17 through March 9, we’ll highlight why students should choose KU. This message theme corresponds with the aforementioned FAFSA priority date and will emphasize for prospective students why our university is the best fit for them and what they’d like to accomplish in their careers and lives.
These message themes will be promoted in KU Today, on the KU Home Page, through paid advertising and in other venues.  If you have news stories prepared for any of these topics, please contact Jill Jess so we can include them in our plans.

Printed directory to be discontinued

Due to the expanding availability of online directory information and declining advertising revenue, the Office of Marketing Communications will cease publication of the KU telephone directory in 2013.  While advertising has historically provided enough revenue so that the telephone directory could be printed at no cost to the university that is no longer the case. An email survey of faculty and staff last fall also revealed that only a small percentage of faculty and staff continue to regularly rely on the directory.

Based on the survey results, Marketing Communications will instead enhance the existing KU student planner and expand its distribution to include faculty and staff. The expanded planner will include abridged listings for administrative and academic offices, and other information that survey respondents cited most as needed and would be useful to students. The new planner will not, however, include individual faculty and staff listings. Advertising revenue is expected to be sufficient to cover printing and distribution costs. 
Survey results indicated some employees are unaware of the online people search at the top of any KU web page on template. For sites on the new CMS template, users may seek employee directory information in the integrated search box at the upper right. For sites still on the previous web template, click on the "Search KU Web" menu bar in the upper right to select "Search KU People."  

  • Sign up for courses on how to use the Drupal Content Management System to move your website to the new KU template. Visit cms.ku.edu for resources and training dates.
  • Nielsen and NMIncite have issued their 2012 report on the social media landscape, which provides insights for communicators seeking to reach their audiences online. Mobile usage is skyrocketing, Facebook is still king and more Americans are using social media to contact organizations for customer service.
New to KU Communicators

Please welcome the following individuals to KU Communicators:

  • Seth Coulter, Communications Coordinator, International Programs
  • Mary Ann Roesner, Web Manager, Research Information Systems, Research & Graduate Studies
  • Amy Smith, Director, Policy Office, Provost’s Office

Changes to the roster of communicators should be e-mailed to Tommie Cassen, who maintains the communicators directory

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today

Message Themes

January 6 to 21
The KU difference

Jan. 27 to Feb. 16
KU and the economy

Feb. 17 to Mar. 9
Why choose KU

Upcoming Events

January 14
Start of 2013 Legislature

January 22
First day of spring classes

February 1
Transfer scholarship deadline

February 5
State of the University video released
The 2013 Chancellor's Report will also start arriving in mailboxes this week.


KU’s 2012 freshman class had an average ACT score of 25.1, the highest in KU history.

Nearly 25 percent of KU students study abroad. That’s the 17th highest rate among public universities.

Read more #KUFacts by following @KUNews on Twitter.

Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state and the hopes we have for our world.


Share ideas, ask questions and learn from your fellow communicators.

To join send an e-mail with no subject to listproc@ku.edu with the following in the body of the message:

sub COMTalk Yourfirstname Yourlastname