In November 2012 we began the process of creating a new Internet Strategy, that would take us from discover to launch of a new website, built on an open source Content Management System. As part of that process, we started a partnership with OakTree Digital, a subsidiary of Grady Britton. When our team joined BrandJuice, we continued the work with them, and our subcontractor TrestleMedia. These local online marketing agencies led the efforts in collaboration with the Office of Marketing & Communications to evaluate our brand position in the marketplace and our current website(s).
The development of a new website was scoped aggressively as a 18 to 24 month project with multiple phases.
During Phase 1 of the project (November 2012 to February 2013) a brand audit, an industry evaluation and website review was conducted as well as an analysis of Content Management Systems. Information was gathered from internal and external stakeholders through 10 stakeholder sessions with more than 140 members of the Pacific University family, which included students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff. At the completion of the stakeholder sessions two online surveys were conducted to continue the process of gathering information and included prospective students ... our primary external audience.
The deliverable for Phase 1 was a Strategic Brief, and an Executive Summary of the Brief, which is available to view. As part of this process the Executive Summary was presented and discussed by the President's Cabinet.
Drupal was selected as our CMS as part of Phase One. Learn more about Drupal.
Phase 2 of Internet Strategy planning included the development of personas, taxonomy, wireframes and creative. Personas were completed, which create profiles of our primary and secondary audience groups. One hundred members of the Pacific University community were asked to provide feedback on the persona drafts prior to finalizing. Check our our new Personas or learn more about what a Personas is.
While working on our top tier navigation (taxonomy) we invited faculty, students, staff and alumni to review and share your feedback. Check out Top Tier Navigation.
In Phase 3, which began in October 2013, the creative (the look and feel of the site) was developed, shared and discussed. It was an exciting development in the overall initiative.
In Phase 4, which began in December 2013, our developers started building the site, which included ongoing review and testing.
On January 27, 2014 content migration from the current site began and was completed in late May. In addition, content creation and review was a significant part of the process.
The new university website was shared globally, in beta, on July 21 & 24 with the President's Cabinet, the Provost's Council, school deans and directors, department heads and many other individuals throughout Pacific. Prior to launch web editors and the Pacific community had an opportunity to preview the site as well. The Office of Marketing & Communications, including our Internet Team, Senior Writer/Editor and Manager of Multimedia continued the work to bring the site to launch readiness. This process included responding to and working with individuals throughout the Pacific community. That work continues after launch.
The university has both a centralized and decentralized approach to managing the website, and web editor training began on Monday, July 21. At the end of a three-week period 140 of 190 web editors had completed basic web editor training. Training opportunities will continue to be available.
On Monday, Aug. 11, the new website was launched. Our online brand plays a critical role in support of Vision 2020 and our student enrollment goals. Prospective students, their parents and influencers visit our site on an ongoing basis to learn more about Pacific University, representing 3 million visits each fiscal year. Our website is also a hub for our current students, faculty and staff to easily find the information they need.
Updates on our site occur daily and we will continue to look for opportunities to strengthen our online presence, and there will be many, many additional opportunities. Our website will continue to evolve and we invite comments, questions and feedback.