New website encourages visitors to engage with the Emerson community
What better way to appreciate the creativity and energy of Emerson College than to engage with its students, faculty, and alumni online?
That was the driving concept behind Emerson College’s new web presence, which made its debut today.
“While the most critical function for any college’s website is to provide information, we also wanted to create ways for our visitors to participate in conversations, hear directly from Emersonians, and as much as possible, experience Emerson live,” said Marta Ruohoniemi, web content developer in the Office of Communications and Marketing and the website redesign’s project manager.
Virtually every page of Emerson’s new website includes related videos and links to the College’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and ProArts Connect portals.
An exciting new section is called Emerson Live. During specific, high-profile events — such as Commencement — visitors will literally experience Emerson live through real-time webcasts as well as news stories, related videos, slideshows, and Tweets that relate to that particular happening. In between events, Emerson Live will showcase the work of students, faculty, and alumni through video and provide access to archives of past events.
Other key new features include a dedicated social media section that offers a directory to all Emerson-related pages within the major channels; interactive Alumni and Parents sections; a welcoming and engaging experience for prospective students; and a robust news and events section where visitors can quickly find current affairs information.
Ultimately, much of the content will be produced by Emerson students and faculty. During the website’s development, much of the video was shot by two current students from the Department of Visual and Media Arts, Matthew Hashiguchi MFA ’11 and Matthew Figler BFA ’11.
“As the only college in America focused exclusively on communication and the arts, our goal was to highlight the community’s creative vision and outgoing personality by showcasing the work of Emerson’s students, faculty, and alumni,” said Andy Tiedemann, vice president for Communications and Marketing.
True to the Emerson spirit, establishing the new web presence has been a campus-wide collaborative effort. Emerson faculty, students, alumni, and staff were involved in creating the new platform for the College, and their advice and expertise will continue to be tapped as the new online presence develops and matures.
Every campus office played a role and will be actively engaged in its future development. Each of the seven academic departments revised their particular sections. Staff from the offices of Admission, Institutional Advancement, Alumni Relations, and Communications and Marketing worked extensively on developing their own portions of the new website as well as assisting one another.
The College’s Social Media Group helped shape the interactive aspects of the website. Chaired by Mike Petroff MA ’11, web content manager in the Office of Admission, the group includes representatives from departments across the campus.
Vice President for Enrollment MJ Knoll-Finn was extensively involved in the design and execution of the College’s new website. “The college search begins on the Web for prospective students and their parents,” Vice President Knoll-Finn said. “First impressions matter a great deal. The Admission team has really been doing a fantastic job creating social media and web strategies to engage prospective students with the Emerson experience, but this new platform is going to allow us to do so much more,” she said.
Several additional features are already in development, such as an interactive events calendar and a powerful new search function. These will be ready by the start of the fall semester.
The website’s launch comes just in time for one of the College’s most important events: Alumni Weekend, which will take place on June 4–6.
The Alumni Relations team has devoted significant energy to creating a new experience for alumni online. “We are excited about the new features that will enable our alumni to learn about events such as the Alumni Weekend and its related Scholarship Fund Auction,” said Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Robert Ashton. “Alumni are extremely interested in staying connected with one another, with the College, and in keeping abreast of what the students and faculty are doing. This new web presence will help them achieve all of those goals,” he said.