- Form a planning group that decides on the aims and objectives of the event, the target audience, key messages as well as speakers, programme, venue and date.
- Put together a budget and activity plan and be clear about who has responsibility for what.
- Ensure good lead in times for the event to allow you to plan effectively.
- Venue: ensure the location of the venue is accessible by public transport. Ensure the venue itself is suitable for disabled people, and provides good catering, audio visual and network (including wifi) capability before you book. Where possible choose an environmentally friendly venue.
- Consider your target audience when deciding the content and style of event. Your key messages should be about how you are helping to solve their problems.
- Ensure your programme is interactive so that participants engage with the subject. A series of powerpoint presentations will have them heading for the door! Consider using social media alongside the face to face event to allow maximum participation eg. second life, blogs, twitter
- Capture the main discussion points through blog pieces, video or audio interviews with speakers and participants, a summary report or news item.
- Consider the environment and provide delegate information online rather than on paper.
- Encourage participants to complete an online evaluation form.
- Consider how to continue engaging with participants after the event eg. invitation to join a working group or email discussion list
- Run all external publications past your Programme Manager before publishing.
- Consider who you are writing the publication for eg. if it is for a senior manager, an executive summary or briefing paper in plain English would be more welcome than a 100 page technical report.
- Always include a JISC logo. Guidance on how to use the JISC logo can be found at: JISC logo
- Ensure the copy writer and proof reader follow the JISC editorial guidelines at: www.jisc.ac.uk/aboutus/whoweare/brand/editorialguide.aspx
- Get absolutely everything intended for public consumption professionally proofread.
- To steal a phrase from the Design Police: Microsoft Word is not a design tool and neither is Microsoft Publisher. Follow the principles of CRAP design:
- Contrast: Can you see the difference between your content, ads, headings, body copy and comments?
- Repetition: Do you have a consistent theme or brand throughout your site? Do you reuse the same colour, shapes, blockquotes, formatting for all of your articles?
- Alignment: Does everything line up or have you got things centred, left aligned or out of place?
- Proximity: Can you find everything you need on your page easily? What is it that your visitors are looking for?
- Make sure any images you use in a print job are at 300dpi resolution: any lower and they’ll look pixellated and rubbish. Stock image libraries can be a good, cheap way of getting professional photos into your work. However, remember everyone else uses them too and they can be horrifically cheesy. See www.shutterstock.com or www.istockphoto.com
- Use the right printer for the job: small print runs aren’t cost effective on a litho press. Go digital if printing fewer than 500 copies.
- Make friends with your local litho printer: if you get on their good side they can offer you advice on all sorts of print jobs and paper types, offer suggestions about how to get the best out of a print job and pull out all the stops when you need a job done quickly
- Think about using recycled paper: much of the new stock is indistinguishable from virgin fibre and if you’re a public sector organisation you can buy it (or get your printer to buy it) cheaper through the DfT’s Recycled Paper Framework Agreement (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information). www.lovelyasatree.com is a useful site covering green design and print.
A really useful site covering all sorts of frequently asked questions about printing: www.jadepress.co.uk/usefulinformation.php
- Your Programme Manager or support project should be your first point of contact. Please also involve your institution’s own press office.
- Consider how your news item fits with key messages from the JISC Strategy 2009 – 12. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/aboutus/strategy/strategy1012.pdf
- Make sure your news item meets the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How test.
- Keep it short, simple and stick to the facts, preferably no longer than one page.
- The first 10-20 words of your press release are most important, so place the most interesting facts at the top of the press release
- Include a quote from JISC (normally your Programme Manager) and others involved in the project to personalise your news story
- Use images where they highlight your project or key message.
- Obtain approval from other organisations involved eg. project partners.
- It takes time to interest journalists, so ensure you’re aware of their copy deadlines.
- Ensure you include the JISC boiler plate after the word ‘ends’
JISC inspires UK colleges and universities in the innovative use of digital technologies, helping to maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in education.
JISC manages and funds more than 300 projects within 24 programmes and supports 49 services that provide expertise, advice, guidance and resources to address the needs of all users in higher and future education www.jisc.ac.uk
- For more information, contact email@example.com
- Writing a JISC press release (www.jisc.ac.uk/aboutus/whoweare/brand/pressrelease.aspx)
The Trade Fair at Aston showed just how many high quality products will come out of your research and activities. The next stage is to get it all out in the open and share your packaged outputs with the world, in an effective and innovative way. JISC Comms and the SSBR team are here to offer guidance and any help you may need to do this.
Example dissemination ideas we can help with:
- briefing and training materials
- exemplar policy guidance
- implementation strategies
- third year mentor handbook
- proof of concept to be shared with the wider community
- series of ‘how to’ guide materials
- position paper setting out a series of recommendations and suggestions
- general publicity and press releases
We can advise on the publishing processes involved, including print or web advice and creative commons issues. You can of course use your own university media departments and resources.
There are certain guidelines regarding the style and look and most JISC branding issues can be found here www.jisc.ac.uk/brand
Links which relate directly to your projects can be found here
If you do have any queries, Jane Charlton at JISC Comms firstname.lastname@example.org or JISC Design and Production Manager, Greg Clemett email@example.com will also be able to advise on project and programme level branding and designs.
We are happy to lend a hand with press releases. If you want to promote your project to journalists or the press you should go through either your institutional press and PR office for local and regional news items, or for specialist and national press through the JISC press and PR office firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about writing for JISC can be found in the Brand Manual.
For any advice on creative commons issues, see here http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/briefingpapers/2009/bpcreativecommons.aspx and here http://creativecommons.org/
Comms Top Tips
Comms have created advice sheets for projects when organising events, writing press releases and arranging PR and publications. You can find these sheets here:
Publications top tips http://comms.inin.jisc-ssbr.net/category/publications/
Events top tips: http://comms.inin.jisc-ssbr.net/category/events/
Press and PR top tips http://comms.inin.jisc-ssbr.net/category/press-pr/
For further information, contact
Jane Charlton at email@example.com
Rhonda Riachi at rhonda@JISC-SSBR.net
Emma Anderson at emma@JISC-SSBR.net