How to succeed at practically anything

their sitch is a lot like ours (no one actually doing content strategy)

I feel like the Rahel slide needs to go to SB et al just to get that solid definition across.

  1. focus on the things that matter
  2. do those things well
  3. tell everyone about the cool thing you did
  4. measure the results

super-obvious (her words), but a useful framework.

the core mission is NOT to create websites, or publish alumni magazines, or manage social media campaigns. know the actual core mission. “what do we know about what keeps the people ‘on the 2nd floor’ awake at night?”

“mission statement generator” LOLs — OTOH, can be focusing.

focusing on which things should be livestream — using “the things that matter” as a filter.

“invisibility cloak” story was a great win: came from a signature program and was also objectively awesome.

reminder that online, a press release is its own destination — no longer just serving traditional media relations role.

“more people will see your online press release than reporters ever will”

specialty stories may research specialty audiences – “twisting quantum cryptography” got views via Slashdot & Reddit. (and thus a reminder to think about it as its own destination)


sometimes you have to do dumb stuff, but don’t let it get you to phoning it in

doing fun stuff (what would be fun stuff that would actually connect to the things that matter to us?)

we should also create opportunities for others to make & share their own stuff (she wants to do this more in her environment)

experiment and show value. (my thoughts: what’s the “next level” for fields of study?)

“operation jazz hands” — how could they jazz up some stories? as an experiment.

“just doing things, and being honest about what it took to do them”

she thinks Georgia Tech does a great job with Facebook.

tumblr: Yale & Rochester “a way for little niche communities to find you”

Oberlin annual fund ad. (this is really delightful, actually. need to share this slide in particular.)


it’s YOUR job to make sure people internally know what you do for a living. it’s on you to make sure that people see the value.

Wayne State web communications blog.

THE LEGO HOME PAGE at Rochester.

“they’re your little content babies and you have to get them out there” — promoting the actual content. Basecamp (project planning) + Slack (to break down silos WITHIN communications)

each bit of content needs its own distribution plan

slide about how people find news.


“what does victory look like?”

be honest about the amount of effort and what result will make you happy

[how are M & JM working together on analytics-type stuff? also, looking at news page and thinking about earlier ideas, how are we following up on stories that are basically “interesting event X is ]

“oh, I’m sorry it’s “only” for the web where it’s seen by THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND people” (re photography)

analysis about tweeting to admitted students. congratulated 92 students in kind, 44 of them retweeted: 13K followers of their own. “measuring the value of the high five”

“facebook challenge”: 50% organic reach, 1% engagement on each post. don’t always hit it, but it’s a strong goal. [link to really good presentation on this slide]

they have a list of things that work on Facebook. “own who you are”

[what IS successful in our livestreaming site? is it doing us any good?]

Increasing viewership


virtuous circle. (for sure)

“don’t wait for the process”