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Punch up your communication skills: 5 tips from Joe Becker

October 26, 2012

  • Joe Becker, director of marketing (Photo by Joe's six-year-old niece Zoe)

The Office of Public Affairs and Communications recently overhauled its website to offer a fuller slate of tools, templates, and guidelines.

The following list from Joe Becker, director of marketing, highlights five new tools to help polish your presentations, enhance your emails, and punch up your communications efforts overall.

“If you regularly communicate on behalf of any of our three schools—and I think that’s almost all of us—I hope you’ll take the time to familiarize yourself with the ways we can help you best represent Lewis & Clark,” Becker said.

1. PowerPoint and Keynote Templates

If you give presentations, you’ll want to download our templates. Folks have been asking about these for a while, so we’re really happy to provide templates that sync with the visual identity of the institution.

Along with the templates, you’ll find a few usage tips as well.

2. Email Signature Guidelines

Simple is best–and that might surprise some people. Email signatures seem like a fun place to express individuality—or an opportunity to impart extra information. But not all email clients render fonts, HTML, and image files in the same way, so complex signatures often yield unexpected results.

Also, more and more people are reading email on the go, which means they are limited to small displays. So we advise a minimalist approach.

3. Events Marketing Guidelines

If you’re looking to promote a Lewis & Clark event, we can help. Our public relations team manages the Lewis & Clark homepage, social media outreach, and media relations. Our marketing and publications team develops print pieces and coordinates paid advertising for the institution.

You should definitely review our guide to event promotion, but there are a few big ideas I’d like to stress:

  • Start early—ideally eight to ten weeks before an event.
  • Don’t rely on media coverage to drive attendance.
  • Target your outreach to the right audiences and be able to explain concisely what’s exciting about your event.
4. Web and Social Media Tools

We’re lucky to live in a time when we can communicate with our audiences in so many ways. But it’s not always obvious or intuitive how to best do that. So we’ve developed a number of resources on web and social media best practices, including guides to writing and editorial style. Whatever the medium, we always want to put our best foot forward, and these resources will help.

5. A Guide to PubCom

Although we’re developing tools to help you with your work, I can’t stress enough that we don’t intend for you to go it alone. We want and need to hear from you about what’s working and what isn’t. And if you’re communicating with prospective students and families, alumni, donors, or public influencers, we should probably be working together closely.

Our staff page will give you a sense of how we’re organized, but please reach out to any one of us to get started. We’re an integrated team and will help you figure out the best way to accomplish your goals.