Creating an Integrated Communication Plan: The MSU Science Festival

"MSU's Science Festival supplied ample opportunity for me to provide editorial support on a variety of publications, including the program guide and flyers, as well as the Science Festival website. I also helped with hands-on tasks, such as putting together building signs and chalking lizard footprints on the sidewalks. My most enjoyable responsibility, however, was guiding groups of visitors to various venues on campus during the Festival itself."

Amy Byle
Editor, Communication and Information Technology

UOE's Communication and Information Technology (CIT) department develops communication plans and information technologies for outreach projects using websites, news and social media, events, presentations, and publications.

CIT offers integrated, full-service communications to assist faculty at all stages of a project, from conception and planning to dissemination and evaluation. Professional expertise available includes writing, editing, graphic design, public relations, information architecture, instructional design, web applications, database programming, and conference planning.

The box below shows some of the things that CIT has done to support the MSU Science Festival, a free multi-day celebration of science with over 200 events presented around campus to lifelong learners of all ages. CIT has supported the Festival since its inaugural year in 2013 by creating several systems that were handed off to the Festival coordinators for incorporation into the following years' programs. CIT staff continue to work with the coordinators to improve on the systems and materials and to provide the technical expertise that is essential for making each year's event a success.

Students learning

CIT Support for MSU Science Festival

Built three information systems

  • A website built as a content management system so that the event coordinators can update the site themselves.
  • A proposal system where presenters can enter their proposed presentation and make their selections for the type of presentation they plan on giving. The event coordinators can edit proposals, designate venues, schedule events, and more using a private web interface. Once an event is accepted, it is automatically listed in the public-facing website's schedule.
  • A scheduling system where K-12 teachers can reserve seats in limited-capacity venues for on-campus presentations for their students.

Supported content development

  • Helped to develop and review materials from grant proposals to publicity flyers, the program booklet, and reports to funders.

Implemented media relations and marketing strategies and tactics

  • Developed a graphic identity for the event and produced web and print materials to support the branding consistently across delivery formats, from the website to e-newsletters to flyers, brochures, posters, and newspaper advertisements.
  • Pursued several media opportunities and sponsors

Assisted with planning and management

  • Helped the conference coordinators navigate through logistical issues such as registration, catering, transportation, facilities, audio-visual equipment, and team/volunteer communications.
  • Written by Ghada Georgis and Linda Chapel Jackson, University Outreach and Engagement

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