Update from Media + Partners January 2010

The following represents the main efforts being undertaken in Media + Partners.  If you would like to discuss any of these further, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Becky Bermont, VP of Media + Partners, atbbermont@risd.edu or x6928.

Overhaul of RISD.edu web site

Media + Partners is amidst a comprehensive redesign and rebuild of the antiquated risd.edu web site.  The slated May launch will include a transition to be a database-driven site, a new look, and revised content and navigation.  With some exceptions, Media + Partners will be populating the site content for the initial launch, and will undertake a training effort for faculty and content administrators across campus after May.

The design and development for the site is being conducted and implemented in house, in an effort to both save money and make sure the site is as true to RISD as possible.  Initial designs have been reviewed with the President and Provost, the Deans Advisory Council, and other administrative groups across campus.  We will be working with a representative from the Department Heads group to gather additional feedback.

Most importantly, if any faculty member is ever interested in a preview of the site or has any questions, please feel free to contact Brian Clark, who is project managing this project, (x6920, bclark@risd.edu).

Prior to taking on the comprehensive redesign, Media + Partners undertook several more targeted projects to enhance RISD’s online presence.  These included:

Media + Partners was proud to accept additional webby awards last year for some of the online video content.

Reworking RISD’s Alumni Magazine, RISD Views

A second comprehensive effort is underway: Media +Partners, working in close partnership with Institutional Engagement to reexamine and redesign RISD Views, the campus magazine, which has existed in its current form for roughly 15 years. The redesigned magazine is targeted to have its first issue release in May.  The primary goal of this effort is to clarify the magazine’s purpose as a magazine for RISD’s alumni, and to increase engagement among this broad group. Working with the same resources that Views has used in the past several years, we are looking to create a magazine that comes out with greater frequency (3 times/year instead of 2 times), and that has compelling content for alumni, and fresh, legible design.

We are in the process of selecting and engaging an alumni design firm to work with us on this project, and are also beginning to assemble an advisory group of faculty and alumni.  If you are interested in participating, or just want to learn more about the project, please contact Liisa Silander (x6349, lsilande@risd.edu.)

Media and Community Outreach

The Media Relations department does ongoing outreach to promote studio work and research, campus events and exhibitions, RISD activities that intersect with the local community, and highlights from faculty and alumni, all in line with institutional priorities.

During the period of June 2008 – June 2009, RISD, its faculty, and alumni had more than 450,000,000 “impressions,” in more than 2,500 articles.  The “impressions” total is a way of quantifying how many opportunities there were to see RISD’s name in the press; it is the result of the number of articles multiplied by the circulation of each publication.

Media + Partners also publishes RISD eViews, a monthly email newsletter to alumni, faculty, staff, and the rest of the RISD community.  We also feed and care for the following communication vehicles:

    • Our.risd.edu, the public blog with roughly 500 unique visitors each day;
    • Two.risd.edu, the internal blog for RISD faculty, staff, and students;
    • The campus digital signage system; and
    • The Intranet.

If you have work that you think could be newsworthy – either out in the world or for the RISD community – please contact Jaime Marland (x6954, jmarland@risd.edu) or Liisa Silander (x6349, lsilande@risd.edu).

Support for Partnered Studios and Research

Media + Partners works in close partnership with Academic Affairs and the Partnered Research Working Group (PRWG) to support the work of partnered studios in the departments and cultivate new corporate partnerships that advance academic priorities and the educational mission.  The PRWG represents a collaboration between Academic Affairs, Media + Partners, and Institutional Engagement, and worked last year to create policies and processes for partnered research.

Fall 2009 saw two successful partnered studios: an interdisciplinary studio with Hasbro/Cranium (IL, ID) and one with Unilever (ID). This spring two partnered studios will be taken on by the Architecture department with Bon Shen Ling (a nonprofit associated with Tibetan culture) and the Woods Hole Historical Museum. Through the PRWG, we are helping to explore and develop potential studios with ESPN, Kimberly Clark, and possibly Toshiba for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Junko Carter, director of Industry Partnerships, is on maternity leave during this spring semester.  Please contact Becky Bermont (x6918, bbermont@risd.edu) or Kathy DiNapoli (x6108, kdinapol@risd.edu) in her absence to discuss any incoming partnership opportunities.

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