Thursday, May 17, 2007

University Home Page Audiences

In this post, Georgina Hibberd states that the first step to an effective university home page is to "identify your audiences and place them in a hierarchy of importance."

OK, I'll buy that. So who are your potential audiences? I'll start a list, and then the three people who read this blog can pick it apart. Most of these audience groups are obvious, but it's always good to put them out there.

  1. Prospective students
  2. Current students
  3. Former students (mostly alumni)
  4. International Students (important for some campuses)
  5. Faculty
  6. Staff and Administration
  7. Faculty, staff and administrators from other universities
  8. Job seekers (both faculty and staff)
  9. Parents (of current and prospective students)
  10. Community members (town residents, local businesses, governmental, etc.)
  11. Prospective community members (people thinking of moving to the area)
  12. Partners (business partners, granting organizations, etc.)
  13. Media (you don't think that Virginia Tech's home page wasn't pounded by the media?)
  14. Donors
  15. "Friends" and "Visitors" (whatever that means) - from this post
  16. Web developers from other universities looking for inspiration for their own home page redesign
These aren't in any specific order, though they generally get less significant as you go down the list. Different people on campus will definitely rank these groups differently in importance. Personally, I don't think that it's important to fight over whether community members are more important that business partners, but I do think that it's important to rank the top 4 or 5 audience groups and state specifically why they are so important to you.

Got any significant audience groups to add? Let me know. But I think I've covered the main bases.


Anonymous said...

On my side, I also have to include International students

Martine Lafleur
HEC Montréal
Director, Electronic Communications

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