Tactical Action Planning
Using this Division of Student Life Strategic Communication Plan as a guide, it is vital that each unit in the division work to develop their own tactical action plan for the year. In this work, Tom Barnard is available for consultation. As you do this, keep in mind who your target audiences are, both primary and secondary (which are fluid). These may include:
Division Staff – These include both fulltime and parttime staff working in the division as well as graduate assistants and HESA students. Regular communication with staff includes the biweekly Spotlight email as well as other tools to communicate division priorities and promotion of division-wide events.
Current Students – This audience represents the primary audience for Baylor Student Life as we seek to get all students meaningfully engaged outside of the classroom as well as provide them with access to resources available to them through SL.
Prospective Students/Parents – Several departments within Student Life view prospective students as their primary audience. These include New Student Programs and Campus Living and Learning. Outside of these departments, prospective students and parents are an often overlooked constituency despite statistically making up more than half of the visitors to all university web sites. Best practices for all Student Life website work should include always keeping this audience in mind as a key constituency.
Donors – Another target audience that is often overlooked by Student Affairs staff, donors represent immense opportunities for growth of programs in our division. As we work to establish strategies for donor relations at the division level, communications directed to them will be a part of this strategy.
Parents of Current Students – We presently don’t have a strategy for communicating directly with parents of current students, but Student Life maintains robust partnership with Baylor’s Office of Parent Relations.
Alumni – Similar to working with parents, Student Life works through the Office of Alumni Relations at Baylor in communication to alumni.
Included below are some regular to-do items or actions that need to happen each semester (or month or year), identifying personnel responsible and other accountability or reporting factors.
- Plan out social media posts
- Submit What’s New BU content
- Look at social media metrics and data (report at each SL Comms Collaborative meeting)
- Submit content for Spotlight
- Review digital signage content (if any) to keep fresh/relevant
At the beginning of each semester:
- Make sure your public-facing events calendars and website information are accurate and up to date (semester)
- See best practices for social media (change social media password and securely store, re-evaluate who has access to those accounts)
- Archive communication pieces
- Enter known events in the Student_Life_Events Outlook calendar (Student_life_events@baylor.edu)
- Create a timetable for promotion of events and resources for the semester
- Compile engagement data for annual report (Submit to director or dean)
- Thorough review of department websites for accuracy and updates
- Review / Update Print materials/resources for your department
Accessing useful software and other platforms (if needed then buy)
- Adobe Suite access. There is a campuswide license for all products in the Adobe Suite.
- Qualtrics – Free also
- Canva Pro license. There is no broad license for Canva currently. If you wish to use Canva Pro, purchase an individual license from your departmental budget.
There is a minimal need for shared equipment as each department has resources to acquire and maintain its own. Bottom floor of Moody Library has an equipment loan (e.g., still photography cameras, video cameras, microphones, small professionally lit studio spaces).
Assessment and Evaluation
As you develop your tactical action plan, you will want to identify key metrics to assess your goals and to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. Your plan may include challenge goals (i.e., Grow Instagram followership by 10 percent by end of academic year) that you can objectively measure. You can also look at analytics that may help you measure student engagement with your account or posts, ideally trying to determine which specific tactics you employed are most effective. As much as possible try to quantify your successes so you can tell a fuller story of your work and your contribution toward fulfilling your purpose and the University’s mission.