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Emily MayockEmily Mayock, Assistant Vice President, Online & Internal Communications at Case Western Reserve University, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2019 Higher Ed Content Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Emily shares with us thoughts on content creation process and measurement, interesting higher ed content and a favorite tool.

1) What does your content creation process look like?

No matter what the piece of content is, its creation is almost always a collaboration in some way—whether we start with a brainstorming meeting, shoot a quick email or Gchat to another person for their take on an idea, get help with a great lede, or even write solo but come together to transform the words into a website, print piece or social media campaign.

I’m lucky to work with a fantastic team of creative people to make content in nearly all media. But probably my favorite things to work on are websites—where my team and I can see our ideas evolve from a black-and-white Google doc into an interactive, exciting platform that can inspire and educate people.

Honestly, content creation works well, because our team works well—the only thing I’d change is the ability to have more time to plan ahead!

2) How is the performance of your content measured at your school?

We use a variety of quantitative measurements, especially for online content—Google Analytics and Crazy Egg, for example, as well as Siteimprove for insight into content quality, SEO and accessibility.

Web content is constantly changing, so having something to continually monitor our status and show us how we’re doing is critical. We also care about qualitative measurements, including user testing and surveys. It’s important to us to consider feedback we receive to see how—or if—we need to adjust. For example, we’ve done website redesigns in which our user testing showed new layouts worked, but then our “client” would get confused calls from users. So we have to listen to that feedback and assess it: Is it a major issue for many users, or a small problem for a few? It’s important to not take people’s gut reactions too seriously and immediately revert just because a few users didn’t react the way you expected. In general, the people who are vocal in their disapproval are the ones who will be displeased with any change.

3) Share 3 pieces of higher ed content that made you envious or proud

Oh, the Valentine’s Day dog date post from UConn! Every school should have more videos of cute dogs!

I also loved when Boston University embraced the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing video and got the backstory—telling their own story about the national headline.

And there are too many examples to name, but I appreciate how higher ed folks have really embraced having social personalities recently, whether it’s semi-snarky or heartfelt. It can be hard to do this within the voice and tone of an institution, but when it’s done right, it feels authentic for both the university and the individuals who manage the pages. Plus, it’s a gentle reminder to the complainers that there are real humans behind the accounts (ones who have literally zero control over whether or not your university closes for bad weather).

4) What’s your favorite new tool for your work with content?

We’ve been using Siteimprove for a while, but in the past year, they’ve launched an SEO tool that has been incredibly helpful not only to my direct team but also to the content creators across the university. Working in a decentralized environment, it’s almost impossible to keep track of where everything stands and how we’re doing—and it’s incredibly difficult to give SEO the time it deserves, especially across hundreds of sites. But Siteimprove allows people across our university to get regular reports about how they’re doing and how they can improve, putting the power into their hands and taking a little pressure off my shoulders.

A conference focusing on higher ed content?

The Higher Ed Content Conference is a must-attend event for higher ed content professionals and teams looking for new ideas and best practices.

Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Content Conference say about the experience.

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