Montana State University
University Communications > Web and Digital Communications > About Web and Digital Communications

About Web and Digital Communications

Web and Digital Communications is the operational unit of University Communications responsible for managing communications and branding of the university's Web site. The unit's mission is to support MSU's strategic objectives by ensuring that the university presents a user-friendly Web site that is attractive, visually consistent, and that effectively reinforces MSU's brand identity and messages across all audiences. This will be accomplished by managing prominent Web site components to ensure consistency with brand design and message standards. The ultimate objective is the transformation of the university's Web presence from an uncoordinated collection of identities and messages into a coordinated package that effectively supports our goals.

Jacob Dolan is the director of Web and Digital Communications and he may be contacted with any questions regarding Web standards, projects or support. His phone number is 994-5036 and his e-mail is jake@montana.edu. Jake also chairs the university's Web Advisory Committee.

The Web and Digital Communications unit is located on the 4th floor of Culbertson Hall. The staff works very closely with MSU Creative Services and the MSU News Service for graphical and editorial support.

Strategies and Actions

Several strategies and actions to support this mission are underway. These include:

  • Work with campus stakeholders to build consensus and support for the shift to brand management of the Web site.
  • Integrate Web priorities with strategies and opportunities of the market positioning, integrated marketing plan, and creative development.
  • Hire qualified programmers for technical services to support brand-driven Web development.
  • Conduct research of Web design practices for branding to guide MSU's Web development and evaluation process.
  • Provide creative design executions of branding and communications standards for use across MSU's Web presence.
  • Coordinate branding standards for the conversion and development of Web site content.
  • Coordinate integration of the branding program with the new MSU portal development.
  • Develop new Web communications features to support MSU's branding and strategic goals.

Web Development Priorities

The redevelopment of the MSU Web site according to the brand architecture is the top priority. The components necessary to accomplish this will include standard Web templates for use throughout the site, a new MSU home page, and new Web pages for content closely associated with the home page. These include target audience pages, the public Web calendar, visitor information and other navigational, informational or organizational pages. In some cases technical approaches will be essential to supporting communications tactics and the unit will develop appropriate technical tools and training to support these.

Once the branded Web site templates are in general use and the new branded home/destination pages are complete, Web and Digital Communications will shift its focus from site conversion to development of content and messaging features. In addition to existing online resources that need to be redeveloped for enhanced presentation, there are a wide range of creative new features that can support communications objectives -- particularly as related to recruitment and public relations. There are virtually an unlimited number of opportunities where creative Web communications can be developed to enhance MSU's Web presence.

Finally, all websites must continually evolve in order to stay competitive and culturally tuned. MSU's website will never be "done." It is a perpetual work-in-progress that will always benefit from effective content management and communications tactics. Web and Digital Communications will meet these needs by continuing to provide forward-thinking communications enhancements of the website.