WRAC COMMS

CLIENT: Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures

WRAC contracted The Cube to manage all communication campaigns starting in the spring of 2022. WRAC Chairperson Danielle DeVoss and Cube Director Kate Birdsall selected Mitch Carr to lead this small, three-person team through web development and social media practices with the hopes to promote WRAC, its faculty and students, and the work in which our community engages. One of the overall goals of highlighting this work was to encourage more undergraduate enrollment to the programs (P2W and XA).

Shaping society throught scholarship and action flyer

PROJECT:

The communications team’s deliverables were composed of three main items: Social media (strategy, campaigns, and execution), web content in the form of articles on the WRAC website and other website maintenance tasks, and standard operating procedures (SOP) for future WRAC Communications positions. The SOPs included information on how to successfully achieve accessible social media campaigns, article writing processes, and a training module for WRAC’s student-led podcast, Chat with WRAC.

OBJECTIVE:

This team worked to share the research, work, and milestones for WRAC students (undergrad and grad) and faculty. The short term goals of this team were to encourage sustainability for future WRACComms teams. This meant authoring training materials for future employees. The long term goal of this team is to encourage incoming and FYW students to enroll in the two undergraduate majors, P2W and XA.

PEOPLE:

Mitch: Communication Consultant and Strategist 

Kara: Web Content Developer 

Justice: Chat w/WRAC Podcast Host and Social Media Manager

WRAC structure graphic. The WRAC administration team is at the head of the organization. Dr. Kate Birdsall is the director of The CUbe which is within the house of WRAC. Within the cube, there are WRAC publications, large special projects, small projects, and internal cube management. The WRAC publications include faculty mentors and editors, graduate assistants, and work is completed for the agnes films, constellations, JOGLTEP, and the Current by undergraduate interns. Large special projects have a graduate assistant, a lead UX and lead research intern, and undergrad interns working. Small projects have a grad student and undergrad interns. The internal cube management has a graduate assistant and undergrad interns.

RESEARCH:

This team did much of the sustainable research and work regarding accessibility in the publishing processes. Other research this team (and future teams) will need to conduct relate directly to the academic calendar. Communication campaigns need to be timely related to WRAC’s current events and how the department is working on projects in relation to these events.

WORK:

Team meetings – These should be with the entire team (including all affiliated WRAC social media platforms: WRAC, The Current, The Cube, Sherlokian, JOGLTEP, The Writing Center, WRAP, Red Cedar Review, REO Town Reading). This meeting is dedicated to checking in, strategizing campaigns, updating the tracking sheets, and assigning calls to action. Invite Danielle and other WRAC admin leaders 2x/semester: first to outline specific and tangible goals, and second to review semesterly reports  

Weekly round up emails – These email updates should be clear and concise to the entire time to update from the meeting, remind each team member about the assigned call-to-actions, and refresh everyone on the campaigns coming.

REFLECTION:

Coming onto this team in the middle of the academic year was a big challenge for Mitch. The communication team (Justice and Kara) was already formed, so not only was he in charge of strategizing successful campaigns to promote WRAC, he also had to learn about transition management. 

The team was previously used to a different workflow and environment in the Fall Semester, then when The Cube took over, Mitch had to transition this workflow into what he was used to working with. He wanted to put a lot of accountability on the team and their own initiative. There was no reason to meet frequently throughout the week or to spend unnecessary time on zoom. So, there was one weekly meeting set for this team that typically lasted 45 minutes to check in with each other and assign calls to action. However, this meeting happened on Fridays, so it became apparent that team members would need a refresher on Mondays to complete their weekly tasks. Mitch’s workflow became front heavy during the week to send out team messages to keep everyone on track.

Chat with WRAC graphic
PhD student, Sharieka Botex, honored with the award of community engagement

It became clear throughout the semester that these students were interested in learning more about communication best practices, so the team’s Friday meetings also turned into workshops to improve accessibility, SEO, and other important procedures for communication practices.

Unfortunately, due to the short timeline this team had together, it became difficult to stay consistent with some of these procedures. However, through the authored SOPs, future communication team members should be able to successfully implement these practices into their publishing campaigns.

FUTURES:

The future of the WRAC Communications project is to produce more content, using the SOPs that this year’s team put into place. The main goals are to produce more content and improve analytics on social media, both of which can be achieved by building on what this year’s team set in place. Using apps and technologies to improve content and engagement is something to consider for similar projects or in future WRAC Comms projects.