The William & Mary Blogs received a Gold in the Social Media category in the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards program. There were six other entries for social media related to student recruitment and marketing. The W&M recipients of the 2011 Gold Award are Tiffany Broadbent, Tina Coleman, Evan Cordulack, Wendy Livingston, Joel Pattison, and Justin Schoonmaker.
This excerpt from the 2011 judges’ report was particularly encouraging for those who offer consistent energy in support of the William & Mary blogging community:
If anyone is looking for the state of the art in institutional blogs, this is it. William & Mary launched its blogs in 2008; in 2010, they switched to WordPress and integrated the blogs into wm.edu. The goal of these blogs is to offer a view of campus life through the eyes of faculty, students and staff (now, a total of 63 bloggers, all volunteers!). The blog posts are supported by comments, categories, search, and theme blogs (Admit It! for admissions, Ideation for the research magazine). The awards entry states: “Our bloggers receive minimal direction. Yet their posts reflect what we hope to highlight — if we had provided a script, it wouldn’t differ from what we read on their blogs.” How about results? Consider: an average of eight posts per week drew about 100,000 unique visitors; during admission season, the blogs are particularly active. We judges appreciated that the blogs are “on message,” yet still authentic (which also says something about William & Mary’s marketing overall). We noted that there was a lot of faculty participation on the blogs and a great deal of interaction via comments. The administrative blogs (like the admissions blogs) were candid and covered topics (process, decisions) that other admission organizations are often afraid to terrified to write or talk about and the student bloggers wrote about many aspects of student life at the college. We really liked the extent to which the blogs and blog content are integrated on William & Mary’s website. And overall, the writing is good to excellent. Good results and good comments support the quality of the effort. Finally, we note that when William & Mary staff set out to do something, they set standards: this is another example of the excellence of their work.
The William & Mary Mascot Search received a 2010 Gold Award in the CASE Social Media category. We are honored to be award winners in both of the first two years of this category of the Circle of Excellence Awards.
– Susan T. Evans