At any university, the fall back-to-school season can be one of the busiest and important times of the school year. This is no exception for a technology department like Information Services. With both students and faculty returning to campus after a long summer break, and thousands of new students moving in to the campus residence halls, tech help needs to be well-communciated to ensure customers get up and running quickly so they can concentrate on academics, housing and preparation for classes. This is also many new customers' first impression of the university, so any friction can make or break the experience.
This year, IS held one of its largest and most successful kickoffs to date. With resources distributed well in advance of fall, we helped prepare students and faculty for technology at Kent State. We also provided a variety of dedicated tech help options beginning the week before classes. I decided to name these events "Make the Connection" (for students) and "Technology Tune-Up" (for Faculty). The fall semester also saw the debut of our new "Tech Help" branding (developed in collaboration with University Communications and Marketing) and colors.
We promoted and advertised Back-to-School tech help using a variety of media:
- Daily Kent Stater (newspaper - see below) and eInside (faculty/staff newsletter)
- Flyers in the residence halls (see below)
- Printed rack cards distributed to faculty (see below)
- Tech Help, Tech Spot and Tech at Night t-shirts worn by all staff members (see below)
- Tech Help tables with customized signs (see below)
- Web site that listed all dates and times when students and faculty could receive Tech Help - promoted on the home page of kent.edu
- Participation at various events on campus, including Back-to-School Blastoff and orientations