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Monday, October 2 • 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Don't Go It Alone: Dedicated Communications Expert Is Critical To A Successful IT Shop

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A healthy relationship between an IT shop and the campus it serves is like any other, dependent upon effective, frequent and open communication. With it, you’re a partner in critical conversations at the highest levels, establishing credibility, shaping decisions and demonstrating value when resources are dwindling. Without it, you risk becoming an anonymous utility, just one of many bills to be paid. At West Virginia University, communication isn’t outsourced to the campus PR shop or delegated to a technical expert as one of 15 duties. It’s the primary responsibility of a member of the Information Technology Services senior leadership team, a proactive, practical, professional brand ambassador who helps improve visibility and rapport. In three years, ITS has developed: formal communication strategies for both planned and unplanned outages, including a DDos attack; an outage listserv for IT staff and campus VIPs; an emergency text messaging service with 200+ subscribers; a working partnership with University Relations; comprehensive strategic communication plans for campus on enterprise IT projects; regular IT updates to the campus; an extensive glossary of acronyms to ensure a common language; strong social media engagement; and compelling infographic messaging. But strong external communication requires internal communication, and at WVU, that meant culture change. Learn how a non-traditional team (a journalist, a graphic designer and a web developer) acquired IT expertise organically, and how they helped shape a workplace where frequent, fearless questioning is valued, and where outreach is engaging, personal and producing tangible results.

Session Chair
avatar for Becky Cowin

Becky Cowin

Washington University in St Louis

avatar for Vicki Smith

Vicki Smith

Executive Director, Customer & Communication Services, West Virginia University
Ask me anything! My session focuses on the value, importance and challenges of communicating effectively, and the culture change that requires for some IT organizations. It's hard work, but so worth it! I am looking to learn from others about creating an incident management process... Read More →

Monday October 2, 2017 1:15pm - 2:15pm PDT
Emerald 3 1415 5th Ave, Seattle WA 98101