Digital Content Guidelines
The Communications and Marketing Office is eager to work with faculty, staff, and students to help promote key programs and events at Skidmore and to tell the Skidmore story for the College’s audiences. The Skidmore homepage is evolving to become less an internal news and event promotion vehicle and more a public-facing, features-oriented venue for strategic communications in response to the strategic plan and board directives to raise Skidmore's public profile. Skidmore’s News and Events page, now featured on the homepage, will be the primary venue for reports, announcements, invitations, and news.
To help guide this transition, we’ve drawn up these guidelines for digital content.
Communications and Marketing
PRIORITIES AND STRATEGIES
- Our key audiences:
- The off-campus public, especially prospective students, parents, and alumni
- Academic, national, and international news media of all types
- Saratoga and Capital Region community
- Goals (prioritized in this order):
- To attract prospective students and families and encourage them into the admissions process
- To inspire and motivate alumni, parents, and others to support the College
- To attract media attention to newsworthy stories
- To create a strong impression of excellence and to make information easy to find for anyone wishing to learn more about Skidmore
- Primary avenues:
- News and Events page
- Skidmore social media, web pages, blogs, etc.
- Content will be of interest to one of the primary audiences listed above
- Text will be original and well written
- Content will serve at least one of the goals listed above
- Content will include compelling, high-res image(s), preferably from the College’s photography database and will meet the photo policy guidelines
- Video, audio, or other digital assets will be professionally produced (or approved by our office), high-quality, pertinent, and appropriate
- Content will be intrinsically linked with social media and reflect the social-media strategy
NEWS and EVENTS
- Skidmore’s News and Events page is for announcements, invitations, promotional stories, and other content that publicizes an event or program
- News and Events is also appropriate for coverage of events and programs past, news relating to internal College operations, and other reports
- We welcome story ideas from across campus. Priority will be given to submissions that meet the guidelines above. Please use this form to submit a news and event item.
- The homepage (skidmore.edu) will feature a selection of strong, compelling stories that accomplish the goals and priorities above
- We will select a maximum of four stories to appear at any given time
- Images will be visually compelling and reinforce Skidmore’s identity as a creative institution — images will be selected or approved based on their composition and quality and photo policy criteria
- We welcome story ideas from across campus. Priority will be given to submissions that meet the goals listed above. Please use this form to submit a homepage idea.
- Please use Skidmore’s guide to capitalization, punctuation, Skidmore names and titles, and other issues of writing style
- The largest or main image for a story is typically selected and optimized by our office, but if you have an image you prefer, please submit it with your request and we will try to make it work (note: the image must meet our photo policy guidelines). Also feel free to search the Skidmore Photo Library for approved images (note: the photo library is not accessible from off campus).
- Text should be under 300-400 words and should partner with strong, rich visual communication. If your submission is longer than 400 words, Communications and Marketing staff will edit it down and/or suggest alternatives.
- Use keywords: identify two or three words that reflect the gist of your story, then work them into your text as often as is relevant; also, our office's review of content.
- Embed hotlinks/URLs (or provide them in a note with your main text) to media sites, downloads, videos, or graphics that you reference in your story and that would be interesting to Skidmore’s readers; Communications and Marketing can help determine the best links to use
- Use tags and titles, and expect that Communications and Marketing may adjust them to help drive optimal engagement
HOW TO SUBMIT CONTENT
- Please use this form to submit.
- Feel free to submit your content or ideas for:
- Feature stories
- Checklists or top-10s
- Faculty experts and profiles
- Event recaps
- Live blogging
- People overviews (e.g., “40 under 40 who…”)
- Photo galleries
- User-generated content
- Our priority categories for content include:
- Research and faculty-student experiences
- Financial aid
- Global and/or intercultural citizenship
- Outcomes, internships, jobs
- Student life and student voices and perspectives
- To ensure prompt and appropriate coverage of your content, please fill out the entire story request form
- Note that all submitted content will be edited/optimized by Communications and Marketing.
- Once your request (or a story that features you/your department/project/etc.) has been assigned or slated for publication, we’ll notify you by email.