Scott Fiddelke is Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing in the Office of Admissions at the University of Iowa, where, among other things, he manages the web and social media presence for the department. Prior to coming to Iowa, he worked as web manager and social media manager at the University of Arizona. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, Scott likes making balloon animals and is a Mentos aficionado.
CMS Beyond the Web: How we use our CMS to save time and money to feed our print cycle.
As an admissions office, we create a lot of materials for prospective students that are delivered in a number of different mediums (print, web, email). We found that we were recreating the same content over and over based on the medium it was being created for. Each medium had its own cycle, timeline, and review process. Factor in printing and quantity estimates (that were rarely correct), and we were spending a lot of unnecessary time and money repeating the same processes with a lot of waste.
Enter our new content management system (Drupal). It was time for a new website, so we took that opportunity to try and kill two (or three) birds with one stone and make our content management system handle both our web content and our print content. We create a separate print piece for each of our 200+ areas of study as well as a webpage for each of those same areas. Now, with Drupal, we’re pulling everything from the CMS and printing pieces on-demand as needed. That provides our campus visitors with the most up to date content in print as well as saving us time in the print cycle and money in print costs. This process has expanded to a few other areas as well. We are now creating an eBook that our admission counselors can use at fairs and high school visits, and we are considering creating a digital kiosk where campus visitors can select the pieces they want and have them printed directly from the kiosk.
The point of the CMS is to bring everything together (the old adage, “Content is King” is definitely true) and make it more portable. Now that we have everything in the CMS, we are exploring other areas where we might be able to use this content more efficiently, and save some money in the process.