EUPRIO’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018
THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION.
A CHALLENGE FOR COMMUNICATIONS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
JUNE 03-06, 2018
As recent technological developments are poised to impact teaching, learning and research in higher education, Communications Departments are facing critical challenges. What are these critical challenges and how can we strategise solutions?
EUPRIO’s annual conference 2018 held in Sevilla (Spain) on 3-6 June focused on these challenges and how to develop a culture that can thrive in a digital world.
The digital revolution that is changing our world is about more than digital products and services; it’s also about the processes that create, enable, manage, and deliver them. It’s about working in a new culture which requires real institutional transformation.
Today’s digital tools have empowered our stakeholders, as never before, to search, to compare, and above all, to demand that information be delivered in a form that reinforces the usability and time value of that information. Communications departments play a key role in this transformation because they are responsible for building relationships with the different publics of HE institutions and driving cultural change. Their contribution is not only to develop a strategy for digital transformation but to help sharpen understanding of the sector, the university, its competitors, and its stakeholders.
Issues such as big data, business intelligence or customer experience require the Communications Department and the IT Department to create a common ground for effective relationship management and engagement with the key stakeholders of universities. A willingness to listen to faculty, staff or students who are online discussing a vast range of topics is essential in formulating such a strategy. Subjects ranging from problems with wi-fi, to course registration, to the cost of coffee on campus will form part of the daily digital conversation and should be part of an internal communications portfolio that encompasses the full range of platforms from social networks to blogs.
In this environment it can nevertheless be difficult to deliver messages to students, particularly as there is a growing reluctance to use email. Fortunately, students have smartphones…the time has surely come to better integrate mobile communications into strategic thinking. And let’s not forget the ever increasing importance of digital libraries and online courses.
This comprehensive approach has been broken down into four main themes:
- The electronic internal communications portfolio
- New opportunities in the relationship between the Communications Department and the IT Department
- A “Mobile first” approach
- Digital evolution in HE outputs such as University digital libraries and virtual campuses