Posted on Friday, April 12, 2019 by Raquel Russell
Written by Raquel A. Russell
University of Toronto Scarborough Library
It’s the end of the semester, so you may hear the collective sigh of relief taken by higher-ed communicators across the land.
You also may hear my slightly louder sigh of relief. I am now three months from my one-year anniversary as a communications assistant at the University of Toronto Scarborough Library.
Nine months FLEW by.
As our December blog writer Megan Weales wrote, this is my first full-time “adult” job where I get to assist in the creation and implementation of strategy and content.
Before taking this job, I worked in a role dedicated to article writing, photography and videography with a team of eight. After I transitioned to the multi-faceted (aka what-hat-do-I-wear-today) role of communications assistant, I learned five important lessons about the work we do and have made use of several tools that will carry me into my next season as a communications professional.
Throughout my involvement with three working groups and four event-planning teams, I’ve learned that no communicator has to be an island.
Two ways that I’ve actively implemented that “spirit of collaboration” is by
During my first year, I played it safe with most tasks. I created tried-and-true content while getting comfortable with our department, resources and brand identity. As the semester started to wrap up, I decided to branch out by creating a video for National Password Day featuring a librarian that recently taught students about online privacy. That small risk earned us some of our most viewed content on Facebook!
I moved from a role where my primary job was to create news content, including written stories, photos and videos — but wearing the hat of social media content creator was a bit daunting.
Why? As communications professionals, we know that content creation can take a lot out of you mentally.
These three lessons about tools helped me get through my first year as a content-creating communications assistant:
As a team of one, part of my job is creating sets of digital and physical signage for events and workshops every month during the fall and winter semesters. With that comes some time-consuming tasks, such as resizing or redesigning graphics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram stories and feeds, campus TV screens and more.
For me, Canva (a drag-and-drop format, graphic-design tool website) was a quick and painless solution for some of my learning curves on classic design tools such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
I also use Canva to:
Discover what works for you, get comfortable with it and start creating!
After starting my new role, I spent the expected amount of time familiarizing myself with our channels, content and the tools already at our disposal.
I neglected to remember that Content is Queen.
All social media managing tools have their pros and cons. Choose the one the fits your immediate needs. You can even test a free version for a while (both Buffer and Hootsuite offer those opportunities) before making a final decision. Plug in your key national social media dates and holidays and get back to strategically creating your content.
Looking for quick (and free) social media monitoring/listening tools?
We know that 80 per cent of the content consumed online is through video. Whether you’re a team of five or, like myself, a team of one, don’t let video content creation scare you.
Check out PSEWEB’s very own Sarah Khan for excellent tips on how to DIY videos like a pro using software like Adobe Premiere Pro and iMovie.
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