It’s new … but it’s all good.

Today, I’m finishing up my second week in my new job at mStoner and…I love it! To celebrate, I posted my first entry on the mStoner blog. I’ll likely cross post here on a regular basis. (I’m hoping to have a chance to write a post about starting a new job over the weekend. It’s going to be raining here, so why not?)

I will be a regular contributor to the mStoner blog. My first post there is cross-posted here.

Four years ago, I led a major web redesign project at William & Mary. I remember that I couldn’t wait to begin – I had executive support, a budget, and three incredible firms coming to campus to present proposals. Let’s get going, right?

Hold on. I also vividly remember that getting started with the William & Mary relaunch required project planning and superhuman commitment to a myriad of details. Things can get particularly consuming during the RFP phase. How in the world would we relaunch the university web presence with no extra staff? What if we picked the wrong partner? What if everyone hated the new CMS?

I’ve been thinking about that time a lot in recent days. Earlier this week, along with Doug, I visited a college that is looking for an external partner for their web redesign. As we prepared for our presentation, I was able to rely on my own years of experience leading a web redesign on a college campus. Seriously, I know exactly how this RFP committee feels.

The day before the “pitch,” Doug and I were talking about how overwhelming starting a web redesign can appear. Especially since the typical web and communications teams on a campus are taking on the project work in addition to their day jobs. The decision about engaging the right partner is key. Faced with the same decision back in 2007, I recall a renewed sense of enthusiasm once Voltaire started to explain the mStoner process for web redesigns. It was comprehensive, simple, and made sense. I also remember being impressed that the mStoner team had worked with many, many other colleges and universities. It mattered to me that the four phases of the project – strategy, creative, technology, and training – led to successful websites plenty of other times.

Back to the present. During our trip from the airport, Doug described what we were about to present to the RFP committee as a way to take away the mystique. He said the presentation allows us to “lift up the corner of the carpet and say, ‘See, there’s just dust under there. We’re just going to be sweeping up the dust.’”

It was fun to be the one to talk about the web redesign process with those who attended our presentation. As I described each phase, I explained the activities and results that would occur. As I looked out at the audience, I could see the head-nodding begin. Let’s get started on your project!

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Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

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