When a massive redesign began on the University of Hartford website in 2018, administrators turned a critical eye to their existing calendar systems.
“We’re a very decentralized university, and a lot of our schools were using their own systems for scheduling,” says Leonard Bretton, Hartt Facilities Manager and 25Live Administrator. “Some used HTML pages to show events; some made their own Outlook calendars. At the time, we only had about three offices using 25Live and only five calendars from those offices. We really had to start thinking creatively about how we were going to bring everything together.”
Over the course of 15 months, Bretton worked with Craig Campbell, Director of University Web Communication, to overhaul the university website and online calendar. While Campbell and the Office of Marketing and Communication created a new, modern design for the site, Bretton brought 19 university offices and organizations into 25Live and used the Publisher tool to create readable and accessible online calendars.
“We needed a forward-facing calendar that was readable, accessible, and that wouldn’t duplicate events,” says Bretton. “Publisher gave us the tools to do that.”
When the new website launched, administrators submitted it to the 35th annual Educational Advertising Awards. The EduAd Awards is the largest, oldest, and most respected educational advertising awards competition in the country. Sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report, the 35th Annual EduAd Awards received over 2,350 entries from over one-thousand colleges, universities and secondary schools from all fifty states and several foreign countries.
Judges for the Educational Advertising Awards consist of a national panel of higher education marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing and advertising professionals and the editorial board of Higher Education Marketing Report. Judges award Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Merit designations to those entrants whose programs and materials display exceptional quality, creativity and message effectiveness.
The University of Hartford site was recognized in five categories, including a silver award for its online calendar.
“Getting this award and seeing what other schools did who placed even higher really let us feel validated that we’re going in the right direction,” says Campbell. “Is it perfect yet? No. But the backbone has been setup. We’re at a point where we’re able to make better decisions, and we know we have the tools to continue improving.”