Lately, I’ve been heading up the marketing effort for our IT department, at least you could call it that. In a time when we are severely lacking manpower our task lists are, of course, at an all time high. So, in an effort to reach as many people as possible with information about the services we provide and the process in which to attain those services, I’ve been enlisted to do a video newsletter. The newsletter has contained information about how to submit and check the status of help desk requests, how to utilize your network storage and Internet bandwidth use and abuse to name just the first three. Future issues will delve into desktop software issues, network account creation and much more.
You may think that this is a fairly frivolous undertaking until you look at the numbers. I’m reaching more people, with less effort than at any time in my 3+ years at BOCES or my 10+ years teaching people anything, anywhere. The newsletters are about 5 minutes long (on average) and take me anywhere from 5 to 10 hours to produce. The newsletter is published to a Moodle course page where guest access is allowed and a link is then sent to our entire staff. This means I can see the stats for how many times the newsletters were viewed. As I write this, the three newsletters published to date have a total of 561 views. If I averaged 7 hours per newsletter then I’ve invested 21 hours into these informative videos.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been able to teach 561 people anything in 7 hours and I’m not sure that anyone could in any other way. This is an incredible resource for us, in my humble opinion. I think it’s doing a hell of a lot of good for our reputation also. It shows that we’re concerned with the ability of our customers (the staff, faculty and students) to have a better experience with technology and that there is an entire team of people dedicated to supporting it for them.
And I’m not done yet.
I’ve already added an iTunes specific feed and product (.m4v files) as another variation on the newsletter. Adding a small amount of time to processing, but providing the content to (potentially) more customers to consume at their leisure. Soon, there will be yet another product. A version suitable for Windows compatible PMP‘s. This will most likely be an AVI or MPG version that will be formatted for a smallish screen. This is in the hopes that we will have a Windows Media server on-line soon so that we can distribute this content over the network to anyone that would have it, on any device that can support it.