The remit of the Marketing, Communications & Alumni Office (MCAO) has evolved considerably during the past two years and several new projects have been undertaken to reflect current market trends and challenges in a bid to project a modern image of the University of Malta in an ever-growing era of digital marketing.
The most notable project has been the rebranding exercise of the University of Malta (UM), particularly the rebranding of the website and the introduction of digital marketing strategies, including video marketing and graphic adverts.
Consequently, the Marketing, Communications & Alumni Relations Office has been working with the Office for Human Resources Management & Development to deliver training courses intended to increase awareness and knowledge of UM staf members and assist them in using the available resources and marketing tools. To date two training courses were identified.
The first course, entitled The UM Website Rebranded, designed as a familiarisation workshop in response to the newly redesigned website, was delivered by Ms Angela M Xuereb. The workshop, aimed at assisting UM staff to become familiar with the new design, provided an insight into the philosophy and strategy behind the need for change with regard to the UM website. Furthermore, the trainer covered new staff and student tools, menus and features available on the revamped UM website.
The second course, Marketing Academic Programmes on Social Media Platforms, was designed to introduce members of staff to concepts of digital marketing and how they can use digital marketing tools efficiently. The trainers focused on Facebook, as it is the most widely used social media platform at UM and also in Malta. This course attracted a wide variety of members of staff, including administrators within Faculties and Administration, research support officers and academics. Fifteen participants enrolled for this module.
The course consisting of three two-hour sessions, which were held in May, commenced with an introductory speech by Mr Pierre Cassar, Director, Marketing, Communications & Alumni Office, on behalf of Professor Godfrey Baldacchino, Pro-Rector for International Development & Quality Assurance.
Four UM members of staff provided their extensive expertise in this field to deliver this training course. Dr Emanuel Said, Head of Department of Marketing at the Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy delivered the first session and provided his academic expertise and key principles in the field of digital marketing and linked the theoretical background to the University and academic programmes.
Ms Cynthia Genovese, the secretary of the Web Editorial Board, delivered a practical session on the process of creating a Facebook page which fits within the branding standards of UM. Mr James Moffett, the filming and editing specialist at the MCAO, gave a brief overview of the video marketing services offered to UM staff and concisely presented the dos and don’ts of video marketing and dealt with what constitutes an effective video for marketing purposes.
Mr Mario L Cassar, Deputy Director of the MCAO, focused on effective promotion of programmes of study and academic events on Facebook. He gave a brief theoretical background on why Facebook is a success story and how interactivity has changed the rules in the digital marketing arena. He also provided participants with good practices and bad practices on Facebook.
These training courses consisted of theoretical, practical and interactive sessions to encourage participation and discussion. The participants were provided with course material for each session, and feedback on the impact of these modules was elicited from the participants.