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Improving Communication for Stetson Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff recommended improvements to the Stetson University Calendar of Events and suggested more use of digital screens across campus to share news and events, according to a 2018 internal communications survey.

Those were just some of the suggestions provided by faculty and staff in the survey, which was conducted by University Marketing in February and March 2018. In all, 22 suggestions focused on making Stetson’s events calendar more user-friendly.

Afterward, the University Marketing Office moved ahead with researching and selecting a new calendar system, based on those comments, anecdotal comments from various departments and feedback from the external community.

The new Stetson calendar launched for the DeLand campus in August, before the start of the Fall 2019 semester.  The new calendar streamlines the process of entering events. It allows for the use of photos with event listings, as well as fliers and pamphlets (as a PDF). It includes a built-in directional map to events and allows individuals to schedule reminders about upcoming events via email or text.

Janie Graziani

“We really listened to what people were telling us they wanted through the survey and it was just the right push for us to move forward with a new calendar system for both internal and external audiences,” said Janie Graziani, assistant vice president for Marketing Communications.

This is the second of three stories that will recap some of the key initiatives launched since the first survey. These stories will lead up to a second Internal Communications Survey, which will arrive in October 2019 by email to faculty and staff in DeLand and Celebration.  

A best practice in internal communications is to share outcomes from the first survey before conducting the follow-up survey to gauge progress. Since the first survey, the University Marketing staff also: 

  • Continued the use of digital signs across campus to reach a larger audience of faculty, staff and students.
  • Increased the number of daily announcements by 20 percent year over year during the 2018-2019 academic year, based on high readership and the preferences of faculty and staff.
  • Presented the survey results to the Board of Trustees, President’s Cabinet, All Staff Meeting, Human Resources, Campus Life and Student Success, and other departments that requested it. 
  • Presented findings to the Staff Advisory Council, which launched a new staff training and development series for 2019.
  • Led training sessions with several departments to help them craft and implement their own communication plans, increasing internal communications effectiveness across the campus community. (See article on initiatives by Human Resources.)

“It has been exciting to see many departments embrace the information presented in the survey results and then use all the tools available to enhance their community outreach. There are so many impressive, caring people who work here,” Graziani said.

For questions or comments about the internal communications surveys, please contact Stetson director of Internal Communications, Cory Lancaster, at clancaster@stetson.edu or 386.822.7215.

Coming Next Week: Campus Life and Student Success outlines key initiatives since the 2018 survey