August 1, 2018

Hot off the presses: Newsroom gets an update

Keeping up with what’s going on around campus should be a more enjoyable experience thanks to a revamped Newsroom. The Newsroom is now the source for all Wayne State news for students, employees and the community.

Wayne State’s public relations and web communications teams began working on overhauling the site in February by taking an inventory of its content, looking at its analytics, and benchmarking news sites at other universities.

“The newsroom is now a better visual representation of our extensive content without being overwhelming,” said Matt Lockwood, director of communications. “As a result, it’s our hope that people will engage with the content more.”

The layout breaks out news by categories allowing more content to be pulled forward to be highlighted, and allows for people to filter the news by their areas of interest. The number of news categories have been streamlined from more than a couple hundred topics to less than 50. This makes content easier to find, and gives it a longer shelf life.

“Readers may also notice the type font size is larger, there’s more spacing between lines and the positioning of articles on the page lends itself to a better reading experience on both small and larger screens,” said Nick DeNardis, director of web communications.

Articles can now also have large “hero” images and the new site allows the PR team to better incorporate photos, video, audio and use pull quotes to break up story text.

“We believe this more multimedia rich reading experience makes the content more digestible,” said Lockwood.

In addition to all of the latest news, the Newsroom also shares the latest media coverage about Wayne State, the opportunity for individual students, faculty and staff through Warrior Strong profiles to be highlighted, and it adds a place for people to submit story ideas for the PR team to pursue.  

The For the media area allows reporters to download university logos, photos, and video, and to connect with university experts through a monthly tip sheet and other timely topics, such as the midterm election in November.

From a technical perspective, the Newsroom is simpler to manage on the backend. One article can appear in several places by using tags. This makes sharing content more efficient for the PR team and allows for better cross promotion of content.

The web team is now developing a plan to get schools and colleges on the same web platform so they can present articles in a visually similar fashion as the Newsroom, and allow them to tag their content so that it is automatically pulled into the Newsroom.