In today’s climate of “fake news” and public confrontation, it’s more important than ever for us to define WU’s main communication goals and how we plan to reach our target groups. WU’s communications activities focus mainly on knowledge transfer between the university and the public, WU’s national and international position, its program portfolio, and public relations. We evaluate and optimize our communications activities on a regular basis and develop them further – just like we did in 2016.
Modern Design for WU
The aesthetic design of its own communication channels is a key element in any organization’s communications strategy. We redesigned and modernized WU’s corporate design in 2016: Print publications and online channels were overhauled to reflect developments in design and to increase efficiency, uniformity, and sustainability.
We worked on our new, user-friendly website for over a year. The new website is state-of-the-art, accessible to people with disabilities, and represents the modern image of WU and its campus. The WU website was technically, structurally, and aesthetically renewed and went online in its new look on February 16.
WU’s print publications (brochures, posters, internal documents, etc.) now also appear in a fresh, new design. The main goal was to present a more modern look while still maintaining WU’s established image. Brochures and other publications have been redesigned to improve efficiency and sustainability, for example by making better use of page space.
Communicating with Different Groups
WU communicates with a number of different target groups – current and potential students, faculty and staff, sponsors, journalists, and the general public. We use a wide variety of different messages, adapted to individual channels, to reach different groups. We evaluate the content and efficacy of our communications regularly, and as a result, we made the following changes in 2016:
- Increased research communication: The Researcher of the Month project is a way to present interesting and important research findings to the general public in a way that laypersons are more likely to understand. Videos and blog posts are intended to create interest and enthusiasm for our researchers’ work, even beyond the scientific community.
- WU’s social media channels are aimed mainly at current and potential students. A team made up of staff members from a number of different areas at WU answers questions about things like the campus, admissions, or potential cooperations on Facebook. In 2016, the team responded to a total of 2,348 requests for information over social media. We also strengthened our communication with users on the photo sharing platform Instagram: Pictures posted by WU’s social media team, but also directly by members of the community, serve as a platform to discuss WU news or just comment on the beauty of the campus. This supports WU’s modern image, both in Austria and beyond.
- The new discussion series WU matters. WU talks. is intended to allow WU to enter into a dialog with the public on important social, economic, or political topics. This happens both at the events themselves, but also on other communication channels.
This Annual Report is a further new development from 2016. The new format is intended to help us reach a wider audience and keep the public up to date on our activities and research findings