Increasingly, web professionals in higher ed are debating their titles. What does it mean to be in ‘Web Communication’? Is it more professional suicide or clout to have ‘Social Media’ in your title? Could it be more beneficial to be in a different department?
As a Director of Web Communication, I used to be of the mind that ‘Social Media’ or ‘Analytics’ in my title might have served me better. The more I think about it and encounter those in the field who have these titles or others, their lust leans toward ‘Web Comm’. The grass is always greener, eh?
So, what is ‘Web Communication’? I break it down into the three following areas:
Social Media - That which we use to create an engaged community of users I term social media. Blogs, wikis, social networks, evites, etc. Since the basis of these is communication, to me its a no brainer.
Web Based Content - Web comm is more than just the above. Its more than just creating social media content. Its web site content, urls, redirects, SEO and navigation. I’d even through user experience in here, even though its not something I particularly specialize in, I know others do. Its also email and outdoor campaigns that reference the web.
Analytics - Often overlooked or tacked on to someones existing job description, analytics are crucial to this position. Not only to measure what you’re doing, but to prove your value in being able to do so. Email, web and social media analytics combine to create real actionable results. In order to do this, you need full understanding of the web, campaigns, departments, etc.
How do you define web communication? Do you add anything else? Are you satisfied with your title or do you yearn for something else?
Photo Courtesy: Deanj
Hmmm…on our campus, the office responsible for web communication is called “Electronic Marketing Communications.” The reasoning for that name (not my creation) was to imply that electronic marketing was broader than just “the web.” I’m not sure what the right title of an office or a director/manager should be for this field, because online/electronic/web/digital marketing continues to morph.
The team we created to handle online/electronic/web/digital marketing here is called the “interactive media team,” with the head of the team being the Director of Marketing and Interactive Media. Not sure where the name came from and I’m not sure it’s the best.
If it were up to me, I’d drop any references to online/electronic/web/digita/interactive/social media. It’s all about communications and community. I understand the need for titles to demonstrate office structure, but they become meaningless when they become a means to pigeon-hole an employee into one specific task.
I was at a college for nearly a decade and my title had morphed at least twice, yet I took on more responsibility. Like you, I was also responsible for analytics, web maintenance, and social media. In our line of work, we always have to keep abreast of the next thing and how it may affect our roles. The changes in our roles may not necessarily warrant a title change.