Author Archives: Brandi Evans

Experts Directory serves as great resource for college and Extension

Need to find an expert for a story or article on agricultural productivity or animal genetics? Bioengineering or bioluminescence? Climate change or community development? Diabetes or drought?

Look no further than the new Experts Directory that contains detailed descriptions of almost 300 authoritative sources from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The college is home to world-renowned scientists who are addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the planet.

Experts Directory
Faculty members from the college and Virginia Cooperative Extension are working on issues ranging from agricultural productivity to animal welfare, bioengineering to bioluminescence, diabetes to drought, and climate change to community viability.

Members of the media, fellow scientists, and others can easily find the expert they are searching for using keywords, departments, subject area, or names.

A new Newsroom site also is available where you can learn about the latest news from the college, trends in agriculture, upcoming events, videos, research blog posts, and more.

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Make the most out of your Facebook page

Creating a Facebook page for your group or organization has many benefits: it makes your business available in Facebook searches, it allows you to connect personally with your followers, it helps you reach larger groups of people, and it gives you deeper insights into your audience. Your page serves as an extension of your business, so you want to make sure the page is set up to represent you well. Here are the basics you’ll want to pay attention to and how to get started with them.

Cover photo: This image sits at the top of your profile page and rests behind your logo/profile photo as a backdrop. The cover photo is a more flexible space and because of the larger size, you have more real estate to work with to be creative. Your cover photo could include brand messaging, campaign promotions, or images that represent your group.

facebook cover and profile photo

Profile photo: This sits on the bottom left of your cover photo and is how Facebook users are able to identify you. It’s a small thumbnail that is attached to everything you do on Facebook – from posting in a group, to posting on your own timeline. The profile photo also shows up on all of your posts. When choosing your profile photo, pick something that’s easily identifiable.

About section: The about section is a tab in the navigation bar that sits under your profile and cover photos. This section includes two sections. The first is your page information, which is where you can share details about your company or group. The second is milestones, which lets you share important events and the history of your brand.

Timeline: Your Facebook page gives you the ability to post updates for your followers. Posting on Facebook is a great way to build your audience and connect with them. These posts can be a mix of text, images, links, non-native video (like a YouTube link), native video (a video posted directly on the Facebook platform), and photo albums. Typically, photos and videos get more views than strictly text posts. Regardless of what you post, increasing your reach is directly related to sharing information and interacting with your followers.

Tabs: Tabs now sit in two places on your Facebook page: on the left side of your timeline and in the navigation bar under your cover photo. Tabs can be used to host apps, which can help a business extend their capabilities directly on their page, including running contests, connecting to your other social accounts, and more. To see what is available and choose apps to add to your page’s tabs, visit the Facebook App Center. The benefit of using tabs instead of directing a user right to a landing page is that the Facebook user is able to stay within the Facebook system and doesn’t navigate away from your page.

Insights: Visible only to the page admins, Facebook pages are set up with an Insights tab. This allows you to see the analytics of your activity on the page. These analytics can help you identify your audience more specifically, see what get the most engagement, and track the volume of your traffic and fan building activity.

Setting up these basics on your Facebook page and knowing where to find and how to use them will help you get your Facebook page off to a good start.

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Want to reach more people? Figure out what content works best on your accounts

Social media accounts are not all the same. Twitter is vastly different than Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. No account is ever the same, and their purposes and audiences are all different, as well.

Some content lends itself better to certain networks, but as long as you’re paying attention to what does well on each account, you’ll be able to reach your audience more effectively.

Can you share your same blog post or article on multiple networks? Yes, definitely! Just make sure your social media messages fit with each account and audience.

  • Twitter is a great place to share useful tips, tricks, and visual content. Because text is limited to 140 characters, you’re forced to get to the point. It’s also a great place to engage people in conversation and answer questions.
  • Facebook has turned into more of an entertainment sharing network, where the most popular posts are the ones that are easily shared between friends and family. If people aren’t liking or sharing your post, there’s a good chance that most of your fans or friends won’t see it at all. Adding images and videos to your posts almost always ensures a wider reach.
  • LinkedIn is a great place to share business and industry news, as well as job openings. Things like how-to posts, case studies, and other content that helps your audience grow professionally should do well on this network.
  • Google+ is a space that easily combines personal and professional content. Since you can set up different circles of people, it offers you multiple spaces to share content between either friends and family or professional contacts.
  • Pinterest is all about the images. The best way to use Pinterest is to share great visual content. This can be info-images, infographics, comics, custom photography, and memes.

For more inspiration, check out Virginia Cooperative Extension’s social media directory.

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How to post a great photo on Twitter

Ever notice that some images show up big and bright on Twitter, directly in your feed, while others are simply listed as text and links for you to click on?

monkey screen shot from twitter

Those that use the actual interface are often displayed a bit better than those that use a third party app. In this case, there’s a very noticeable difference between uploading a photo from your smartphone and actually using the interface itself.

If you’d like your photo to show up directly in the feed, you simply need to post from on your computer – not your phone.

To post your photo and message on Twitter, first click the new tweet button on the top right:

twitter screen shotThis will bring up a window where you can type your message and attach a photo or location.

compose a tweet screen shotClick on Add Photo and find the image on your computer. Choose open.

choose a photo screen shot

This will now show the photo in your new tweet. You can now compose the message and send it out!

twitter photo screen shot

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InDesign tips and tricks

If you work with Adobe InDesign or would like to learn more about the program, InDesign Secrets is the place to go. Noted as the world’s no. 1 resource for all things InDesign, this site offers a variety of resources on working in the program.

From articles and tutorials to tips of the week and new features, everything you want to learn about InDesign can be found here.

Here are some recent posts you can find on InDesign Secrets:

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7 lessons to learn from using your camera phone

As smartphones become a mainstay of daily life, you should make sure you know how to use them in the best way possible, especially when it comes to sharing our work. One way to effectively use them when you’re out and about is to take pictures!

One of the best things about having a camera phone is that it keeps you from having to carry around a large digital camera when you’re out in the field or at a meeting. And while you might love your larger camera, you can’t beat the convenience of being able to use your phone to take photos.

To help get you started, I found this great article by Jason Little, sharing lessons you can learn from shooting photos with your camera phone.

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Twitter cheat sheet infographic

Are you on twitter? Are you wondering what to tweet or what time and day is best to tweet to get the best possible reach on the information you’re sending out?

Here’s a great Twitter marketing cheat sheet infographic from James T. Noble to hone your tweets for maximum marketing impact.

twitter cheat sheet

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Photograph guidelines for submitting photos for publications

In order to produce quality printed and online materials, the actual photo quality is very important when selecting which photos to use. Use the following guidelines when submitting your photos for publication:

  • Photos should be high resolution. 300 dpi (dots-per-inch) or higher. When taking photos, make sure that your camera is set to take large format photos.
  • Do not resample (change the dpi settings) of your photos. This can result in much poorer quality than leaving it lower resolution.
  • Please do not submit images/jpegs in a word document.
  • Please submit jpegs either as a zipped file or individually.
  • Please do not copy images from websites for print.
    Images copied from websites are low resolution unless the website offers high-resolution images. If you zoom up to the image once you have copied the image, you will see it break apart and become blurry. This means that the image is low resolution and not good for print. Web versions of images and print versions are very different.
  • NOTE ON COPYRIGHTS : Copyright laws apply to web images. Please be aware of copyright laws to any image you use from the web. Please do not use or submit an image without receiving permission from the owner.

The easiest way to determine if a file is high enough resolution is to look at the size of the file based on the size of the image.

If you are submitting an image that is larger than 2×3 inches and it is less than 1 megabyte, the resolution is too low and the image will print blurry.


  • 2×3 inches, approx. 1 MB
  • 5×7 inches, approx. 5-8 MB
  • 9×14 inches, approx. >24 MB
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