Tag Archives: Extension

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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Don’t forget to update your calendar!

One of the easiest and most effective ways that Extension faculty and staff members can promote their programs and events is by posting them on their local calendar. Each local unit office and Agricultural Research and Extension Center has a calendar. For a complete listing of VCE calendars, visit the calendar page on the VCE website.

There are many benefits to using the your VCE calendar.

  1. Your calendar provides a central location to post event details and contact information.
  2. Information can be easily added and updated by using the Web-based interface.
  3. Viewers can download individual calendar items directly to their own calendars and mobile devices.
  4. Information can be shared easily on other unit calendars, helping to promote your programming to neighboring communities.
  5. Calendar items can be put on a topic calendar, making it easy for viewers to find similar events.
  6. Having events on your calendar allows other faculty members to see what is planned so they do not schedule similar events on the same day.
  7. Calendar events can be easily promoted on other websites and through social media.
  8. Having complete information easily accessible on your calendar should reduce the number of emails and phone calls you receive with questions about events.

Putting an item on the calendar is as easy as filling out an online form. For more information on how to use the VCE calendars, visit our online training.

example of calendar

Make sure to include as much information as possible, including a link to a website that has additional details, links to paperwork, and registration information. If clients know that they can rely on the information to be accurate and helpful, they will review the calendar on a regular basis, making your job all that much easier.

Remember, people won’t participate if they don’t know what is going on. The first step to promoting your program is to post it on your calendar!

Posted in Communications | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Using social media to drive web traffic back to unit office websites

Social media drives traffic to your website and helps unit offices connect with and retain existing clients while winning new clients through word of mouth. Search engines like Google use social media signals including likes, shares, and engagement as indicators to move your unit office website higher in search rankings.

Keeping your social media profiles updated with fresh content will help you increase followers, increase referral traffic to your website, and promote upcoming events, promotions, camps, etc.

Following and engaging with other strategic social media accounts will increase your reach and follower counts as well as generate valuable “social signals” that correlate to higher search engine rankings for your unit office website.

When clients love your events, they want to tell their friends about them. With social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, customer opinions can be heard louder than ever, and they drive traffic back to your website.

Here are some great tips from an article on socialmediaexaminer.com about how to drive more Facebook traffic to your website.

  1. Make sure you have a steady stream of shareable content on your website.
  2. Make it easy to share the content on your website to Facebook.
  3. Optimize how you post your content to Facebook.
  4. Optimize other places on Facebook to add links to your website.
  5. Advertise.

Visit socialmediaexaminer.com to read the entire article.

If you need help with or would like to add links to your social media pages from your unit office websites, please contact Constance Moulder, VCE Web publishing assistant, at 540-231-9495.


Posted in Social Media | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Is anyone reading your publication?

There are more than 3,000 publications and other resources on the Virginia Cooperative Extension publications website. In 2013 the site received nearly 3.3 million page views —an average of 272,000 per month! Sounds pretty impressive, right? But how can you ensure that your publication is actually being seen?

Let people know about it

When a publication is posted online, it will be listed in the “recent publications and resources” list that appears on the Virginia Cooperative Extension homepage and publications page, but its presence there is short-lived. On a typical day, up to 20 different publications get posted to the site. The more publications that are posted, the less time your publication will remain on this list. In some cases, a publication may only show up on this list for a few hours. Once it moves off the list, the only way someone will know the publication exists is if they search for the publication’s topic or they already know it is there.

You have spent a considerable amount of time and effort creating your publication, so take a few minutes to make sure it gets into the hands of those who can use it.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help your clients and other Extension professionals find your publication: Continue reading

Posted in Publications | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Tips for submitting peer-reviewed publications

One of the many roles of the Office of Communications and Marketing is to edit and design peer-reviewed Extension publications.

We know it can be frustrating when your publication is delayed. Here are some tips to help speed up the process:

  • Make sure your publication is in final form and has been approved. No drafts, please. Publications must have gone through the peer-review process, and the approval form must be completed, signed, and uploaded into the job system.
  • Have all parts of your publication ready before you open a new job, and upload them at the same time. Please don’t tell us that you’ll add the needed approval form or figures later. We can no longer accept jobs that are incomplete because it’s not fair for an incomplete project to be placed ahead of other jobs that are ready to go.
  • Provide a clean Word document that follows the standards provided on our website. Some specific guidelines include:
    • Set up your document with a 1-inch margin on all sides (please don’t change the margins within the publication), use one column only, and double space and left justify your text.
    • Use normal text rather than assigning one of Word’s style options. Styles must be removed, which takes valuable time.
    • No text boxes, figures, tables, or photos in the Word document, please. Instead, put them in separate files and name the files so that what they contain is obvious.
  • Don’t design the publication. That’s what our designers are good at. Feel free to give us your ideas, but designing the publication adds to your time and delays your project’s completion because we have to remove all formatting as part of the editing process.
  • When you open a new job, be specific about your deadlines and the intended use(s) for the publication.
  • Please respond to questions from our editor and proofs from our designers as quickly as you can to avoid delays.

Check out other suggestions and instructions that will make your publishing process go faster and smoother. If you have any questions, contact Bobbi Hoffman, editor, or Lori Greiner, communications manager.

Posted in Publications | Tagged , | 1 Comment