Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford is a four-year private university that has guided students' purpose and passion for over six decades. Based in Connecticut, approximately 4,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students come together from 49 states and 44 countries to expand their horizons.
As part of our ongoing Customer Stories series, we recently sat down with Lawrence Rosado, Digital Media Manager at the University of Hartford. We discussed Lawrence’s work in furthering the mission of the school: to collaborate across different disciplines, diversify perspectives, and broaden worldviews. Read on to learn how Issuu has supported the University of Hartford’s mission and vision.
I've been at the University of Hartford for ten years, and we've been using Issuu for seven. Before, it was more of a place to store content we published. In the past, somebody would have a PDF, they would upload it, and it would just sit there. So, I took over about three years ago.
We use Issuu for a variety of publications, both public and private. Our two main magazines, University of Hartford’s H magazine and The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s W magazine, are our once (sometimes twice) a year publications. Other public pieces include college brochures, commencement and other programs, as well as View Books and Action Plans. Our private listings include guidelines and handbooks for our immediate team and smaller audiences.
About a year into using Issuu, I was doing the same thing, but then accessibility became part of my beat, and I started looking at all the tools we have. What I liked about your product is that you have Article Stories. Just sharing a plain PDF isn't always the greatest for accessibility. So being able to go in there and make the links and create article stories has made it more accessible and mobile-friendly than a simple PDF; I've continued to explore that.
In 2017 when we released our redesigned website, our number of web pages went from 60,000 to 5,000. Having an established web presence, we were able to rely on the quantity of content as a marketing base. But since working with a smaller website, it has become more important to use all the marketing tools available to reach as many audiences as possible within our target market. Our digital marketing strategy relies on making content available in multiple ways and different formats to reach a wider range of people and devices.
Once I release the articles, we have a social media person who's able to pick them up and share them, so we're really pleased. This magazine that just went out – we were able to share everything all at once, and it shows in the analytics.
One thing I noticed is that we had previously released magazines at different points in the year, and our fall issue didn't get as much readership as our summer and winter issues. By pulling information from Statistics, I can go to our director and say, “Look, if we have to skip a magazine, we’ll skip the fall issue because there are not as many readers engaging with that issue at that time” or anything else the data is telling us. It enables better decision-making within our team.
I use the basic, industry-standard design tools. There are lots of drag-and-drop, quick-design products out there. I can’t emphasize enough how putting in the extra effort upfront to write, design, and build quality content makes for a better product. As a web content creator, I know that using web best practices along with quality assurance, accessibility, SEO, and (UI) design are what make a great user experience. This is true for any content you create. When information is written simply, effortless to navigate, and easy to find, people will stay engaged.
Articles: University of Hartford uses Articles to make its content more accessible and ADA compliant. They regularly share these Articles on their social media channels so readers can immediately find the content they’re most interested in from that month’s issue.
Statistics: Real-time insights provide an overview of their magazines and article performance, helping them refine their strategy.
Embedding: They currently embed the recent issue on their magazine’s webpage, including a link that directs readers to see more on Issuu. See it here.
The University of Hartford puts a lot of care into its content, which is constantly evolving and improving. From accessibility to clever design choices, the school’s publications create a strong and engaging place for interested students, faculty, and readers to go. It’s a reflection of the same collaborative, diverse, and inclusive culture present on campus and in their mission. Explore H and W magazine issues here.