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103C, Wisconsin Center

The Terminator: Blowing Up Our Website to Save Our Strategy

Tuesday, Oct 15 10:45 - 11:30

Presented by Holly Gibson

A website older than time itself. A CMS that crumbled at the slightest touch. And pages upon pages of scattered, scared and out of date content. It wasn’t just non-responsive, it was DOA. We needed to save ourselves from the machine.

Come with me as I show you the (Marketing & Communications) way to pull your website out of 1984 and into 2029. The plan wasn’t pretty, but it’s practical and I will share with you the strategies that worked, the tactics that failed and how you can apply them to save yourself from a post-apocalyptic future to come out on-brand and triumphant.

We will cover:
• how we engaged our audiences, conducted research and got approval for our radical strategy
• the tools we used to support the web developers in executing our vision
• the process for reorganizing and rewriting over 300 pages of content
• every time we made a Schwarzenegger-sized mistake
• what we are doing now to keep our website alive



Holly Gibson

Manager, Marketing & Communications, Housing & Conference Services

Leslie Knope once said, "One person's annoying is another's inspiring and heroic." Holly Gibson knows that she is not for everyone, but that her unbridled enthusiasm for advertising, marketing and communications has a home at HighEdWeb. She is the manager of the award-winning McMaster Housing & Conference Services' Marketing & Communication team - which she built by slowly hiring a bunch of students without anyone noticing - and serves as an in-house ad agency for the department. Before arriving in academia, she worked at an ad agency where she came up with the name for a new variety of Pear, two different species of Roses and, to promote Rabies awareness in her home province of Ontario, created a terrifying bat-raccoon hybrid creature named the Baccoon.