Jillian Warren

Digital Project Management & Communications

Tag: Content

NCJC Safety Newsletters

NCJC Fire Safety Newsletter 2013

Did you know that June is National Safety Month?

A few weeks ago, the N.C. Judicial Center (NCJC) Emergency Planning and Safety committees asked my help to disseminate information to NCJC staff to mark the occasion. I sat down with several managers on the committees to listen to their needs, and these main themes surfaced: fires, high-wind events (tornadoes and hurricanes), and domestic violence and health-related emergencies. We took those themes and sketched out a month-long communications plan:

  • Include general safety articles in the two June editions of the NCJC Building Bulletin (BB) newsletter
  • Produce three weekly “special editions” of the BB that would each cover one of these safety themes

There was a treasure trove of information on each of our three themes, but it was not very well-organized. I combed through notes and draft articles provided by committee members, old safety announcements from the BB, the NCJC Emergency Operations Procedures policy, and other HR documents and policies.NCJC High Wind Safety Newsletter For each edition, I organized my notes into a series of articles, which I then laid out in our standard HTML newsletter template. I created all the images and graphics, as well. All this, on top of my normal (overloaded) workload! Whew!

Check out the final products:

Fortunately, though, my hard work paid off as this series of safety-themed newsletters has been exceptionally well-received by committee members, executive managers, and staff. For example, a copy of the High Wind newsletter found its way to the Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court’s office, and a request was made to send future editions to members of her staff.

NCJC Safety Information page

The NCJC Safety Information webpage is accessible by mobile devices during an emergency event.

Also, as part of the publishing process, the committees wanted to include links to the newsletters from our static HTML intranet website (which is behind a firewall and only accessible from computers on the Judicial Branch network). That part was easy. However, they also requested that the newsletters be readily accessible by smartphones during an emergency – which posed a problem, as smartphones cannot access our intranet. So, I quickly created a basic HTML page outside our intranet, which includes links to the safety newsletters, policies, and other information that could be important during an event.

For more details on my newsletter work, check out:

Around the Web: March 2013

Around the Web

Here are some interesting links I’ve collected and shared online throughout the past month. Enjoy!

Content Marketing

Design

Lifestyle

Social Media

Web Apps & Google

Email Newsletters

Examples of Jillian Kuhn Warren's email newsletter work

The majority of my job responsibilities involve effectively communicating messages to internal, as opposed to external, audiences. When I’m not busy working on the redesign of the Judicial Branch’s employee intranet site, I’m usually working on one of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts’ employee newsletters. Check out examples of my newsletter work.


N.C. JUDICIAL CENTER BUILDING BULLETIN

I am the editor of the award-winning N.C. Judicial Center (NCJC) Building Bulletin, which reports on office news for the 400+ employees on our campus. The Building Bulletin has been my responsibility since June 2012, after a part-time resource dedicated to this newsletter left the organization. The newsletter has traditionally been sent monthly, but under my direction we’ve started sending updates at least twice each month. My role as editor is to generate content ideas, write and edit articles, take and edit photos, create graphics, and build the newsletter in HTML/CSS. We are currently in the process of implementing the GovDelivery email newsletter delivery service, but at this point everything is still done manually.

N.C. Judicial Center Building Bulletin January 2013 edition

The process

I start with a yearly editorial calendar Excel spreadsheet, where I store content ideas for each month’s edition. We have a handful of recurring features — for instance, our Meet Your Neighbor staff feature and monthly photography contest — and some seasonal topics that we cover annually. NCJC staff can submit articles or ideas, and I’m also constantly thinking of new content based on what’s happening around the office. Our main goal is to share information and get staff involved in the office community.

N.C. Judicial Center Building Bulletin October 2012 edition

Once I have an idea of the content, I start building the newsletter as a webpage using an HTML/CSS template. Our former graphic designer created the branded template, and I’ve built on it over the past several months. I write new articles, edit audience-submitted content, design graphics in Adobe Photoshop CS6, take new or edit existing photos, create any surveys — and then drop them into the HTML code. It’s a time-consuming process, but HTML/CSS gives me the freedom to tweak the layout to my exact specifications. One of our internal developers created a program that generates photo gallery webpages from a list of image files, so I will run that program as needed, as well.

Shortly before the publish date, I’ll send the finished newsletter file to my team members for review. Then, I’ll make any last-minute changes before uploading the newsletter files (the main HTML files as well as any images, PDFs, or photo galleries) to our FTP server. At this point, I check the newsletter URL in Internet Explorer, the official browser that all Judicial Branch employees use, for any strange behaviors. If everything looks good, I’ll send the newsletter webpage as an email via Outlook.

Once we get GovDelivery up and running, the production of the newsletter will be a much simpler process. I’ll still be tasked with producing the right articles, images, and graphics, but building and sending the newsletter will be a more automated process.

NCJC EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION COMMITTEE

N.C. Judicial Center Employee Appreciation Committee Newsletter March 2013As a member of the N.C. Judicial Center’s Employee Appreciation Committee (EAC), I help promote upcoming events and fundraisers — primarily through email newsletters and flyers — to the roughly 400 campus employees on an as-needed basis. The EAC newsletter currently follows the same production process as the NCJC Building Bulletin (outlined above), from which it also borrows its design template. I do create custom header banners for each issue, though.

INSIDE THE CHAMBERS

This newsletter, published weekly whenever the N.C. General Assembly is in session, provides relevant legislative updates to all 7,000+ employees of the N.C. Judicial Branch.

Inside the Chambers February 2013When Inside the Chambers launched during the 2012 legislative short session, our former graphic designer based the HTML template on that of the Building Bulletin, but with a customized header banner. The newsletter started out with weekly commentary, budget news, and the latest legislation updates from our Legal and Legislative Services Division — but, in 2013 it evolved into a dedicated vehicle for disseminating legislation updates.

This newsletter follows the same production process as the Building Bulletin, but it differs from the others in that I am not solely responsible for generating content. In this case, I’ve worked with our Legal team to define a standard process and schedule for submitting content so I can hit my publishing deadlines.


As you can see, a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into the creation of these newsletters. These are the three newsletters that I manage, but there are also others that I help edit or oversee each month. In addition to editing and production work, I’ve also worked with communications and technology staff to create guidelines and define procedures for Judicial Branch staff to follow when setting up additional newsletters. Newsletter work only comprises about 10-15% of my job, but it’s a chance to be creative, share interesting stories, and get others involved in company events and culture.

Make sure you check out the rest of my newsletter work.

Scheduling Blog Posts

If you have a blog but rarely have the time to update it, here’s a simple tip that a lot of bloggers completely overlook.

Schedule your blog posts.Scheduling Posts in WordPress

That’s right. When you do have a significant chunk of time to devote to writing and are on a creative roll, write a bunch of blog posts and save them as drafts. Most CMSes will allow you to schedule a future date and time for each post be published to the public — so they’ll slowly auto-publish over time, instead of just one big chunk of posts appearing all at once.

A Tale of Two Conferences: WebContent 2011 and Texas JavaScript

WebContent2011 logo

June 20, 2011
Written for Viget Labs’ Four Labs Blog
Original Post

Here at Viget, we all have an annual conference/training allowance, among our other awesome job perks … And, we certainly put it to good use two weeks ago, when four Vigets traveled across the country to learn and make new friends!

For my training, I returned to my hometown of Chicago for WebContent 2011. This year’s theme was “Going Mobile,” and I spent two days soaking up a ton of information on content strategy and the mobile web. From a workshop on Content Strategy 101 to in-depth sessions on the latest mobile trends and their implications for your business, the conference’s offerings gave me plenty of food for thought and a whole new list of ideas for tackling my clients’ content issues. I also got to know a bunch of new faces in the web industry — plus, I got to eat wonderful Chicago pizza for a few days!

Brand and strategy consultant Margot Bloomstein of Appropriate, Inc., speaking at WebContent 2011 -- and using Viget's own SpeakerRate to get feedback on her presentation

Read more at Viget.com…

WebContent 2011

WebContent2011

Two weeks ago, I used my annual Viget conference allowance to attend WebContent 2011 — a web content strategy conference in Chicago. This year’s theme was “Going Mobile,” so I was hoping to learn a ton about mobile sites and content that would help me better serve my clients… And the conference did not disappoint!

Kristina Halvorson presenting at WebContent 2011

Web content guru Kristina Halvorson presenting at WebContent 2011

I’ll be doing a quick overview write-up shortly for the Viget blog (which I’ll post here, as well), and hopefully I’ll get around to more specific posts about my new mobile content knowledge soon!

WebContent 2011

Conference attendees waiting for the first workshop to start. There I am, right in the middle! (photo from the conference's Facebook page)

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