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CAES Strategic Plan 2020: Strengthening Goals

Internal and External Communication

Goal 7CAES will ensure understanding and appreciation of the value of our programs both within our organization and by the public


Strategy A.

CAES faculty and staff will have knowledge of initiatives in various program areas and will collaborate with personnel across CAES disciplines

  1. Review structure and function of current organizational communication processes.
    a. Invite an external panel to review our communication processes, efficiency, function, and college brand awareness.
    b. Recommended restructuring:
    • OCTS will be restructured with, a project manager, who will traffic ALL incoming communication requests.
    • Restructure OCTS to divide IT and communications personnel under an Associate Director of IT and Associate Director of Communications, both answering to the Director of OCTS.
    • The project manager would be a part of the business services personnel who provide support to both the IT and communications groups. This would allow for one "go-to" for CAES clients when requesting OCTS services.
    • Associate directors would be primarily responsible for managing their staff vs. managing staff AND project managing for clientele.
  2. Identify barriers to and solutions for improvement of communication processes.
    a. There should be a consistent, periodical, internal e-newsletter from the Dean with additional information from Extension, research, academics and support units, vs. the individual efforts currently in place. This would give one solid message that would give personnel insight into all aspects of CAES. This e-newsletter could give links to newsletters from individual groups, but would serve as one message from the administration.
  3. Increase interaction and information sharing among campuses, departments, and across all units.
  4. Start the communication process with new CAES hires. This would include an "Introduction to CAES" conference every 6 months. This 2-3 day orientation could include all new CAES hires and would be coordinated between UGA HR, CAES HR, Dean's office, and Ag Leadership to accomplish goals.
Strategy B.

UGA faculty, staff, and students will understand and value CAES programs

  1. Increase the conspicuousness of CAES at university functions and in programs.
    a. Investigate the list of UGA events currently without CAES promotion and add to marketing efforts.
    b. Develop a plan to promote CAES events within the UGA community.
    c. The CAES communication office will interact with other communication offices on campus.
  2. Increase the visibility of CAES in university press and media publications. This includes:
    a. Printed publications such as UGA Columns, Georgia Magazine, and UGA Research Magazine.
    b. Increase CAES promotion in digital signage across campus such as at the Tate Center and the Miller Learning Center.
Strategy C.

Decision makers and the general public will recognize and understand the value and impact of CAES programs to the people, state, nation, and the world

  1. Explore retaining an outside firm to develop and implement a public relations and marketing campaign for CAES.
  2. Inform and reach out to groups unfamiliar with the depth and breadth of CAES (urban populations, underserved groups, etc.).
  3. Develop an evaluation tool to identify audiences outside our current college "family." Determine how we use known venues that reach non-traditional audiences to connect CAES to that audience. Identify other potential venues to reach the audience.
  4. Focus on non-traditional events/audiences. Adequately fund, market, implement, and evaluate these efforts to ensure success. Prioritize list of targeted audiences and opportunities to share CAES.
  5. Create a departmental listing of efforts to reach non-traditional audiences. Include in the inventory international activities and support to developing countries.
    Create and post 10 message points for faculty to use when talking to public groups. Supplement with other visual tools. Focus on the value of CAES to Georgia.
  6. Focus on a campaign to create local advocates and to educate urban and newly elected legislators.
  7. Share a list of Advisory Council presentations to local civic organizations so faculty can find opportunities that don’t overlap to make presentations to civic groups.
  8. Find opportunities for identified 4-H’ers to speak to local groups and legislators. For example, State 4-H Project Winners could present at state meetings of ag-related trade organizations in Georgia (Ex: Entomology project winner at Georgia Pest Control Association annual meeting).
  9. Distribute stories about 4-H’ers as leaders to a broader audience and in more public venues to get attention of non-traditional audiences.
  10. Encourage faculty members to identify themselves in media, public address, etc., as being with the University of Georgia. (Often faculty will just say ‘Georgia’ and people assume the state not the university.)
  11. Improve signage at R&E/branch stations. Make the signs bigger so people can see them from the road to better highlight the UGA connection with proper colors to match UGA identity.
  12. Explore and encourage innovative tools and techniques to reach new audiences and age brackets (e.g, smart-tagging, QR Codes, YouTube, targeted newsletters (internal and external), social media).
  13. Encourage department heads to support innovation and communication. Reward the faculty for innovation in communication efforts.
  14. Create a catalog of good local tools that can be used or provide ideas to other faculty for tools they can create to communicate with non-traditional audiences.
  15. Develop criteria for choosing winners and recognize college communication innovators at respective employee recognition programs.
  16. Develop broader ways to identify and quantify impact beyond the direct recipient of a research, teaching or outreach program.
  17. Deliver a consistent message.
  18. Focus on follow through by teaching faculty how to use available tools and ideas to push that information out.
  19. Provide more training and accountability that lessons learned are implemented.
  20. Give faculty more time for training and exploration. More communication training is needed for all faculty, not just county agents and Extension specialists.
  21. Reward the faculty for training and implementation activities.
Strategy D.

Establish an inventory of the current people and skills available in the Communication staff

  1. Examine what is needed and fair compensation for those positions to allow us to maintain critical people in those positions.
  2. Make full use of the skills to broaden the abilities of all faculty and improve our total communication capacity.