Malaspina's Website wins two national awards

July 6, 1999 - 5:00pm

Malaspina University-College’s website continues to gain accolades from across the country and around the world. 

For the second year in a row, Malaspina has won an Award of Excellence for Websites from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). 

The prestigious award was presented to Marianne van Toor and John Lund of Malaspina’s Media Relations Department at a CPRS conference in Hamilton, Ontario, recently. 

"Winning an Award of Excellence for the second year in a row was quite a pleasant surprise," says Lund, Malaspina’s web editor who manages website content and presentation. 

"We’re really gratified to see how the use of the web has enabled people to work more efficiently and helped to get Malaspina’s message to the world 24 hours a day. It’s terrific." 

Van Toor and Lund presented a workshop at the CPRS conference called "Getting Out the Message: Malaspina University-College’s Website as New Media Communication Tool". They were invited to make the presentation as a result of winning a CPRS Award of Excellence for Malaspina’s website last year. Two weeks before their scheduled presentation, they were notified that they had won this year’s Award of Excellence for their design of Malaspina’s Human Resources department’s web page.

 "Several factors forced us to examine ways we dealt with information for prospective and current employees," explains Van Toor, Malaspina’s Director of Media Relations & Publications.

"Cuts to our budget necessitated a different approach to advertising for employment vacancies," she says. "Also, we needed to reduce the time spent editing employment postings for newspaper advertisements. Our Human Resources department needed a more efficient way to communicate with current and prospective employees. The World Wide Web seemed like a natural way to help us resolve these issues." 

Once a new advertising format with generic information was designed, the Media Relations team designed a web page that included information for applicants, as well as employees. 

The site includes information on application procedures, benefits, contracts, as well as links to other sites about Nanaimo including tourism, real estate, schools, lifestyle and recreational opportunities.

 "There are many benefits of this new approach to communicating with prospective applicants and current employees," adds Van Toor. 

"Applicants have instant access to complete job postings and information about Malaspina, 24-hours a day, from anywhere in the world. Human Resources staff save time when responding to inquiries and they can email information quickly and easily.

 "Advertising expenditures have also been reduced," adds Van Toor, "and, best of all, this method ensures that prospective applicants are fully informed about the job and the community, and are at least minimally able to surf the Internet." 

Lund points out that Malaspina’s website is targeted at customers who know little about academic language or the organization of a large post-secondary institution. "Users want speed, usefulness and correct information," he says. "That’s what we deliver." 

Malaspina’s website offers more interactive uses for students than most other post-secondary education sites, says Lund. 

"Right now, students at Malaspina can access their grades, change their registration information, get class lists, do their timetable and pay their fees on-line. Malaspina is only one step away from being on-line for registration. That will happen by September, 2000. It’s quite an exciting development." 

One of the biggest compliments staff in Media Relations receive is when other post-secondary institutions comment on how much they like the website design and then use or borrow ideas on presentation or content. 

"We take that as a compliment," says Lund.

Tags: In the Community

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