Northwestern has launched a new version of its official news and information website.
The hub for news and features about the University, Northwestern Now has been redesigned to provide a robust new platform from which to communicate with the community and showcase the University and its eminence in the world.
Produced and managed by the Office of Global Marketing and Communications (OGMC), the new site represents several years of planning, research, design and development, a process that began before the pandemic.
“The OGMC team has spent considerable time asking questions, learning what the community wants and thinking about how we can innovate,” said Jeri Ward, vice president and chief marketing and communications officer. “The result is a new Northwestern Now that better engages our many key audiences and gives us a powerful tool in our continued efforts to help elevate the reputation of Northwestern.”
The changes were informed by the results of the recent Digital Communications Survey, which included feedback from more than 600 students, faculty and staff. In 2021, OGMC also interviewed more than 60 school and unit marketers and communicators to determine behaviors, needs and priorities of Northwestern’s internal stakeholders. Over the last 6 months the team has been designing and building a new Northwestern Now.
According to community feedback, Northwestern Now is the preferred source of news and information about research, innovation, announcements, updates and events. However, survey data also showed that readers want more coverage of the University’s efforts toward diversity, equity and inclusion, and how the work of the University improves the world around us.
With this in mind, the site has been reorganized into four primary sections to help readers navigate to areas of interest across the University.
- In Research & Innovation, there are stories of faculty making translational breakthroughs in science, health and medicine, as well as their studies and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities.
- The Arts section shows off faculty, student and guest performances, the events calendar and an interactive map of campus venues.
- Social Impact has news and features on Northwestern people and programs making a difference through inclusive and equitable action and scholarship on campus and around the world.
- And Campus & Community is the place to learn about breaking University news, events, accolades and campus life.
The redesign is part of a larger effort in recent years to create tailored channels for different purposes and audiences, improving the user experience, engagement and relevance including For Journalists and Faculty Accolades. Key community messages and thought leadership pieces from across the institution are now featured in Leadership Notes.
Northwestern Now has expanded to include space for individual voices and expertise from students, faculty and staff. Other key changes include:
- Story pages have been reworked to make room for images and video that bring the words to life.
- The list of content topics has become more flexible to better highlight University priorities, trending news and emerging areas of expertise or success.
- With enhanced Search Engine Optimization, readers outside the Northwestern community can more easily read about how Northwestern stands out among the world’s leading research universities.
- An expanded In the News section showcases media coverage earned by Northwestern faculty in major local, national and global media outlets every day.
The site is updated daily, but an accompanying newsletter is also delivered multiple times per week to all students, faculty and staff — along with other subscribers. If you’d like to get the latest news sent directly to your inbox, subscribe now.
“I’d like to thank all of those who provided input and assistance throughout this process,” Ward said. “And a special thanks to OGMC’s internal communications and digital teams for their effort in creating this improved resource. Now that the site is a reality, the work begins to breathe new life into it each and every day. We invite all members of the Northwestern community to reach out and work with us to tell the stories of the University.”
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