One of the key functions of the University of St Andrews’ website is to promote the research findings, teaching excellence and current initiatives of the University.
We have a variety of stakeholders that we want to communicate this news to, including: students (past, present and future), staff, colleagues at other institutions, journalists and the general public.
We use different content templates to present this information on the website, depending on its purpose and audiences.
We use our press release content template when we have a traditional press release that we wish to share with journalists and that we hope will be promoted via external media sources.
Our press release template offers options for including featured images, a thumbnail image and caption that will show up in the news archive.
Recent examples of press releases include:
- Supermassive black holes cause galactic warming
- St Andrews top university in Scotland
- St Andrews academics named “broadcasters of the future”
All press releases are accessible through the news archive. We occasionally link to press releases from our homepage (through our homepage news tiles), although news stories and long form articles take priority here.
Long form articles
We’ve written about long form articles before. They are essentially a method of interactive storytelling, weaving together text and compelling visual elements.
We use long form to showcase high impact research projects or interesting stories from around the University.
Our most recent long form article focused on the University’s acquisition of a collection of handwritten letters from Virginia Woolf’s friends and family.
We don’t have a content template as such for these stories. Rather, we use a responsive, modular design pulling elements from our digital pattern library. This allows maximum flexibility in terms of content and structure.
News stories are fully developed narrative pieces, often including elements such as interviews and images. This is in contrast to press releases, which are just a straightforward run-down of the facts ready to be developed into a narrative. These are stories that we want to tell ourselves, rather than having them reported by external media outlets.
These stories are linked to from our homepage in order to achieve maximum impact.
A recent example is Rachel Hart’s reflections on the 50 year history of John Burnett Hall of Residence.
News events homepage tiles
The rationale behind the news and events homepage tiles has already been explained in a previous blog post.
The tiles are intended as an “at a glance” look at the most compelling stories from around the University.
Do you have any suggestions to improve the communication of our news stories? Or maybe you have a story that you think would be suitable for a long form article? All enquiries and suggestions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.