Web-Based or Electronic HTML Internal Audience Periodicals: University of Kansas - Gold Medal

Category 22C: Web-Based or Electronic HTML Internal Audience Periodicals
University of Kansas, Oread Online (

Contact: Mike Krings, editor, University Relations, 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045, Phone: (785) 864-8860, e-mail:

Oread, the faculty and staff newsletter for the University of Kansas was started in 1975 as a means to keep the campus informed of news, events and policies that affect employees, as well as a source of rumor control. Since then, it has evolved into a newspaper to report on the important news of the university, namely focusing on the research of faculty, policies that effect employees, record of events that take place on campus, and a means to highlight the individuals that make the university unique.

Staffing: An editor, a news director, and the director of university relations - the parent office plans the publication. They focus on upcoming grants, innovative research, and issues important to the university’s employees when deciding what merits coverage. This is done on a bi-weekly basis. The editor produces the news and photographs for the publication. A Web administrator puts the news online and oversees the quality of the site.

Design: The design of the online version was chosen to bring the most popular sections to the forefront. The lead story, of course, takes top billing. Stories that have additional content online are displayed prominently, as the print version encourages readers to visit the Web site for the additional content. Photos and other features that rate highly are also prominent, and items are placed at the bottom of each story to keep readers interested.

Audience: Oread’s audience is the faculty and staff of the University of Kansas, as well as retirees of the university and select members of the public who have a vested interest in the university.

Total annual budget: Oread’s total annual budget, not including salary, is $32,000.

Plan for evaluation: The editor, news director, and university relations director evaluate each issue and solicit feedback from the readership. A readership survey was conducted in March 2006 to determine readers’ satisfaction and goals for the publication. The responses were incorporated into a redesign on the publication and helped guide the focus of coverage.

Results: Sections of the publication that rated highly by readers were given more emphasis and better placement. More than 70 percent urged Oread to keep the same approximate number of stories per issue, with the same amount of depth of coverage as has become the standard. Goals were met at a very effective rate.