ECU NOW? Get to know it, and other ECU news changes

By Mary Schulken
ECU Director of Public Affairs

Question: Where do you go at ECU for up-to-the-minute information about accomplishments, awards, publications, research grants, etc. for faculty and staff?
ECU Now is updated daily with news of faculty, staff and students.

Answer: ECU Now, found at It’s a new News Service blog that’s updated all day Monday-Friday. In it, you’ll find detailed staff and faculty news, along with student news and campus news. It includes deaths and special life events. And, it’s interactive, so you can comment and congratulate folks you know.

ECU Now is just one of many changes afoot here at the News Service in recent months. For one thing, we are adapting to new resource levels. Even more important, however, we are positioning ourselves to be a leader in a new era of information for universities —an era where institutions such as ECU need to provide the public with news and information directly using the web.

The result so far has been a revamped News Service home page with new features that let us spotlight more information about the university community and people. Please click and browse for yourself, but here are a few, in addition to the ECU Now blog:
•    Hot Topics features experts at ECU and connects them directly with an issue or event that’s in the news.

•    Spotlight features ECU faces or programs that made the news, including links to video and stories.

•    ECU People features information about, well, people here. It aims to be inclusive, since space is not an issue on the web.
Fresh, robust content
The ECU news home page is updated constantly throughout the workweek.

Another key change we’ve made is perhaps even more important. The News Service home page is updated constantly. All day, every day, Monday through Friday (and on weekends if it’s urgent) we post new information as we get it. We also move stories around to keep what’s fresh and current in plain view (see Top Stories).

And, while we’re on the subject of stories, News Services has put a greater emphasis on its role as an independent reporting service for the university. We have increased the number of enterprise stories we report and write and increased our reporting on key university issues, such as the committee evaluating academic consolidation. We post slideshows and our own videos of events. We tweet!/ECUNewsServices live from campus events, such as spring commencement.

That focus on content and on managing it aggressively on makes us much more like a web-based news site than the traditional news service role we have come to expect. That’s an ambitious goal. Yet it is quickly becoming a best practice among universities that want to be successful in a new information age.

Why? A web-based approach allows us to showcase a lot more information about what’s going on at ECU and who’s doing what than ever before — and do so with urgency. That kind of robust exchange has great value.

Farewell, Pieces of Eight

When you make changes, you have to decide what things to leave behind. We’ve decided to leave behind Pieces of Eight, the electronic faculty and staff newsletter we prepared and delivered each month.

Yet everything that was in that newsletter is still available on our home page. If you are a daily reader (and we want you to be) you will have noticed the stories that would have been packaged in POE are displayed, then archived. The faculty and staff news is posted on ECU Now and ECU People.

We think that’s of greater value than a newsletter. For one thing, we post information as soon as we get it. There’s no waiting. For another, space is no longer a consideration. Your information will get play and it will get distributed.

As time goes by we expect other shifts as well. We’ll keep you up to date on those. But for now, we urge you to sample our new features, especially ECU Now and Top Stories. And, we invite you to participate in our new approach by sending us your important information. Here are some key contacts:

ECU News Service

Joy Holster, ECU Now blog editor

Mary Schulken, Director of Public Affairs