Managing the Message: Communicating Innovation with Diverse Stakeholders

Like many campus communities, Millersville University is a diverse place, with students, faculty, staff and administrators representing different content areas, research interests, and perspectives. With close to 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students, hundreds of faculty, and dozens of administrators, the community shares a common mission and set of values. Despite these commonalities, however, the diversity in roles affects how individuals view campus initiatives. For example, when an innovation is proposed within the community, different stakeholders can take different perspectives on its impacts. Our Open Education Working Group witnessed this firsthand when we proposed an Open Textbook Initiative on campus. As we worked with different stakeholders, we realized that we needed to frame the initiative differently depending on the community members to whom we were communicating. While the initiative itself sought to promote faculty use of OER through incentives and mentoring, the working group adopted a multifaceted messaging campaign to target the perspectives of the different campus stakeholders.

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