The following are frequently asked questions related to faculty bio pages and the Wheaton Experts initiative.
Q1: What is the purpose and audience of the Wheaton College website?
A: While the Wheaton website serves a variety of constituents and purposes, www.wheaton.edu is primarily a marketing tool which speaks to a general/popular audience. For this reason, the website presents information in specific ways including:
i. Curated vs. comprehensive
ii. Breaks information into chunks for user
iii. Standardized for ease of information comparison
Q2: What is ExpertFile?
ExpertFile is a third party platform used by many universities and colleges to profile their faculty, researchers and staff. The platform enables us to showcase our faculty to attract prospective students, donors, media inquiries, and speaking opportunities.
Because the audiences for these profiles are not primarily academic, by design they do not conform to the nuances of academic discourse and genres such as a vita or journal publication. The layout and design of the bios is based on user research as well as current web UX best practices.
Q3: Why are we using ExpertFile for faculty bios?
- To drive more exposure for our accomplished faculty with a range of audiences.
- To standardize and simplify profile information and make it more accessible to prospective students and families.
- The Wheaton Experts initiative also highlights faculty bios as a way of demonstrating the College's availability as a resource to the media.
Q4: What is the Wheaton Experts initiative
The Wheaton Experts initiative is part of Media Relations' strategy to highlight faculty subject matter expertise and provide perspectives on the issues of the day to journalists and general audiences. We do this by generating and curating faculty-focused content under the Wheaton Experts brand.
Elements of the initiative include content such as:
- A list of faculty experts on wheaton.edu/experts
- A list of faculty experts on www.expertfile.com, a resource for journalists who seek subject matter experts
- The Wheaton Experts blog featuring content from Wheaton Experts.
- The @WheatonExperts Twitter feed, which promotes faculty-related content, and includes weekly tweets highlighting individual profiles.
- Targeted pitches to reporters who cover breaking news or topics of interest to reporters
- Spotlights on ExpertFile.com that promote experts who may be available for comment on breaking news
- Other content types under development
Q5: How can faculty become Wheaton Experts? What if I don't want to be a Wheaton Expert?
- The default will be to include all faculty members—the page will simply link to your new faculty profile page, unless you opt out.
- Media inquiries that come through your page will be directed to the Media Relations team.
- Inclusion as a Wheaton Expert does not commit you to accepting a specific media inquiry, but it does help us indicate that the College has a deep bench of faculty expertise.
- As always, we are available to advise on and/or screen media inquiries. Additionally, our practice is to collaborate with faculty on content or pitches we create. We do not engage the media regarding faculty members without their knowledge and involvement.
- If you do not wish to have your profile included on wheaton.edu/experts and www.expertfile.com, please opt out by e-mailing Director of Media Relations LaTonya Taylor (email@example.com) by March 2, 2018.
Q6: Which faculty get an ExpertFile profile?
All full-time or part-time faculty have profiles. Since departments have differing requirements, visiting, adjunct, emeriti and guest faculty may have a profile if the department requests one. Other options for listing faculty include bullet list or paragraph list. To request an ExpertFile profile for a special status faculty member, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q7: How do I request an update to my profile? How quickly will my changes be implemented?
The web team will aim to complete your changes within three business days. If you need the update sooner, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Because reporters are one audience for your page, it is important to keep your page updated with the articles and other media appearances that highlight your subject matter expertise. The Media Relations team regularly monitors mentions of the College in the news. If you publish in a popular outlet or if you're quoted as an expert, the Media Relations team will add that reference to your bio and alert you to the change.
Please note the web team has received feedback from faculty requesting changes to the overall template, and some of those requests are in development phase. The web team will push these global changes out to the templates during spring 2018.
Q8: Will my faculty profile show up in Google search results?
Yes, your faculty bio will show up in Google search results, although it can take several weeks to several months for search indexes to update. The longer your profile is live and the more traffic it receives, the more it will show up in search results.
If you are part of the Wheaton Experts initiative, your profile will be featured on the Media Relations page on wheaton.edu, as well as on a searchable database of experts located on expertfile.com.
Q9: How do I optimize my profile for search?
- Request addition of keywords to the "Areas of Expertise and Research Interests" section of your bio
- Include keywords in your biography text
- Keep your information fresh (update info at least once a school year)
Q10: Can I include my CV on my profile?
Yes, the Web Team can add a link to your CV on your profile. If it is a digitally generated PDF (not a scan of an existing document) or Word document, your CV will also show up in Google search results.
Q11: How do new faculty hires get a profile?
The Web Team will request a list of new hires from the Office of the Provost each summer and initial profiles will be built based on any information provided as well as what can be found online. New faculty can get their photos taken at the beginning of the school year, and will have an opportunity to review their profile before it goes live on the website for accuracy. If there are additions during the school year, departments may request a profile by emailing email@example.com.
Q12: How can I get an updated faculty profile photo?
Two sessions will be offered at the beginning of each school year for all faculty to have profile photos taken by the Media Producer for Photography. Dates and times will be provided by the Office of the Provost in late August. If you are unable to attend these dates, you may send a photo of your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send the largest version of the photo you have.
Q13: Can I build my own website outside of Wheaton's site?
You may certainly build your own website. However, the College cannot offer technical or content support for external websites. The Web Team can add a link from your Wheaton profile to your website if your request one.