Archive for January, 2011

An Interview with Notre Dame’s Chas Grundy

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

We use Notre Dame’s website as a model a lot on this website and with talking with schools directly. Since their 2007 redesign, Notre Dame has been a model for Catholic schools by creating an online Catholic identity that is smart, modern, and effective.

We got the chance to talk to Chas Grundy, the person leading and setting the strategy for the team that manages and develops Notre Dame’s web presence. As the Director of Interactive Marketing, Chas leads the web team at AgencyND, Notre Dame’s in-house design and media agency.

Chas offered some great insights into what makes ND’s home page work (storytelling), how Notre Dame handles all their web needs through an in-house agency, how marketing for a Catholic school differs from marketing for a secular non-profit, and more. Check out the interview below!

Email Etiquette for Catholic Schools

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2011! We took a little bit of a hiatus in December, but we’re back now.

This post isn’t about basic email etiquette (like not hitting reply all to a message to 200 people) – it’s about the need for Catholic schools to more professionally manage their email marketing using the proper (and legal) techniques that are in standard usage in the rest of the industry. Many schools are doing this already, but a surprisingly large portion are doing it in a way that violates laws and annoys subscribers.

A Tale of Email List Woe

A few months ago I had a conversation with a development member of a Catholic school, and then several weeks later I realized something: I was on her development email list. This was actually fine, but I was getting emails on a regular basis about development projects that in no way remotely applied to me, and there was no way to unsubscribe. These emails were coming directly from this development officer and BCCed to this list. Short of being rude and emailing them directly, I was stuck.

Obviously this isn’t the end of the world. We all get forwards and things from friends and relatives that are mildly annoying, but we put up with them. The problem here is that this is indicative of a larger problem in some Catholic schools: a lack of knowledge of modern email standards. Not only are these standards just good practice and professional, many of them are mandated by the US government’s CAN-SPAM act, which specifics rules for email marketing.