...

CA550:MECB Practicum 2010 DCU International Office Technology based Student Recruitment Project

by user

on
Category: Documents
6580

views

Report

Comments

Transcript

CA550:MECB Practicum 2010 DCU International Office Technology based Student Recruitment Project
CA550:MECB Practicum 2010
DCU International Office Technology based Student
Recruitment Project
“M.Sc. in Electronic Commerce”
School of Computing
3rd August 2010
Rob Elliffe
Grace Lavelle
Niamh Nic Clámha
DCU Business School
Project Submission Form
Project Title:
MECB Practicum 2010
Module Code:
CA550
Programme:
MECB1 - MSc in Electronic Commerce
(Business)
Project Due Date:
3rd August 2010
Supervisors:
Dr Cathal Gurrin
Dr Theo Lynn
Declaration
We hereby certify that this material, which we submit for assessment on the programme of
study leading to the award of M.Sc. in Electronic Commerce is entirely our own work and
has not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been
cited and acknowledged within the text of our work.
Signed:_________________________
59212649 Rob Elliffe
Signed:_________________________
55584256 Grace Lavelle
Signed:_________________________
59211608 Niamh Nic Clámha
Date: 3rd August 2010
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Acknowledgements
Firstly we would like to thank our supervisors Dr. Theo Lynn and Dr. Cathal Gurrin, who
helped steer us along the right path and were always there to offer valuable advice and
guidance throughout the duration of this project.
We would also like to thank all those that assisted us in conducting our research, particularly
Claire Bohan and Marie Heraughty from the DCU International Office, Andrew Bonello, Colm
Bennett, Gerry Conygnham and also the numerous people and firms from the industry that
were particularly helpful; Xiaoxia Wang , Renee Wu, Helen Yang, Education Ireland and
Enterprise Ireland.
Also we would like to acknowledge our Focus Group participants; Laureen Morrissette,
Guang Yang, Na Fu, Dheeraj Kumar and ZhenXing Zhang who kindly gave us their time to
help us with our research. In addition, we wish to thank all our followers on the various social
networking sites who were instrumental in the success of our social media campaign.
Finally we would also like to thank John Granville from MyHome.ie, Donal Clancy, Edel
Conway and Laura Grehan from the DCU Business School.
i
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Executive Summary
Objective
The following report outlines the objectives, execution and results of research carried out for
the Masters in Electronic Commerce practicum. This report was sponsored by Dublin City
University‟s International Office who wished to explore new and innovative ways of attracting
international students to DCU.
DCU has witnessed a fall in the number of international students that are choosing it as a
study destination, particularly in the last academic year where figures were down by 11.8%
on the previous year. Our aim was to analyse and research how the use of digital
technologies can be employed to increase awareness of DCU as a university among the
international community and also to look at ways in which technology can assist in making
the recruitment process easier for both the international student and DCU‟s International
Office.
We concentrated on the use of social media to promote the university whilst developing a
smartphone application and analysing and redesigning DCU‟s International Office website.
We also explored the use of Internet conferencing to promote courses offered by DCU.
Research Methods
Our primary research methods involved conducting a focus group, interviewing industry
experts and distributing a survey to a targeted sample. We ensured the highest level of
accuracy possible by only targeting our survey at people who we knew had an interest in
studying abroad. We implemented these research methods to ascertain the main markets to
focus on and discover the most important factors to consider when marketing to individuals
from outside Ireland who wish to study abroad.
ii
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Target Market
From our primary research we identified three key markets that offer amazing potential for
the DCU brand, China, India and The US. During our six month social media campaign we
built and maintained a large following of over 700 fans on the two main platforms we utilised
which were Twitter and Facebook. We witnessed how international students like to interact
with universities through social media and we created engaging relationships with our
international following. This corroborated with our survey results, where 68.1% of
respondents stated that they would contact a university through social media.
Implementation
We ran a six month long social media campaign, which included building an online
community of past, present and potential international DCU students, sending messages
directly to people who expressed an interest in studying abroad, and directing them to the
DCU International Office website. We regularly provided news about DCU and studying in
Ireland in an attempt to raise their profiles. Our research has shown that Twitter and
Facebook are amongst the most popular social media websites and therefore were the main
focus of the campaign.
The DCU International Office website is often a student‟s first point of contact with the
university. It is therefore imperative that it makes a good impression. When a student is
searching for study abroad destinations online, DCU should appear in their search results.
Therefore the website was analysed for Search Engine Optimisation and for usability. Issues
were found with both. Our findings identified a major problem when it comes to the DCU
website, with our focus group participants stating that navigating through the various
sections in the DCU International site was “really frustrating” and “difficult to find the
information you want”. Therefore the design and layout of the DCU International website
iii
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
needs to be addressed and we conducted an in-depth analysis of the site to see where
improvements could be made.
An International Office website which has been designed with best practices in mind will act
as an excellent resource for potential students and also give a good impression of the
university. In this report we have shown how such a site should be designed taking into
account best practices and heuristics through developing our own International Office site.
The new site has greatly reduced the number of clicks needed to reach information from six
clicks to less than three clicks.
We trialled an Internet conferencing technology which allowed us to conduct a “virtual open
day”. Interested people could register for this Internet event and log on at the specified time
to watch a live presentation given by a DCU lecturer about a new course. This technology
provides a convenient way for people to remotely receive information while communicating
with a human point of contact. The sessions can also be recorded so that they can be
viewed after the event has taken place.
To greater increase the DCU International Office‟s marketing reach and to embrace new
technologies, we decided to develop an application for the new generation of smartphones.
The application is fully functioning and can be used by international students to find courses
and information on visa requirements and their ability to work in Ireland. It also allows users
to search for accommodation near DCU using a live feed from a leading Irish property
database. We implemented this functionality as during our research these were the areas
that international students indicated of being most important to them. The application was
developed for Samsung as they are currently one of the fastest growing global brands in the
mobile market. However the application can be easily adapted to work on other smartphones
such as the iPhone.
iv
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Findings and Recommendations
One of the most vital insights we acquired while conducting our primary research was the
prominent differences that exist when marketing in Western and Asian countries. Asian
countries prefer to be marketed to in a very different manner which is something that the
DCU International Office must take into consideration when promoting the university in
different regions. US students place more trust in the information displayed on websites and
the Internet when deciding what university to choose whereas Asian students prefer more
personalised contact with the university in the form of visits from DCU lecturers to their home
university.
We would advise the DCU International Office to continue the social media marketing
campaign which we have established and maintained as our research has identified that the
majority of the other leading universities and institutions in Ireland are successfully utilising
these platforms for marketing purposes.
The International Office should not underestimate the level of time and dedication that is
required to ensure that they provide real time responses to queries and that the content on
various social networking sites is both relevant and updated on a regular basis. This is why
we feel that social media training is necessary for the staff of the International Office as
many of the staff have no experience using social media. To assist our client in this regard
we have also compiled a simple introductory guide to social media which provides step by
step instructions for each platform.
While we discovered that Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social networks
globally, we have identified other platforms which we feel that DCU should concentrate on to
improve their reach in their main target markets of China, India and The US.
v
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
We would also recommend the use of Internet conferencing to create awareness about the
various courses offered in DCU. In this report we demonstrate how simple it is to organise
and run a live Internet conference. Our results and feedback obtained also highlight how
effective they are as a promotional tool with 50% of participants stating that they are
seriously considering undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing after
attending our live Internet conference on the course. Internet conferences don‟t incur high
costs unlike other promotional channels such as radio advertising. Moreover, one of the
greatest advantages of Internet conferences is the broader audience reach. As the Internet
conference is conducted online the location of participants becomes irrelevant and thus
students from all over the globe can attend these live events.
It is recommended that the DCU International Office engage in a redevelopment of the DCU
International Office website. As a first point of contact with DCU, the International Office
website needs to have an immediate impact and as such needs to be redesigned with the
international student in mind. The layout is presently cluttered with much information out of
date and irrelevant. Due to this an international student‟s first impression of DCU may not be
positive, with the university facing an uphill task to recruit the student.
To compliment the International Office website we advise that the DCU International Office
embrace the modern phenomenon of smartphone usage and launch the smartphone
application that we have developed. A smartphone application will provide quick and easy
access to information for international students who use such technologies. This report also
outlines the design for a second application which can be implemented by the International
Office. This application contains features and information to assist international students
while they‟re residing in DCU.
vi
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
We believe that the International Office, after implementing our recommendations, will be in
an optimal position to exploit the opportunities within the international student market which
are identified in this report. Our findings provide our client with a greater understanding of
the challenges faced by international students and how digital technologies can be used to
overcome some of these difficulties.
vii
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Background and Research Methodology
1
1.1
Introduction and Background
2
1.2
Aim of the project
3
1.3
Definition of International Student
3
1.4
Research Methodology
4
1.5
Research Conducted
5
1.6
Structure of the Report
10
Chapter 2: International Student Movement
13
2.1
Background/Context
14
2.2
Market Size
15
2.3
International Students in Ireland
17
2.4
Market Opportunity
20
2.5
Income Generated by International Students
25
2.6
Benefits of Increased International Student Levels
26
Chapter 3: Social Media Marketing
27
3.1
Introduction to Social Media
28
3.2
Growth of Social Media
30
3.3
Focus of our Social Media Campaign
32
3.4
How to market to different regions
32
3.5
Platforms we used for our campaign
39
3.6
Key Results from our Social Media Marketing Campaign
52
3.7
Competitors‟ use of social media
58
3.8
General Recommendations for DCU International Office
64
viii
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Chapter 4: Search Engine Optimisation
67
4.1
What is SEO?
68
4.2
SEO in detail
69
4.3
Recommendations
78
Chapter 5: Website Redesign
85
5.1
Project Overview
86
5.2
Analysis of Current Design
88
5.3
Competitor Analysis
102
5.4
The New Design
112
5.5
Implementation
125
5.6
Conclusion
126
Chapter 6: Virtual Open Day
127
6.1
Background
128
6.2
Benefits of Webinars
128
6.3
Technology Involved
130
6.4
Organising the Webinar
130
6.5
Promoting the Event
133
6.6
Running the Webinar
140
6.7
Some feedback from participants
142
ix
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Chapter 7: Smartphone Application
144
7.1
About Smartphones
145
7.2
Application Concept
147
7.3
Use Cases
149
7.4
User Interface Functional Interaction
156
7.5
Why Samsung?
158
7.6
What is bada?
159
7.7
Interface Design
161
7.8
Application Architecture
183
7.9
A Second Smartphone Application
200
Chapter 8: Resources and Budget Needs
202
8.1
Social Media
203
8.2
Digital Marketing
204
8.3
Search Engine Optimisation
204
8.4
Website Redesign
205
8.5
Virtual Open Day
205
8.6
Smartphone Application
206
x
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Appendices
207
Appendix 1.1: Structure of Focus Group
208
Appendix 1.2: Key Findings of Focus Group
210
Appendix 1.3: Transcript of Focus Group
213
Appendix 1.4: Draft of Research Questions for Qualitative Interview with Mrs Heraughty 227
Appendix 1.5: Technical Steps taken in organising interview with Mrs Heraughty
229
Appendix 1.6: Letter of Consent from Interviewee
230
Appendix 1.7: Transcript of Interview with Mrs Heraughty
231
Appendix 1.8: Designing the Survey
246
Appendix 1.9: Promoting our survey in relevant Study Abroad discussion boards
261
Appendix 1.10: Our Survey
263
Appendix 1.11: Survey Results
269
Appendix 1.12: Industry Research
281
Appendix 1.13: SEO Analysis of the DCU International Website
287
Appendix 1.14: Tweet History
338
Appendix 1.15: Facebook Posts
350
Appendix 1.16: Marketing Contacts we researched
360
Appendix 1.17: Registered Attendees for the Webinar
361
Appendix 1.18: Survey to obtain feedback on live webinar
363
Appendix 1.19: Transcript of live webinar
364
Appendix 1.20: Social Media Marketing Report
370
Appendix 1.21: Project Product Description
463
Appendix 1.22: Project Plan
468
Bibliography and References
474
xi
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
1
Chapter 1
Background & Research
Methodology
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
1 Background & Research Methodology
1.1
Introduction and Background
The client we were working for on this project was the DCU International Office. The function
of DCU‟s International Office is to advise international students on study opportunities and
entry requirements to DCU, in addition to acting as a liaison and information point for both
international students and current DCU students who wish to study abroad.
The international student market is changing and Ireland seems to be being left behind. As
Verbik et. al 2007 contends, a growing number of higher education opportunities for study at
home and abroad are resulting in increased competition in the international student market.
Ireland is now being surpassed by other countries and applications are falling year on year.
According to a recent report published in the Irish Times, “between 2007 and 2008,
applications from India were down by 44%, and Chinese applications had fallen by almost
29%” (Faller 2010).
This decline in the level of international students choosing to study in Ireland is clearly
evident from the registration figures in DCU. The 2008/9 academic year saw 2,038
international students registered here in DCU. However this academic year, 2009/10
witnessed a drop of 11.8% in that figure to 1,797 (DCU International Office 2010).
International students represent a significant portion of DCU‟s revenue stream while also
adding a multi-cultural diversity to the college and therefore are extremely valuable to DCU
on numerous levels.
In a bid to attract the mounting number of prospective students pursuing higher education,
individual institutions and national governments are seeking to differentiate themselves from
their competitors. In an effort to do so, they are developing and executing targeted
recruitment strategies to propagate new markets or to expand further in already established
2
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
ones (Verbik et. al 2007). Therefore it is pertinent that DCU, in conjunction with the
International Office, employ new mechanisms for attracting students or run the risk of being
left behind by rival educational institutions.
1.2
Aim of the project
The aim of our project is to increase awareness of DCU as a university on an international
level through the use of digital platforms and technologies. The key areas of the project are:

To launch and maintain a digital marketing campaign across various social media
platforms, furthermore increasing the visibility of the International Office online while
communicating, engaging and creating meaningful relationships with potential
international students.

To discover and research what technologies international students are currently
using and then develop a technological solution which assists students‟ transition into
both Ireland and DCU as well as marketing DCU to international students. The
functionality of our technological solution will be based on our findings from our
primary research as to what difficulties international students face when deciding to
study abroad and how this solution can assist in alleviating some of these difficulties
and at the same time increasing awareness of the DCU brand.
1.3
Definition of International Student
There is no clear definition for the term “international student” because whether or not a
student is considered an “international student” can depend on a number of underlying
factors. Therefore for the purpose of this report we decided to follow the UNESCO Institute
of Statistics‟ and the OECD‟s definition of an international student.
3
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
Since 2006 the two largest compilers of student mobility data, UNESCO and the OECD,
have tried to normalise terms and definitions related to the gathering of academic mobility
statistics. In particular, they have made a clear distinction between what constitutes an
international student and a foreign student, in the hope that national agencies will normalise
their data along comparable lines (University World News 2009).
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics‟ Global Education Digest (2009) defines internationally
mobile students as “students who leave their country or territory of origin and move to
another country or territory with the objective of studying”.
The OECD, in Education at a Glance (2009) reinforces this definition and makes a vital
differentiation between “international students” and “foreign students” (University World
News 2009). The term “international student” relates to students that have “crossed borders
for the specific purpose of studying”. Alternatively, they use the term “foreign student” when
making reference to non-citizens registered at an institution of education outside their home
country, but who have not technically crossed any borders to study (OECD 2009).
1.4
Research Methodology
The primary elements of our research methodology encompass a quantitative survey which
we distributed to international students who previously studied abroad or are considering
studying abroad in the future. We promoted our survey through various “Study Abroad”
discussion forums (see Appendix 1.9) and also through the fan base of international
students which we have been building up during our six month social media campaign.
We also conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with Marie Heraughty, former Head of the
DCU International Office, and also Claire Bohan who is the current Head of the DCU
International Office.
4
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
Moreover, we organised and moderated a focus group with international students of varying
nationalities, to discover the awareness of DCU in their home country and also how they
found out about DCU and their reasons for choosing to study here over competing
universities. We also visited Togji University and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade
during a visit to Shanghai where we discussed studying abroad with both international
students and facility members (see Appendix 1.12).
This research was complemented by discussions with industry experts in the international
student recruitment field, as well as a widespread review of relevant publications, data and
literature.
1.5
Research Conducted
1.5.1
Qualitative Interviews
As the aim of our practicum is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of attracting
international students to DCU through the use of digital technologies, it was imperative that
we have a clear understanding of what currently is being done to attract and recruit
international students to DCU. Therefore before we carried out any other research, first on
our agenda was to conduct a qualitative interview with Marie Heraughty, Head of the
International Office.
Why we chose our candidate?
Marie overlooks the entire recruitment process of the International Office and would
therefore have an in depth knowledge on the area of our research. She has firsthand
experience in dealing with international students and would therefore be a reliable source for
explaining the difficulties and challenges she has experienced in her role and also the trends
that are emerging in the International Student Recruitment sector.
5
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
Figure 1.1: Screenshot of our interview with Marie Heraughty
What we wanted to find out?
We wished to conduct an interview to find out about the recruitment process currently used
by the DCU International Office and the challenges associated with it. We also wished to
learn out about the interaction between international students and the International Office,
before and after they arrive, including the resources that the students look for from the
International Office.
We also wanted to acquire knowledge on the International Office‟s target markets and
discover if there are any specific methods of recruitment targeted at these markets. For
example, specific courses promoted in particular countries. We also wanted to determine the
role technology plays in the recruitment process. For example, the International Office‟s
website and their use of social media.
1.5.2
Focus Group
We conducted a focus group with five international students in order to get a better
understanding of the difficulties they encounter as international students and the decisions
they had to make when deciding to study abroad.
6
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
Why participants were chosen?
Our focus group participants consisted of:

Laureen Morrissette from Maine, US.

Na Fu from Shengyang, China.

Guang Yang, from Beijing, China.

Dheeraj Kumar, from Dehli, India.

Zhenxing Zhang, from Hubei, China.
There were a number of reasons behind selecting the above participants. Firstly, they were
all international students and had therefore made the decision to study abroad. They chose
to study in DCU; thus they could help us ascertain what motivated them to pick DCU over
other colleges, and they could also provide us with an insight into the awareness of both
“Ireland” and “DCU” in their home country. Most importantly they were representative of
DCU‟s main target markets; India, China and the US, which we drew from the findings of our
previous research.
Figure 1.2: Conducting our Focus Group
What we wanted to discover?

Main reasons for choosing Ireland as a study destination

How did they find out about DCU? (agents, university fairs, website, peers etc)

Why did they choose DCU as opposed to other Irish universities
7
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology

Did they consider any other countries/universities

Did they use the DCU International website to research their course

Awareness of any funding or scholarships that were available to them

Would they like to be contacted by a university through social media

Main concerns they had before coming to study in DCU

Different Social Media Platforms they use

What type of information would you find useful in a mobile application that would help
them before they arrived in DCU

1.5.3
Smartphone Usage in their home country/ Do they use internet enabled phones?
Survey
Our survey (see Appendix 1.10) was designed using an online survey tool, SurveyMonkey.
In total, we obtained 102 complete surveys from the 125 surveys users filled out online.
Therefore 23 of the surveys were determined void as a result of users not completely
finishing the survey or getting distracted and exiting from the survey without completing it in
full. This gave us a satisfactory response rate of 81.6%.
We decided to distribute our questionnaire online through www.surveymonkey.com as we
felt this was the best option for the following reasons:

it allowed for instant collection of responses;

it reduced the costs involved with printing and distributing a paper based survey as
there is no need to print/post etc..,

it gave us access to unique populations- Our survey could reach students from far
flung countries which might have proved difficult through physical channels;

it saved time by allowing us to reach a wide audience in a short space of time.
8
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
Selecting and targeting respondents
Our target audience was identified as anybody over the age of 17 that was considering
studying abroad and also people who have already studied abroad. Our reasoning for
including students that have already studied abroad is that they will be able to provide us
with an insight into what factors had a major influence on them when deciding to study
abroad.
There were two sampling methods we had to decide between; Probability Sampling and
Non-probability Sampling. We felt that Probability Sampling would be of no benefit to us in
our research as we wanted to target people who appeared to have a keen interest in
studying abroad or had previously studied abroad. Using an approach such as Simple
Random Sampling would not have been beneficial as many of the respondents chosen
randomly might have no interest whatsoever in studying abroad.
Non-probability sampling can be divided into two main types; accidental or purposive. The
sampling method we chose was purposive as we had a particular plan in mind and we were
aware of the pre-defined group that we were seeking (Trochim 2006).
We primarily sent our survey to our followers on Twitter who had expressed an interest in
studying abroad (see Figure 1.3). We also promoted our survey on many discussion boards
relating to studying abroad. This ensured that each respondent met the criteria for being
included in our sample.
Figure 1.3: Example of direct message sent to our Twitter followers
9
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
Figure 1.4: “Study Abroad” discussion boards we promoted our survey on.
See Appendix 1.9 to view actual posts made on these discussion boards.
1.6
Structure of the Report
We have structured this report into eight chapters. This chapter, Chapter 1, has provided an
overview of the background of our study, what the aim of our study was and the research
methodology we followed in order to conduct our enquiries.
The second chapter is very much focused on the International Student Market and examines
key statistics we obtained from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Education Ireland and the
10
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
DCU International Office amongst others. Here we look at current trends in this market and
the opportunities that these trends pose for DCU.
Chapter 3 offers an introduction to social media and also highlights the importance of cultural
differences when marketing DCU in different regions of the world. We analyse the various
social media platforms used in DCU‟s main target markets and also provide a brief summary
of our social media campaign which we ran for the DCU International Office. In addition we
conduct an analysis of how DCU‟s main competitors are utilising social media and provide
some recommendations on how the International Office can integrate social media into their
current marketing strategy.
Chapter 4 sees us conduct an analysis of the current DCU International website in terms of
search engine optimisation. We highlight the problematic areas on the site and present
recommendations on how these problems can be alleviated to ensure DCU ranks higher
among Internet searches.
Chapter 5 illustrates a new design for the DCU International website based on best practices
as recognised by leading industry interface design gurus. We present the findings of our
usability analysis on the current International Office website and demonstrate through a fully
functional prototype website how these usability issues can be overcome.
In Chapter 6 we demonstrate how webinars can be used effectively to promote the various
courses offered by DCU. We discuss the technology behind such webinars and document
our own experience in running a live webinar, from promoting the event to the actual
recording of the live presentation. Furthermore we reflect on the results and feedback we
received from participants that attended the live event.
11
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Background & Research Methodology
In Chapter 7 we show how we have developed a smartphone application which has been
designed around our primary research. We illustrate why we decided to include the
functionality we did and demonstrate how we followed a structured analysis, design and
development approach throughout the process.
Finally in Chapter 8 we outline the resources and budget needed to implement the
recommendations in this report.
.
12
1
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
2
Chapter 2
International Student
Movement
13
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
2 International Student Movement
2.1
Background/Context
Ireland is by no means a newcomer when it comes to international education. In the
beginning of this millennium the quality of Irish education was a chief factor in the boom that
took place in our economy. The Irish economy is one of the most unrestricted in the world.
While people are increasingly sourcing goods from a broad range of countries, so too are
students choosing to conduct their studies overseas (Department of Education and Science
2004). Higher education is currently positioned in an open information environment in which
country borders are habitually crossed (Marginson 2006).
Growing populations coupled with the fact that incomes are beginning to rise again means
that international student education is an increasingly large and profitable business
(Department of Education and Science 2004). UNESCO‟s 2009 UIS Report states that in
2007, 2.8 million students were studying (full-time) overseas. With an average yearly growth
of 5.5%, it can be presumed that there is currently over 3 million globally mobile students.
Despite, or possibly as a result of the worldwide economic downturn, there is no indication of
a decline in the numbers of students choosing to study in another country. If present rates
remain steady, there will be in the region of 5.5 million internationally mobile students by
2020 (UNESCO 2009).
This accelerating demand for education services offers tremendous opportunities for Ireland;
but more importantly for our client, the DCU International Office. Ireland has many
advantages such as the fact that it‟s an English speaking European country that holds a
reputation for educational quality and is well positioned to develop a niche as an important
study location for international students (Education Ireland 2010).
14
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
International students contribute enormously to the development and sustainability of DCU.
Data obtained from the HEA1 states that approximately 11% of full time students in the
seven Irish Universities come from overseas (IUA 2010).
Many national governments have been apportioning more funds to higher education in a bid
to better both the quantity and quality of tertiary education available within their country.
Nonetheless, Verbik (2007) has found that capacity is inadequate to cater for the level of
demand in the chief source countries.
New trends are emerging which echo the realities around improved educational
opportunities at home as well as the broader choices of study destinations available to
students.
2.2
Market Size
The number of students engaging in third level education has grown exponentially over the
last 37 years, increasing from 28.6 million in 1970 to 152.5 million in 2007. This translates
into a yearly growth rate of 4.6%, with the mean number of third level students doubling
every 15 years. This development has been more extreme since 2000, with 51.7 million new
third level students registered around the world in a mere seven years (UNESCO 2009).
According to UNESCO, 66% of international students are located in six chief destination
countries; USA, UK, France, Australia, Germany and Japan (see Figure 2.1). We have also
included Ireland in this graph for comparison purposes.
Figure 2.1: Top 6 Destinations (and Ireland) for International Students in Higher Education
1
HEA= Higher Education Authority
15
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
no. of international students
700000
600000
595900
500000
400000
351500
300000
246600
211500
206900
200000
125900
100000
25781
0
USA
UK
France
Australia
Germany
Japan
Ireland
Source: UNESCO UIS, Global Education Digest 2009
Figure 2.2: Growth in internationalisation of third level education (1975-2007)
3.5
3
2.5
No. of
2
International
Students
1.5
(Millions)
1
0.5
0
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
Source: OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics
16
2000
2007
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
2.3
International Student Movement
International Students in Ireland
Universities maintain their dominance with 66% of international students registered in these
institutions. The Institutes of Technology have recently moved up into second position with
17% of the market while independent/private colleges now host 16% of international
students (Education Ireland 2010).
As you can see in Table 2.1, in 2009/2010 the US was the greatest source of international
students, followed by China and then France. This pattern is akin to patterns in Germany
and France where the majority of students are either from Europe or else from China. This
table shows that approximately 50% of the international students come from outside Europe,
33% from Europe and the remaining 17% from “Other countries” or “Not Specified”.
In Ireland the statistics show a poor presence of students from other Asian countries such as
India and South Korea, especially in comparison to other countries (Bonello et al 2009),
hence our identifying India as one of the primary markets that DCU needs to target in order
to create awareness of the university and its courses offered.
17
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
Table 2.1: Top Countries of Origin of International Students in Ireland
Country
US
China (+HK)
France
UK & Northern Ireland
2009/2010
4,467
3,355
2,068
1,512
2006/2007
4,408
3,573
1,536
1,992
Difference
+59
-218
+532
-480
Germany
Spain
Malaysia
India
Canada
Italy
Nigeria
Poland
Pakistan
Kuwait
Netherlands
Japan
Czech Republic
Belgium
Russian Federation
Korea
Brazil
Romania
Sweden
Norway
Austria
Bangladesh
Not specified
Other countries
Totals
1,450
1,187
1,094
1,125
710
674
618
512
450
255
208
186
177
172
169
157
152
148
143
140
138
134
1,033
3,408
25,781
1,431
1,395
1,289
1,094
500
1,253
482
539
497
291
184
354
152
177
143
212
65
66
126
214
172
211
984
2,955
26,295
+19
-208
-195
+31
+210
-579
+136
-27
-47
-36
+24
-168
+25
-5
+26
-55
+87
+82
+17
-74
-34
-77
+49
+453
-
Source: Education Ireland (2010)
While there has been a decrease in the number of international students coming to Ireland,
the EU still maintains its stance as an important regional grouping, making up 38% of
international students in this country. However EU students do not produce considerable
levels of income for the universities and institutions involved, amounting to a mere 11% of
the total income generated by international students. This aside, EU students are valuable in
terms of international links and profiles. Also many EU students who study in Ireland as part
of an exchange or for their undergraduate degree are more likely to return here for
postgraduate studies (Education Ireland 2010).
18
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
Figure 2.3: Student Numbers in DCU from 2006-2010
14000
12000
10000
8000
No. of
students
Total
Students
6000
International
Students
4000
2000
0
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
Source: DCU International Office (2010)
Table 2.2: Student Enrolment figures in DCU
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
Total International
1639
1986
2038
1797
Total Students
9837
10473
10761
10731
16.7%
19.0%
18.9%
16.7%
% Total Students
At present International students in Ireland make up 7% of the entire 3rd level student
population. However this is a meagre share when compared to other countries. Many
proactive countries have a considerably higher proportion of international students. For
example the most recent figures for the UK measure at 15%, Australia 12% and New
Zealand 7% (Department of Education and Science 2004).
19
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
2.4
International Student Movement
Market Opportunity
According to the Department of Education and Science there were 9,300 international third
level students in Ireland in 2001/2002. Ireland has improved over the years when it comes to
attracting international students and data from Education Ireland‟s 2010 survey verifies that
28,893 international students were enrolled with participating HEI‟s2 during the 2009/10
academic year (Education Ireland 2010). However Ireland is still not attracting satisfactory
figures when compared with other nations of a similar size.
According to Böhm (2003) Asia will maintain its position as the most dominant source region,
with India and China expected to account for 50% of the global demand for international
higher education by 2025 (Verbik 2007). India is expected to be the chief driver of growth
with 251,929 students in 2025, followed by China with 205,061 (Böhm 2003). The
importance of the international students from the EU is expected to drop from 8.5% market
share in 2003 to 1.9% market share in 2025 (Böhm 2003).
Therefore the main markets we believe that the DCU International Office should focus on
are:
2.4.1 China:
Not only does China have the world‟s largest population but also it‟s a
country that is currently struggling to meet the higher level education needs of its people.
2003 saw 2,000 Chinese students enrolled in third level institutions in Ireland (Department of
Education and Science 2004). Research by the Department of Education and Science
(2004) found that the number of Chinese students studying abroad over the last decade has
increased ten times over. It is predicted that surplus demand for third level education in
China is around the 10 million mark and that, with the exception of major shocks, this figure
will continue to increase.
2
HEI= Higher Education Institution
20
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
2.4.2 India:
Similar to China, the number of Indian students studying overseas has
been growing sturdily over the last ten years, and with excess demand
for education, this pattern looks set to continue. A significant factor to note with regards the
Indian market is that roughly 60% of this market tends to be interested in postgraduate
opportunities (Department of Education and Science 2004).
While there has been a tremendous increase in national and international providers founding
higher education institutions in India over the past three to four years, Indian students persist
to study abroad in their droves.
In the past Australia was the most popular study destination for Indian students. However
recent unfavourable media attention based on supposed racism towards Indian students in
Australia in 2009 has produced a fall of roughly 30% in Indian applications to Australian
higher education institutions (Education Ireland 2010). This could be viewed as Ireland‟s
opportunity and we feel this is a major market that DCU must penetrate. For example, the
UK has witnessed a 31.5% increase in Indian students in the last year to over 34,000
students (HESA 2010), while the US has seen a growth of 9% to 103,000 students (Open
Doors 2009).
However there are some barriers to recruiting students from India which must be considered:

Private Colleges are paying more commission to consultants, which explains why
independent colleges received 55% of all Indian international students in Ireland in
2009/2010. This was further reinforced by our focus group findings.
21
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010

International Student Movement
One of our focus group participants Dheeraj Kumar from India informed us that there
is little information in India available about studying abroad and that only “5% of 100
foreign people can directly apply to the university, whereas 95% would go to the
consultant. It’s the consultant who guides you about everything....tells you, “OK that’s
a good country, there’s a lot of opportunities there, that’s a good college”. He stated
that when he first came to Ireland “90% of Indian students went to either DBS3 or
Griffith College”, because the consultants were receiving more commission from
these private colleges than they were from the universities and Institutes of
Technology.
Table 2.3: Indian Students in Ireland by Sector
Sector
Universities & Recreational Colleges
Independent/Private Colleges
Institutes of Technology
Other
Totals
No of Students
389
617
115
4
1,125
%
35
55
10
<1
100
Source: Education Ireland (2010)
Figure 2.4: No. of Students from Target Markets in Ireland and DCU
3000
2500
2000
in DCU
1500
in Ireland
1000
500
0
China
India
US
Source: DCU International Office (2010)
3
DBS= Dublin Business School
22
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
2.4.3 The US:
Americans usually study overseas during their junior year for a
“cultural experience”. American students tend to study abroad in many
varying countries (see Table 2.4). The majority of these students
choose to study in the UK (12.7%), followed by Italy (11.7%), Spain (9.6%), France (6.6%),
and China (5%) (Open Doors 2009). Ireland ranks in a very respectable 9th position with
2.6% of the US Study Abroad market.
Table 2.4: Top 10 Destinations for US Study Abroad Students 2006-2008
Rank
Destination
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
UK
Italy
Spain
France
China
Australia
Mexico
Germany
Ireland
Costa Rica
2006/2007
2007/2008
32,705
27,831
24,005
17,233
11,064
10,747
9,461
7,355
5,785
5,383
33,333
30,670
25,212
17,336
13,165
11,042
9,928
8,253
6,881
6,096
Source: Open Doors (2009)
In a recent interview we conducted with Claire Bohan, Head of the DCU International Office,
she highlighted that US students are the most profitable in terms of revenue for DCU. This is
reinforced by Education Ireland (2010) who contends that income generated from tuition
fees related to US students last year amounted to €30.2 million. The reason US students are
so desirable is that they pay high fees and tend to cost less in terms of the support and
guidance that they require during their period of study in DCU. Also they fit into modules that
are already being taught in the college as their studies in the US are not too dissimilar to the
modules offered by DCU.
23
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
Education Ireland‟s survey recorded 4,467 American students enrolled for the current
academic year with Study Abroad/Junior Year Abroad students making up 80% of American
students in Ireland. Figures from Open Doors (2009) have demonstrated an 18.9% growth in
the numbers of Study Abroad/Junior Year Abroad students from the US studying in Ireland in
the 2007/2008 academic year.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) in the US also states that following China,
Ireland is the fastest rising destination for US Study Abroad students (Education Ireland
2010). As the majority of top US universities now necessitate Study Abroad as an obligatory
aspect of undergraduate programmes, this growth is expected to continue (Education Ireland
2010), which represents a profitable market opportunity for DCU.
Possible Market on the Backburner:
Claire Bohan also spoke of the importance of having alternative markets on the backburner.
As she contended “The Chinese Government could decide tomorrow that there was to be no
more students leaving China to study abroad. They could introduce new regulations and that
would be the end of the entire Chinese student market in an instant”.
This is why it is vital to have another market simmering away under the surface. One of the
markets Claire identified as a potential candidate was Canada.

Canada
593 Canadian students were registered in Irish Universities for the
academic year 2008/9. DCU only had two Canadian students enrolled
during that year which is quite a poor figure in comparison to DCU‟s main rivals. UCD had
133 Canadian students, UCC had 88 students, Trinity had 121, NUIG had 38 and UL had 25
Canadian students (HEA Annual Statistics 2009). Canadian students represent an attractive
24
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
International Student Movement
market opportunity for the very same reasons as the US; they pay high fees and do not
require a lot of assistance when settling into college life in Ireland.
2.5
Income Generated by International Students
The international student market is extremely profitable. The UK values the market at nearly
€12 billion, with €2 billion of that created in London alone. Australia record comparable
earnings, while New Zealand, a country which could be considered identical to Ireland in
terms of population and institutions captures roughly €1.5 billion per annum (Faller 2010).
Why is it that Ireland is lagging behind in attracting international students? Ireland is well
positioned as an English-speaking country but has not extended its potential as a study
destination (Mc Namara 2009).
At present we are grossing €900 million per annum in earnings from international students.
However if you exclude English language schools from that figure it falls to a meagre €400
million (Faller 2010).
Education Ireland (2010) approximate that each international student spends roughly
€11,000 per annum in Ireland on accommodation and other living costs. This alone adds an
additional €236 million, amounting to a total income of €428 million for 2009/2010.
Figure 2.5: Tuition Fee Income Generated by Top Five Countries (€millions)
Source: Education Ireland (2010)
25
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
2.6

International Student Movement
Benefits of Increased International Student Levels
Encourages Understanding, Tolerance and Cohesion
We currently live in a world which is increasingly culturally integrated, both socially and
economically. The familiarity of working and living with students from diverse cultures that
have different worldviews should help develop a level of understanding, tolerance and
cohesion both within Ireland and with other societies, cultures and countries (Department of
Education and Science 2004).

Helps Build Contacts and Maintain Networks
It provides an opportunity to build and maintain contacts with possible business and public
service leaders in other countries and thus, enables the development of economic, financial
and political cooperation. There is no underestimating the economic and social value of the
networks which flowed from the Irish diaspora (Department of Education and Science 2004).

Monetary Benefits
These include tuition fees which supplement our Universities budgets. It also includes
tourism expenditure from friends and relatives who may come to visit the students while they
are studying in Ireland (IUA 2010).
26
2
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
3
Chapter 3
Social Media Marketing
27
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
3 Social Media Marketing
3.1
Introduction to Social Media
“You are the tool for social media, Twitter is just an app for you to grow and influence
your society.”
– Razan Khatib
“Power of Twitter is out there, everybody is listening- take advantage of it.”
– Laith Zreikat
“Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people
and the people will provide for you.”
-Matt Goulart
“Social Networking & Social Media Ad Spending to Rise 13.2% in 2010 to 1.3 Billion!”
-eMarketer
Potential students are hanging out and spending their time on networking sites such as
YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. As you can see from Figure 3.1 below, everyone is online,
therefore it is imperative that the International Office is seen to have a presence on these
channels; enabling them to communicate on a broader scale with their target market.
Figure 3.1: Internet Users in the World by Geographic Regions
Source: Internet World Stats (2009)
28
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
What is Social Media?
The term “social media” is being tossed around a lot recently but yet it is difficult to pinpoint a
precise definition for social media. We believe Solis (2010) captures the essence of social
media when he describes it as “the democratization of information, transforming people from
content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to
a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers.”
Social Media encompasses the various forms of user generated content and the compilation
of websites and applications that allow people to communicate and share information online
(Scocco 2009). The following are all examples of social media:

Social Networking sites (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)

Blogs (e.g. Blogger, WordPress)

Social Bookmarking sites (e.g. Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon)

Video Sharing sites (e.g. YouTube)

Photo Sharing sites (e.g. Flickr, Photobucket)

Wiki‟s (e.g. Wikipedia)
Social Media is all about listening to what your customers have to say about your brand.
Many large companies such as Domino‟s and Apple have used feedback from social media
to improve their offerings (Saran 2010). For example, Domino‟s found that customers were
saying rather uncomplimentary things about their pizzas on social networking sites. They
took this feedback on board and completely changed the ingredients of their pizzas to
improve their offerings for their customers (Bodnar 2010).
29
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.2: Domino‟s “Pizza Turnaround” Campaign
Source: SocialMediaB2B (2010)
Similarly we feel that the DCU International Office can employ the use of social media to see
what is being said about the college and use any criticism or feedback constructively to
better the service offered.
3.2
Growth of Social Media
A recent Regus report (2010) found that almost three quarters of firms worldwide are using
social networks for various networking functions with 40% of companies discovering new
customers through these channels.
Data from the Nielsen Company (2009) demonstrates that people are persisting to spend
more time on social networking and blog sites than ever before, with total minutes rising 82%
year-over-year and the average time per person increasing 67% in May 2009. 2009 also saw
Twitter become one of the fastest-growing web brands increasing 1,448% from 1.2 million
unique visitors in May 2008 to 18.2 million in 2009.
2010 has seen the total number of Facebook users pass the 500 million mark and this figure
appears to be growing worldwide (Burcher 2010). According to Facebook (2010), 50% of
their active users log onto the site in any given day; the average user has 130 friends and
30
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
users spend over 500 billion minutes per month on the social networking site. Twitter is
presently surpassing 65 million tweets per day and both Facebook and Twitter have
experienced triple-digit growth in 2009. 22% of all time spent on the Internet is now
dedicated to social networking (Regus 2010).
This momentous growth in social media was confirmed by our primary research in which
89.2% of our survey respondents stated that they use social networks. Facebook proved
most popular with 94.5% of respondents using this platform. Orkut and QQ were the most
popular social networks commonly used by respondents from India/China.
When promoting DCU‟s International Office across the various platforms we wanted to be
certain that we were focusing on the most relevant platforms to ensure the success of our
campaign. We analysed the latest Alexa Web Rankings for 2010 to determine the most
popular sites in our main target markets.
Table 3.1: World Website Rankings in 2010
Rank
1
2
3
4
5
World
Google.com
Facebook
YouTube
Yahoo.com
Windows Live
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Baidu.com
Wikipedia
Blogger.com
MSN
QQ
Twitter
Yahoo! Japan
Google India
Taobao.com
Sina.com
Google Hong
Kong
Amazon.com
Google Germany
WordPress.com
Google UK
17
18
19
20
China
Baidu.com
QQ.com
Taobao.com
Sina.com.cn
Google Hong
Kong
163.com
Google.com
Soso.com
Sohu.com
Youku.com
SOGOU.com
Toodou.com
Google China
Hao123.com
Yahoo.com
Tianya.cn
India
Google India
Google.com
Yahoo.com
Facebook
YouTube
US
Google.com
Facebook
Yahoo.com
YouTube
Amazon.com
Blogger.com
Orkut.co.in
Wikipedia
Rediff.com
Twitter
Orkut
LinkedIn
India Times
WordPress.com
Googleusercontent.com
Windows Live
Wikipedia
Craigslist.org
Twitter
eBay.com
Windows Live
Blogger.com
MSN
Go.com
MySpace
Bing
AOL
Ku6.com
Ifeng.com
Kaixin001.com
Renren.com
Admagnet.net
MSN
In.com
Microsoft.com
ESPN
LinkedIn
CNN Interactive
WordPress.com
Source: Alexa (2010)
31
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
We coupled these results with our findings from our survey and focus group to whittle this list
down to four key platforms- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube which we will discuss
in further detail later in this chapter.
3.3
Focus of our Social Media Campaign
Having conducted intensive primary research which included a qualitative interview with our
client, the DCU International Office, we have identified the three most important regions for
the purposes of our social media marketing campaign.

US

China

India
In a recent interview with Claire Bohan, Head of the International Office, she highlighted that
US students would be the most profitable in terms of revenue for DCU. They pay high fees
and tend to cost less in terms of the support and guidance that they will require during their
period of study in DCU. Also they fit into modules that are already being taught in the
college.
The age range of our target market would vary from seventeen years of age to early
twenties. Additionally we would also target mature students (26 years - 50 years of age) that
are considering returning to the education sector.
3.4
How to market to different regions
An important consideration to take into account when marketing the DCU International Office
is that the Asian market is quite different to the Western market, thus varying methods and
platforms must be utilised.
For example the findings from our focus group reveal that Asian students rather deal with
people who they are familiar with and trust. A lack of business ethics in Asian countries have
led consumers to be extremely wary of traditional advertising and rely more on word-of-
32
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
mouth marketing (Composto 2009). This has also been reinforced from our focus group
findings and trip to Shanghai.
Na Fu: “I have a good friend that finished his PhD & that’s another connection
because he worked in my university & then came here to do his PhD & after
finishing he just came back. That built the connection between DCU and my
university.”
MODERATOR: “So that sort of helped you decide to come here?”
Na Fu: “Yeah that’s very important for the people that come back, word of mouth.”
MODERATOR: “Like to hear the experience that they had as well”.
Na Fu: “Because you trust him”.
Whilst in Shanghai, Deirdre Walsh from China Green discussed with us the importance of
关系“guanxi” in China which basically alludes to building relationships with consumers.
Chinese consumers build guanxi because they believe there is more to a business
relationship than merely establishing the “connection”, the connection must be nurtured
(Chung 2008).
Despite the business experiences of a company in their home country, in China the most
successful companies are those with the right “guanxi”. This strong dependence on
relationships means that western companies must make themselves known prior to any
business taking place. This relationship needs to be made with individuals at a personal
level and is a continuous process (Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center 2004).
When targeting the Chinese and Indian markets it is imperative that the DCU International
Office focus their efforts on the most popular platforms in these regions, as they differ from
those which are most globally popular. We will now analyse the most popular platforms for
the International Office to target in terms of reaching the Chinese and Indian student market.
33
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.3: World Map of Social Networks
Source: TechCrunch (2009)
34
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
3.4.1 Social Networks & Platforms in India
In India, Gupshup- a mobile social networking application, has in excess of 25 million
members (SMSGupshup 2010) which is not surprising considering India‟s wireless
subscribers amass to 600 million. Orkut follows Gupshup with 18 million members, which in
turn is followed by Facebook with 16 million (Ad Age 2010) and Bharatstudent.com which
has 3.3 million users (BharatStudent.com 2010).

GupShup
GupShup is a mobile group SMS service that enables users to build mobile communities
and transmit messages to them. GupShup is growing at a tremendous pace with thousands
of groups on topics such as entertainment, education, health, sports and technology
(GupShup 2010).

Orkut
Orkut is an online community that was developed to make your social life more active and
stimulating. Orkut‟s social network can aid you in maintaining existing relationships through
pictures and messages, and also helps you create new connections with people you‟ve
never met before (Orkut 2010). ComScore (2009) reported that Orkut is the most visited
social networking site in India with the number of visitors increasing by 81% from 2007.
However as you can see from table 3.2 below Facebook is growing at a tremendous rate in
India and their user base has increased by 150% from 2007-2008. This growth has been
maintained and in June 2010 Facebook registered 16 million Indian users, only 2 million
behind the leader Orkut, indicating that Orkut is slightly losing its position as the most
dominant social network in India (Lillevälja 2009).
35
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Table 3.2: Top Social Networking Sites in India (2007 v 2008)
Source: ComScore (2009)
Figure 3.4: Visitors by Country for Orkut.com
Source: Alexa (2010)

BharatStudent:
BharatStudent is the 3rd most popular social networking site in India, after Orkut and
Facebook. Bharatstudent.com is a social utility that unites all young Indians around the
world. It was developed for every young Indian who is a student or non-student, graduate,
professional or an entrepreneur, and it is concentrated on supplying wide-ranging solutions
for various personal and professional issues. (BharatStudent 2010).
36
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.5: Visitors by Country for Bharatstudent.com
Source: Alexa (2010)
3.4.2 Social Networks & Platforms in China
Unlike most other markets, Facebook does not have a presence in China as it has been
blocked by government censors in certain areas. Therefore most social networking happens
on QQ, RenRen, Baidu Space and Kaixin001.
Figure 3.6: Social Network Usage in China
Source: Social Beat (2010)
37
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
China has in excess of 120 million Internet users, of which 43% use online message boards.
Furthermore, 76 million are using online video sharing sites while 24% are using blogs
(Composta 2009). The Director of Digital Strategy for China at communications and PR
company Ogilvy states that “the real place where conversations about brands occur over the
Chinese internet is on bulletin boards/discussion forums” (Wharton 2009). This fact was also
referred to by one of our Chinese focus group participants.
Na Fu: “I think in every university in China, they have their own forum. In China we
just know our college forum so if you want to make everyone know DCU and know
Ireland I think the best way for China is through these forums......
Otherwise people won’t trust...I think I trust my university’s forum more than social
media.”

QQ /QZone
Tencent, China‟s principal Internet portal which is mainly known for their extremely popular
instant messenger service QQ, recently published a report on the user numbers for their
social networking site QZone. Their report stated that in excess of 200 million people were
using QZone as of January 2009. QQ has many other social networking services geared
towards different markets besides QZone. For example, QQ Xiaoyou targets students in
universities and high schools (Wauters 2009).
Figure 3.7: Visitors by Country for QQ.com
Source: Alexa.com (2010)
38
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010

Social Media Marketing
RenRen
Renren is one of the leading social networking sites in China and it receives daily page
views of 560 million (AdAge 2010). It started off as a Facebook replica called Xiaonei.comwhich means „on campus‟ in Chinese. In 2009 it changed its name to Renren, which
translates to „everybody‟ in English (McManus 2010). Users primarily are students, although
RenRen is placing great emphasis on retaining those users after they graduate (Lukoff
2010).

Kaixin001
Since launching in 2008, Chinese social networking site Kaixin001 has enjoyed
instantaneous success and by 2009 it had achieved 40 million registered users (Chow
2010). Kaixin001 has the most highly active users and it averages 34 page views and 33
minutes spent on the website per user (Lukoff 2010). Users of this platform are mainly those
working in the professional world or who have recently graduated. This site is regarded as
highly valuable largely due to its relatively wealthy user base (McManus 2010).
3.5
Platforms we used for our campaign
Dedicating the time and resources to maintaining a presence on every single social network
was not feasible and therefore for the purpose of our social media campaign we choose to
concentrate primarily on the two largest social networks globally, which are Facebook and
Twitter. We also ensured that the DCU International Office had a presence on YouTube,
LinkedIn and Flickr, however these platforms were not the main focus of our campaign.
3.5.1 Twitter www.twitter.com
What is Twitter?
According to the Twitter (2010) website, “Twitter is a real-time information network powered
by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now”.
Twitter poses the question “what‟s happening?” and disseminates the answer across the
39
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
globe to millions of users instantaneously. Users post a series of “tweets”, which are
basically short text messages of no more than 140 characters in length that the user sends
to their friends or “followers” (Tweeternet 2010). In essence, “Twitter is like a Text Message
with a BCC: To The World” (Hubspot 2010).
The short nature of each tweet is the most prominent characteristic of the service, permitting
casual collaboration and rapid information sharing. Twitter allows you to share information
with people who you mightn‟t normally exchange email or IM messages with, broadening our
circle of contacts to a rising community of like-minded individuals (Tweeternet 2010). Users
can publish tweets using the Twitter website directly or alternatively via a mobile phone or
other handheld devices, or through third party applications such as Hoot Suite or Tweet
Deck (see Social Media Marketing Report in Appendix 1.20 for further explanation of these
tools).
Who uses Twitter?
According to comScore almost 75,000,000 people visited www.twitter.com in January 2010
worldwide. This signifies a growth of 1,100% in a year (Wilhelm 2010).
In which country is does Twitter obtain its highest ranking?
The web information company Alexa (2010) states that Twitter ranks highest in South Africa
where it is the eighth largest website. Pakistan, the UK and the Philippines all list Twitter as
their tenth largest website in terms of hits (Wilhelm 2010).
40
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.8: Tweets per month on Twitter
Source: Pingdom.com (2010)
Some Twitter statistics from Pingdom.com

10 Billion + tweets sent on Twitter since 2006

January 2010 had 16 times as many tweets as January 2009

December 2009 was the first month Twitter processed more than one billion tweets
(with 1.036 billion tweets).

January 2010 saw more tweets per day (39.5 million) than the whole of September
2008.

Activity on Twitter has doubled since August 2009.
Research by Quantcast (2010) concludes that females, young adults, and the less affluent
dominate the Twittersphere. Statistics for 2009 show that 54% of Twitter users are females,
while young adults between the ages of 18-34 years make up 43% of the micro-blogging
platform (Lur 2009).
41
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.9: Twitter Demographics Statistics
Source: Lur (2009)
3.5.2 Facebook www.facebook.com
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a popular free social networking website that permits registered users to create
profiles, upload photos and videos, post and send messages and basically allows them to
keep in contact with friends and colleagues. Facebook is available in 37 different languages
and according to WhatIs?com (2010) some of the dominant features of the site include:

Groups- allows users who have similar interests to find each other and interact.

Events- allows users to promote and publicise an event that is scheduled to take
place, invite other users to the event and keeps track of who can/cannot attend.

Marketplace- allows users to post, read and reply to classified ads.

Pages- allows users to create and promote a page that is created around a particular
topic.

Presence technology- allows users to see which of their contacts are currently
online and provides an ability to chat over the Facebook platform.
42
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Each user‟s personal profile contains many key networking components. The most popular
is the Wall which is basically a virtual bulletin board (WhatIs?com 2010). The user or their
friends can post messages, videos, photos or links on this wall for all to see.
Another extremely popular function is the Photo Album. This allows users to upload photos
either from their desktop or perhaps from another device such as their mobile phone. An
interactive album feature enables the user‟s “friends” to comment on each other‟s photos
which helps generate user feedback and individuals can be identified in a photo through
“tagging”.
The Status Update feature is similar to a tweet and allows the user to post announcements
to their friends. These posts will appear in the Facebook newsfeed, which is distributed in
real-time to all the user‟s friends and contacts (WhatIs?com 2010).
An important fact to consider when using any social networks is privacy. Facebook provides
a range of privacy options to its users. You can choose whether your communications are
visible to everyone, or only to your “friends”. Users can also decide whether or not they want
to be searchable (i.e. for people who are not connected to them to be able to find them),
which parts of their profile are public and who precisely can view their posts. If you wish to
communicate in private, there is the Facebook message function, where only the persons
sending and receiving the message have access to the content (WhatIs?com 2010).
Who uses Facebook?
2010 has seen the total number of Facebook users pass the 400 million mark and this figure
appears to be growing worldwide (Burcher 2010). According to Facebook (2010), 50% of
their active users log onto the site in any given day; the average user has 130 friends and
users spend over 500 billion minutes per month on the social networking site.
43
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Table 3.3: Top Facebook Users (by country)
Rank
Country
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
USA
UK
Indonesia
Turkey
France
Italy
Canada
Philippines
Spain
Mexico
Columbia
Argentina
Germany
Australia
India
Chile
Taiwan
Venezuela
Malaysia
Brazil
Sweden
Belgium
Thailand
Hong Kong
Egypt
Greece
Israel
South
Africa
Czech Rep
Denmark
29
30
Number of
Facebook users
March 2009
56,796,060
17,866,140
2,325,840
9,759,780
8,946,140
8,260,300
11,597,420
1,026,300
4,228,220
2,142,080
4,838,760
3,406,520
1,955,240
5,327,260
1,561,000
4,397,300
205,500
2,658,140
1,197,560
395,940
2,052,080
2,125,600
284,340
1,686,020
1,252,100
1,306,600
1,030,200
1,385,340
Number of Facebook
users 31st March
2010
114,190,780
24,378,040
20,775,320
20,538,740
17,317,460
15,486,480
13,952,740
11,561,740
9,292,380
9,208,560
8,681,500
8,580,180
8,454,240
7,922,140
7,809,800
6,273,000
6,107,100
5,765,240
5,552,660
3,602,100
3,422,680
3,239,980
2,895,320
2,865,700
2,816,480
2,611,420
2,608,420
2,485,960
12 month
growth %
444,120
2,028,760
2,421,720
2,341,900
446%
15.4%
Source: Burcher, 2010
44
101%
36.5%
793%
110%
93.6%
87.5%
20.3%
1027%
120%
330%
79.4%
152%
332%
48.7%
400%
42.7%
2872%
117%
364%
810%
67%
52.4%
918%
70%
125%
100%
153.2%
79.5%
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.10: Facebook Demographics Statistics
3.5.3 YouTube www.youtube.com
What is YouTube?
YouTube was established in February 2005 and has since become one of the most popular
online video services in the world. YouTube allows users to upload video content and also to
search through their vast library of video content using keywords and has really taken the
notion of viral videos to new heights (Nations 2008).
YouTube is a great tool for businesses, enabling companies to get their name and offerings
out there with no expense incurred. It‟s extremely beneficial to deliver new information about
new products/services and it serves as a very affordable method of advertising (Feldman
2007). According to Methekohy (2010), YouTube surpasses 2 billion views per day and has
a tremendous reach being localised in 32 countries across 24 different languages.
45
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.11: Key YouTube Stats
Source: Methekohy (2010)
Figure 3.12: YouTube Around the World
Source: Methekohy (2010)
The power of YouTube was most noticeable in 2009 when it helped spark a frenzy around
unknown talent show contestant Susan Boyle, and catapulted her to international fame
virtually overnight. Boyle‟s performance on the reality show “Britain‟s Got Talent” received
more than 100 million hits on YouTube in less than two weeks and she has since gone on to
capitalise on her internet success (Davies 2009).
46
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.13: YouTube Phenomenon Susan Boyle
Source: YouTube (2010)
3.5.4 Flickr www.flickr.com
What is Flickr?
Flickr provides a mechanism for managing your photos online and then sharing them with
other users. Its chief aim is to help people and organisations‟ make photos and images
available to those who are important to them. It also offers new innovative ways of
organising photos. Flickr is free to join and once you register and set up an account you can
start sharing images instantly (Turnbull 2005).
With Flickr‟s database structure, every picture is associated with its owner or creator initially,
then it is related to any groups or sets that the image has been added to, then with any tags
that have been assigned to it, and then in the end with the electronic metadata that the
camera added automatically to the original photo (Turnbull 2005).
47
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
How the DCU International Office can use Flickr?
Findings from our focus group discovered that the DCU website does not make great use of
images or photos (see Appendix 1.3). The majority of international students considering
coming to DCU have never visited Ireland before, and thus they would like to see pictures of
what it‟s like and also pictures from different areas around the campus. They emphasised
that they prefer to view images than to read copious amounts of text. This was one of the
main reasons we decided to set up a DCU International Flickr page.
1) Share quality photos
The most important aspect when it comes to Flickr is ensuring that the photos you share are
of good quality. Flickr works well when you use photos that look authentic and encapsulate
the “real life” of students (Bhargava 2010).
2) Register for a “Pro” account
We would advise DCU International to sign up for a “Pro” account. For the purpose of our
social media campaign we used a free account which has certain restrictions attached to it,
i.e. you can only upload up to 200 images. Also a “Pro” account will give DCU International
more authority within the online community and therefore we feel it is worth the $25 to set up
a “Pro” account (Bhargava 2010).
3) Create Collections
Flickr allows you to organise your photos into collections and sets. Sets are similar to photo
galleries, and collections then group multiple photo galleries together. It is a good idea to
group photos with a similar theme into the same set: For example you could have sets for
the following “DCU Campus”, “Sports at DCU”, “DCU Businesses School”, “DCU School of
Computing” etc., each containing relevant images.
48
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.14: Screenshots from DCU International’s Flickr Page
4) Consider Thumbnails Carefully
Sets and individuals are displayed initially as thumbnails. These are the visual elements that
the need to captivate the user so that they are motivated to click and explore your account
further. Whenever you create a new set, the thumbnail of the first image is automatically
used as the album/set cover. Therefore it is crucial that you change the album/set cover to
the image that will provide the most compelling reason to view the rest of the set of images
(Bhargava 2010).
5) Tag all images
Tags are the main way in which users locate images on Flickr and therefore taking the time
to tag all of your photos correctly is extremely important. Use keywords that are descriptive
49
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
of the image but also look at what people are already searching for and check if any of those
tags could apply to your images. Apart from direct links to your Flickr homepage, a lot of
your image views will come from users who have entered searches for these tags (Bhargava
2010).
6) Real time content
One of the main benefits of Flickr is the speed and rapid rate at which you can get your
photos online. Therefore when a major event takes place in the college it is vital that you get
images from the event up on your homepage as soon as possible while there is still interest
surrounding the event. This will increase the probability of people viewing the images,
referring to them and sharing them with friends (Bhargava 2010).
7) Maintaining your Flickr page
It is not sufficient to upload a substantial amount of images and then think that‟s all there is
to it. One of the most difficult elements of maintaining your page is to keep uploading quality
content. Every event must be seen as an opportunity to create images for your galleries. The
main thing you want to evade is having one impressive spike and then a major lull in activity
(Bhargava 2010). For example, uploading various photos of DCU in the various seasons,
e.g. During winter post some photos of a snowy campus. This will show users that the
content is fresh and reliable.
3.5.5 LinkedIn www.linkedin.com
What is LinkedIn?
According to their site, LinkedIn is the world‟s “largest professional network with over 70
million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and
allows you to swap knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a wider network of
professionals” (LinkedIn Learning Centre 2010).
50
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
All Fortune 500 companies are represented on LinkedIn (Yoakum 2010). Similarly thousands
of medium and small companies have a LinkedIn presence. In excess of 90,000 of LinkedIn
members are CEO‟s and almost 90% of employers make use of LinkedIn for recruitment
purposes and to screen potential employees (Yoakum 2010).
LinkedIn allows users to:
1) Establish your professional Profile
LinkedIn provides you with the keys to managing the online identity of your business. When
you Google your business, you never know what results will appear. LinkedIn profiles tend to
climb to the top of search results, allowing you to control the first impression customers or
your target audience may get when they search for your company online (LinkedIn Learning
Centre 2010).
2) Stay in touch with colleagues and friends
LinkedIn allows you to stay in touch with colleagues regardless of job or location. This will be
extremely useful for the International Office when building professional contacts with
representatives in universities all over the globe and stay in touch with DCU alumni.
3) Locate experts and ideas
Tools such as Answers and Groups allow users to find and interact with experts through
trusted introductions. LinkedIn Search enables users to investigate the wider network by
name, title, company, location and other keywords that will assist you in finding the
knowledge you‟re seeking (LinkedIn Learning Centre 2010).
4) Explore Opportunities
LinkedIn helps you win new clients and create a professional reputation which in turn helps
connect you to sales leads and possible business partners.
51
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
3.6
Social Media Marketing
Key Results from our Social Media Marketing Campaign
Twitter: Key Stats




592 followers
Following 1,989 people
241 tweets
TwitterCounter Score: 79%
Figure 3.15: Growth in our Twitter followers
Figure 3.16: Our Twitter Klout Score
52
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.17: Clicks per region for our Twitter page
Figure 3.18: Top Referrers (by clicks)
Figure 3.19: Most Popular Tweets
53
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Table 3.4: Twitter Counter Statistics
Followers:
Following:
URL:
Avatar:
Updates:
Location:
54
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Description:
Conclusion:
55
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Facebook: Key Stats



146 fans
Highest No. of Page Views per day: 130 views
36 Wall Posts
Figure 3.20: Age and Gender Statistics of our Facebook Fans
Figure 3.21: Origin of our Facebook Fans
56
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Figure 3.22: Page Views for DCU International Facebook Page
Figure 3.23: Growth in our Facebook Fan numbers
Figure 3.24: Total Interactions on our Facebook Page
57
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
3.7
Social Media Marketing
Competitors’ use of social media
While running our social media campaign for the International Office, we also conducted an
analysis of DCU‟s main competitors use of social media and the platforms they are utilising
(see Table 3.5). The majority of the other colleges, universities and educational institutions
which we researched all have presences on the key social networks. This highlights the
importance of social media for the DCU International Office, as they must keep up with the
promotional methods of their primary competitors. Also crucial is to continuously analyse
what your competitors are doing.
Figure 3.25: Some examples from competitors’ pages on various social networks:
58
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
59
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
60
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
An Example of Blogging used very effectively: DIT
While analysing DCU‟s competitors we came across DIT‟s International Office blog. We feel
that this blog works extremely well for many reasons:

It uses language that is easy and simple to understand for international students.

It is updated frequently and the content on the blog is kept fresh.

They use their blog to promote the events that are occurring in the college.

They use images to enhance the appearance of the posts.
61
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010

Social Media Marketing
The blog is nicely laid out and posts are not long and drawn out but rather short and
to the point.
Figure 3.26: Examples of DIT’s blog
62
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
Table 3.5: Overview of Competitors
63
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
While most of the competition has a presence on the various social networking platforms, a
lot of their accounts are not updated regularly and contain old content. This is where we feel
the DCU International Office can excel and distinguish themselves from the rest of the
crowd. By following our recommendations below, we feel DCU International can increase
their reach and build strong relationships with potential students through the use of social
media.
The International Office can also utilise social networks to reduce the daily workload of staff.
For example, staff often spend a few hours a day answering the same e-mails and questions
on a regular basis. They could instead post this information on their social networking
accounts, thus reducing the number of phone calls and emails about tedious matters that
they receive, which can often take up a large part of the staff‟s day. This means that the
International Office staff will have more time to deal with more urgent issues that
international students may have.
3.8
General Recommendations for DCU International Office
To aid our client we compiled a step-by-step guide to social media, which provides them with
a beginner‟s introductory guide on setting up the various social media accounts and how to
monitor them (see “Social Media Marketing Report” in Appendix 1.20”).
Below is a brief summary of the recommendations we made in our Social Media Marketing
Report for the International Office in terms of their use of social media.

Don‟t approach social media with the view of broadcasting information about your
company in the form of sales pitches but rather look at social media as a platform for
engaging and building relationships with potential customers.

Constantly listen out for any mention of your brand. For example, we set up searches
in Tweet Deck so that we are immediately informed of anytime somebody tweets or
64
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Social Media Marketing
posts anything about DCU. This will enable the International Office to personally
address any concerns that some students may have about studying in DCU and also
dispel any. It enables the International Office to provide a customised service that is
unique to each individual‟s query or request.

Use a warm and friendly tone when posting and responding to followers.

Post links to articles and videos that you think international students might be
interested in or find helpful, even if they‟re not directly related to DCU. This will show
that you actually have the well-being and experiences of the students in mind and are
not constantly sending out sales pitches to try and recruit more students to DCU.

Use social networks to post pictures from International Open Days, and the people
working behind the scenes in the International Office. This again will help potential
students identify with DCU and the people that are tweeting and responding to them
on a regular basis. Posting pictures of the campus will also help students that are
considering DCU get an idea of what the college has to offer.

Avoid spam. Don‟t send unsolicited messages to people who are not interested in
studying abroad. Make sure that anyone you contact directly has clearly expressed
an interest in studying abroad and thus your message may be of importance to them.

Social networks are real-time platforms and thus any students with queries will
expect an almost instantaneous response. Thus we would advise the International
Office to assign someone the responsibility for updating Twitter/Facebook etc and
responding in real time to avoid potential students becoming disgruntled when they
have to wait a long period of time for a response.
65
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010

Social Media Marketing
Keep a record of your daily responses, problems that have been solved and positive
exchanges with potential students.

Add your Facebook, Twitter, blog URL‟s to email signatures, business cards,
promotional materials etc.

Integrate all your social networks. For example on your blog you could have
Facebook and Twitter badges which link to your accounts on these various platforms
(see Figure 3.27).
Figure 3.27: Example of badges being used

Monitor and pay close attention to increases and decreases in your number of
followers on various platforms.
66
3
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
Chapter 4
Search Engine
Optimisation
67
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
4 Search Engine Optimisation
4.1
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making sure that your website will be
seen in search engine results for any search engine. The reality is that an organisation
wants their website to feature as high up in the search rankings as possible. For this to occur
their website has to be optimised by following a standard process.
This optimisation process consists of many tasks, each equally important. This chapter goes
through each of these tasks and explains the importance of the particular task. We then
conduct an analysis of the current DCU International website and finally a list of
recommendations is given. If these recommendations are carried out then it is likely that the
organic results in any search engine will improve (see Appendix 1.13 for full analysis of
current site).
4.1.1 Why use SEO?

In a 2007 survey comScore found that 60% of consumers use the Web as their firstline tool to search for businesses (Hoffman 2009).

In a 2006 survey AOL and Henley Centre found that 73% of respondents listed
search engines as important sources of information when considering a product or
service (Hoffman 2009).

84% of searchers will never make it past page two of Google (Viney 2008).

Approximately 65% of people never click on paid results (Viney 2008).

It costs nothing to appear in Google‟s (and other search engines) organic search
results.
4.1.2 What can be optimised to improve search rankings?

Page Titles

Page Descriptions

URL Descriptions

Navigation

Content
68
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010

Links

Heading Tags

Use of Images

Use of Robots.txt file

Backlinks

Google PageRank
Search Engine Optimisation
We will look at each of the above in the following sections of this chapter.
4.2
SEO in detail
4.2.1 Page Titles
It is very important to use unique and accurate page titles for each and every page in the
website. This helps both users and search engines understand what the topic of a particular
page is.
The title should be as descriptive as possible and include the following:
 What the company offers
 Who it targets
 The main features of the products
The titles should also be brief. It is recommended that they are no longer than 60 characters
as this is the maximum length that most search engines will show in the search results. Also,
lengthy titles usually end up being unhelpful to the user and also tend to have unneeded
keywords.
Figure 4.1: DCU International - Title on Search Page
69
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
Figure 4.2: DCU International – Title on Home Page
4.2.2 Page Descriptions
The description Meta tag gives search engines a description of what the page is about. The
page‟s title would be made up of a few words or a phrase whilst the description would offer
more detail and can be made up of a couple of sentences or a short paragraph.
These description tags are usually used as a snippet by search engines and in most cases
come up under the title in search results.
Therefore it is important to use clear, well-
constructed descriptions for each page.
Figure 4.3: Description tags used in the DCU International homepage
4.2.3 URL Descriptions
It is considered good practice to create “friendly” URLs. This would be helpful for the user
searching in search engines and anyone who wants to link to your content. Using very long
and cryptic URLs with very few recognisable words can be intimidating to the users. It will
also have a negative effect on your search results since search engines also prefer “friendly”
URLs.
70
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
Figure 4.4: DCU International URL Description
4.2.4 Navigation
The navigation of a website is a very important aspect of SEO but it also helps the visitors
find the content they want quickly and easily. It also helps search engines understand which
content the webmaster considers as being important.
The homepage is usually the starting point of any site and is also generally the most visited
page. The visitor can then access other pages from the homepage. It is important that the
site is structured in such a way that:
(a) The visitor can navigate from one page to another and back to the previous page
without getting lost in the site.
(b) The visitor can always get back to the homepage from anywhere in the site.
It is also very useful to make use of sitemaps. There are two types of sitemaps that can be
used:
(1) A sitemap (lowercase) usually shows a hierarchical list of all the pages of a website.
This makes it easy for the visitor to find any particular pages they are looking for.
(2) An XML Sitemap (uppercase) is usually submitted to search engines (in the case of
Google this can be done through the Google Webmaster Tools). Its purpose is to
help the search engines understand the structure of the site and to discover the
pages of the site.
71
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
Therefore it is important that both types of sitemaps are used because they both have their
uses.
The following are considered to be good practices for site navigation:

Create a naturally flowing hierarchy. It is important to make it as easy as possible
for visitors to go through the site content, starting from the general content and then
leading to the more specific content. However it is important not to make the user go
through 20 clicks before they can reach the content they need.

Use mostly text for navigation. There are a number of reasons why text should be
used for navigation (as opposed to such technologies as Flash and JavaScript). The
main ones are:

o
Search engines find text easier to crawl
o
Users prefer text
o
Some browsers do not handle Flash and JavaScript
Use “breadcrumbs” navigation. A breadcrumb is a series of internal links at the top
(or sometimes at the bottom) of the page that allow users to navigate easily back to
previous section or the homepage.
Figure 4.5: DCU International Breadcrumbs

Use both types of sitemaps. As discussed above sitemaps are important for
different reasons and both types should be used.

Keep the user in mind. Every visitor will have different ways of navigating through
the site. Some might use the breadcrumbs, others might type in the URL themselves.
72
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010

Search Engine Optimisation
It is important to try to anticipate this and:
(a) Do not use complicated URLs (as discussed in previous section)
(b) Have an custom error page (discussed below)

Have a useful 404 page. 404 pages are error pages which come up when a user
tries to access a page which does not exist. It is important to have a clear, friendly
404 page that helps users understand what to do next. This will greatly improve the
user experience.
4.2.5 Content
Quality content is an important aspect for SEO, but it is also important to always keep the
user in mind and offer content that is relevant and interesting. Therefore it is all about finding
the right balance. Having high quality content is an incentive for users to visit the rest of the
site, visit the site again and also to promote and speak about with friends and through social
networks and blogs.
The following are considered to be good practices for creating content:

Write easy-to-read text. As mentioned previously, it is important to have interesting
text which will engage the user and entice them into visiting the site more than once.

Keep to the topic. It is important not to deviate from the topic. If the visitors of your
site are expecting to find information about university courses, etc then it is important
that that is the content they find. Offering other irrelevant content will only cause the
visitor to leave the site and not come back.

Use relevant language. This is where that fine balance must be struck. Try to add
as many relevant keywords as possible to your content. Think of what keywords
users will use when searching for products and content similar to what your site
offers. Having as many of these keywords as possible will also assist in the SEO and
give your site a better possibility of featuring as high up as possible in the search
73
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
rankings. It is also important to remember that international students vary in language
level. Therefore it is imperative that the use of language is simplistic.

Create content primarily for users, not search engines. As mentioned previously,
even though quality content is important for SEO it is more important for the user.
Therefore always make sure that the content is relevant, interesting and engaging. It
is also important not to enter too many keywords aimed at search engines since this
will annoy users.
4.2.6 Links
Anchor text is the clickable text that users click on to get to another page within the site.
They accurately describe the content of articles and pages within the website. These are
commonly known as links.
It is important that the anchor text is:

Descriptive. The anchor text used for a link should provide the user with an idea of
what the page is about and should not be generic like for example “page” or “article”.
It should be clear to the user what they should expect when they click on the link.

Concise. The ideal anchor text would be short but descriptive, a few words or a short
phrase.

Easy to spot. It is important that anchor text is distinguishable from regular text. It
makes no sense to have links if the users can‟t see them. The standard practice is to
use blue text for links; however this depends on the style of the website and also the
browser.
74
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
4.2.7 Headings
Heading tags are used to present structure on the page for users. There are six sizes of
heading tags (<H1> through to <H6>). <H1> indicates that the text is important, whilst <H6>
indicates that the text is the least important.
These heading tags are used mainly as visual cues for the visitors since they will understand
that larger text is usually a title and the text below the title is related to the topic described in
the title.
4.2.8 Images
The use of images is highly recommended throughout a website. However too many images
is never a good idea. In fact images should be used to compliment the text rather than to
replace it.
When using images there is the possibility to have a distinct name for the images as well as
what is called “alt” text. This is an attribute which specifies an alternative text for the image if
it cannot be displayed for some reason. Some users might be using browsers that do not
support images, or else technologies such as screen readers so the alternative text will show
up instead of the image. Alt text is also important if an image is being used as a link since
the alt text will be used similarly to the anchor text in this case.
Finally, it is important to optimise the images on the website because this will allow image
search engines to better understand the images and therefore increase the possibility of
them showing up in search results.When making use of images in a website it is important
to:

Use brief but descriptive filenames and alt text.

Supply alt text when using images as links

Store images in their own directory

Use commonly supported file types
75
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
4.2.9 Robots
A “robots.txt” file is important to use if there are certain parts of the site which should not be
crawled and indexed by search engines. This file will indicate to the search engines that
certain sections of the website should not be crawled and therefore should not show up in
search results.
It goes without saying that this file should only be used where relevant and if it is the case
that pages are hidden from the robots.
Analysis of current robots.txt on www.dcu.ie/international
The job of uploading this file is technical but the contents can be quite easy provided the
author wants all the information on the website to be accessible. All search engines (Google,
Yahoo!, Microsoft etc.) look for this file and it‟s an essential component of search engine
optimisation.
If the user wants all files and content to be accessible then robots.txt should look like:
User-agent: *
Disallow:
If the user doesn‟t want all files and content to be accessible by search engines then
robots.txt should be:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /
76
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
If the user wants to disallow crawling of certain directories then the correct protocol is:
User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /tmp/
Disallow: /junk/
Internet users can easily check the robots.txt file of other websites just by placing „robots.txt‟
after the domain, for example www.dcu.ie/robots.txt
Figure 4.6: The robots.txt file taken from www.dcu.ie/robots.txt
4.2.10
Backlinks
Inbound links are links from other sites linking into dcu.ie/international and are also referred
to as back links. This is an important factor for SEO and the aim is to have as many back
links as possible. Even though it is important to have as many back links as possible, it is
also important that these links are coming from reputable sources. According to
www.backlinkwatch.com there are 45 backlinks for www.dcu.ie/international.
77
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
4.2.11
Search Engine Optimisation
Google PageRank
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google. In simple terms this algorithm
calculates how many links a particular webpage has linking to it, and how important these
links are. Each webpage is given a ranking from 0-10 (0 being the lowest score and ten the
highest) and this denotes the importance of that webpage in Google‟s eyes.
Even though having a high PageRank is important it is not the only factor and therefore
should not be the only focus. In fact Google removed the PageRank from the Google
Webmaster tools since it was causing a lot of confusion for the users. It is important to keep
in mind that PageRank is just one of 200 signals that Google uses when determining which
search results should show up at the top. The DCU International website‟s current
PageRank is 6.
4.2.12
Website Marketing
While you may have created a well organised site with quality content, you need to let
people know that your site exists. Promoting your site will help users discover your site in a
quicker and easier manner. However it must be noted that over promotion can destroy the
reputation of your site so moderation is the key here.
4.3
Recommendations
Page Titles
1. It is recommended that each page has its own unique title which describes briefly what
the page is about. This is not done for all pages
2. Think about what the user will search for. When deciding on titles for the page it is
always a good idea to keep the user and user habits in mind.
3. It is important to add relevant keywords to the titles.
78
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
Page Descriptions
4.
It is important that each page has its own description so that when viewing search
results in a search engine, users will be able to understand what it is all about. The
description also has an effect on the search positioning.
5. In some cases the description and the title are the same. The description should be more
than just a few keywords and should help the student understand what the page is
exactly about.
6. Try to include keywords that the users would likely use whilst searching for your brand or
product.
7. Try to understand what keywords other international offices from other universities are
using and if possible make use of them as well.
8. Many of the description tags are very messy and in some cases have incomplete
sentences. It is important to clean these up and make sure that they are complete and
easy to understand. These sentences can be the first point-of-contact between the
student and the university and so it is important that the student gets the right impression
of DCU.
URL’s
9.
All URLs appear to follow a standard format and are also “friendly” URLs therefore no
changes need to be made to the URL structure.
Navigation
10. Breadcrumbs navigation is not currently used correctly. This is a useful tool for users
since it makes navigation easier. In fact navigating through the site at the moment is a
difficult task. Besides the lack of breadcrumbs, there are no back buttons either. An
example of navigation problems is the page for Chinese students.
11. It is good practice to have both a user sitemap as well as an XML Sitemap. The XML
Sitemap should be submitted to as many of the popular search engines as possible. As
79
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
mentioned previously it is unclear whether or not an XML sitemap is available. As for a
user sitemap, it is an important addition which will also help solve (to a certain extent)
the navigation problem.
12. The “Page Not Found” warning is easy to understand and also helps the student decide
what to do next. However it is best practice to ensure all pages are found.
Content
13. As such there is no problem with the content per se. The main problem is the way the
content is structured and presented. In fact there is plenty of useful, relevant content.
However in most cases it is not very easy for the student to find this content.
14. It is recommended to not to present too much text on one page since it can have a bad
effect on the users. The general practice is to divide long pieces of text into separate
pages. It is important to keep in mind the target audience, who in this case may not
have a high level of English.
15. Always try as add as many relevant keywords as possible to the content.
Links
16. In general links follow the guidelines, some links however do not have a description and
instead use the link address as the text, this should be avoided and a more descriptive
title added.
17. Links should use the same colour and formatting.
80
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
Headings
18. The <H1>,<H2>, <H3>, <H4> and <H6> tags seem to be used often and correctly.
Therefore these tags are used according to standard practices. However correct use of
the tags does not mean that the content is valid.
Images
19. It is recommended that more images are added to the site. At the moment not many
images are used in the international site.
20. The images should be given better, more descriptive names.
21. Alt Text is not used and should be added.
22. Some images are very poor quality and should be replaced.
Robots
23. Since www.dcu.ie/international is part of a larger site, the robots.txt file is implemented
on the main site. However this is not a problem since the important thing is that the file
is present and used correctly.
Backlinks
24. Backlinks are a very important aspect of SEO. It is imperative that this number is
increased or else www.dcu.ie/international will have limited visibility on all search
engines.
25. The following are a number of activities that can be done to increase the number of back
links:
a. Submit URL to web directories
b. Create accounts in social networks and link back to the website
c. Create a blog
d. Post articles on related blogs
e. Use social networks to create contact so as to engage in reciprocal linking.
81
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
26. Even though linkbacks are important, it is equally important that they come from relevant
and reputable sources. There make sure that they are from:
f.
Well-known websites
g. Sites that have a high PageRank
h. Sites with a relevant theme
i.
Sites that do not use spam or other unethical practices
j.
Sites that are hidden from the searchers‟ view
27. There is no need to read too much into this but rather to concentrate on the other factors
mentioned in this report.
Website Marketing
28. Create a Blog
We would recommend that the International Office create a blog on the site offering excellent
content that would help international students learn about the benefits of studying in DCU
and what they can expect should they choose DCU as their college of choice. Also by
offering quality content and industry comment, people are more likely to link to it or repost
the blog. However it is important that there are new blog entries posted on a regular basis,
perhaps two or three per week. One of the greatest mistakes is to create a blog and then to
become complacent when it comes to updating it regularly.
29. Offline Promotion
The International Office should ensure that the site‟s URL is included at the bottom of any emails that the International Office sends out, also on any brochures, letters, business cards,
keyrings that they produce etc.
30. Google AdWords
Ad Words is another proven method to drive traffic to your site. We would advise the
International Office to set up an AdWords account whereby they can create targeted ads to
82
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
promote their service. Google Ad Words will allow the International Office to tailor their own
advertisements and also then to modify these ads based on which ads are performing better.
Ad Words will provide reports on which phrases and keywords have been the most
successful and generated the highest number of clicks, which is useful information to
consider when refining your advertisements.
Ad Words will also allow the International Office to specify certain sites that they would like
their ads to be shown on. Therefore they can create customised ads that are very targeted to
a specific audience. These ads operate on a CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) as opposed
to a CPC (cost per click) basis.
31. Promote the site in Forums and Discussion Boards
The Internet provides thousands of targeted online forums and groups comprised of people
with extremely specialized interests. Google Groups or Yahoo Groups could be used to
locate groups that are interested in “Study Abroad”. This will allow the International Office
access to groups of people that are already thinking of studying abroad, and who might be
considering Ireland as their destination. It is crucial to avoid forums that consist of spam and
instead target forums where serious debate and discussion issues are being raised. Another
important factor is not to shamelessly plug the International Office or DCU, but instead be
seen to want to help the student with their initial query, and then perhaps place a link to the
site at the bottom of your post should the student require further information. The more posts
you make on a certain forum, the more the readers will trust the information you provide and
want to visit your site.
32. Social Media
Social Media offers businesses and services the best platform to reach out to their target
audience. After all, these platforms are where the majority of International Students hang out
and spend most of their time; so it is crucial that the International Office also has a presence
83
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Search Engine Optimisation
on such platforms. The three social networking sites which we would recommend the
International Office start with include Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Once they have got to
grips with these networks, they may choose to expand to participate in social bookmarking
communities where members share information about websites or articles that they find
interesting (or don‟t find interesting). Such sites include Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon.
Search engine spiders crawl these sites and extract links to something new and relevant.
These platforms usually allow you to place a link to your site in your profile, but the greatest
benefit comes when other users mention your site or retweet/repost something you have
posted or when they link to you.
Again, as with other online promotion methods, it is imperative to create a relationship with
your followers and friends online rather than constantly bombarding users with “sales
pitches”. Having a Facebook page and Twitter account will enable you to see what your
audience is saying about your service/product and allows you to take on board this feedback
to improve your business offering.
Also by setting up searches on Google and Twitter for “Study in Dublin”, “Study Abroad in
Ireland” etc, the International Office will be able to target students that are specifically
interested in studying over here and perhaps advise them on the number of excellent
opportunities DCU has to offer. This avoids the “spam” issue as any students they approach
through these channels are genuinely interested in studying in Ireland.
It‟s clear to see from this chapter on SEO optimisation that it is not an easy task to
accomplish all the recommendations in one go. However with careful consideration of the
recommendations and an understanding of what to do and how to do it, the DCU
International Office can ensure that their website is ranked highly amongst search engines.
84
4
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5
Chapter 5
Website Redesign
85
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5 Website Redesign
5.1
Project Overview
This chapter documents the process of designing and implementing a prototype website to
demonstrate the improvements that can be and need to be made to the current DCU
International Office Website. It outlines the analysis of the current DCU International website
and it‟s usability. The objectives and specifications of the new design are described, followed
by the prototype implementation process.
Finally, suggestions are made to test the
usability of both websites so that it can be shown that the redesign would have real
implications for the usability of the website
5.1.1 Redesign Objective
The goal of the DCU international website is to provide relevant information in a clear and
comprehensive format so that it can be viewed and understood by International students. A
new DCU International website was deployed in April 2010, which appeared to have
improved the appearance of the website. However on closer inspection, it is apparent that
organizational and usability problems remain. The current website has many problems which
are outlined in this chapter. Recommendations to improve the website which were
mentioned in the SEO chapter will also be discussed here.
Our extensive research with international students and their experiences using the website
has indicated that a redesign of the website to make it more user-friendly is needed.
The purpose of this redesign is to provide a prototype website that can demonstrate how
changes made to the organizational structure and design can have huge usability and SEO
improvements.
86
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5.1.2 Target Audience
Main Target Audience
The target audience for this website is international students, however the main markets that
the DCU international website aims to attract and facilitate are the US, India and China. The
target international students can be broken into three categories as defined below. The
website must cater for each category.
1. International students researching universities and courses abroad deciding
where to study
2. International students who have decided to come to DCU and wish to apply
3. International students who have come to DCU or have applied and been
accepted and wish to find information for when they arrive.
Secondary Target Audience
Other users may include

Parents of potential applicants/students

DCU representatives abroad and University agents. University agents are widely
used in many Asian countries including China and India. An agent represents many
universities in many different countries and markets. The agents will advise students
on which universities they should attend.
5.1.3 Look and Feel
The redesigned website should have an inviting feel. Since target users will be from all
over the world, possibly with different technical abilities, the site needs to be simple to
use and comprehensive.
The International Office website needs to complement the main DCU website.
Therefore, it was decided to continue the DCU colour scheme onto this website and use
a similar layout.
87
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
5.2
Website Redesign
Analysis of Current Design
5.2.1 Usability
Firstly, the current usability of the DCU International website will be evaluated against
Nielsen's Ten Usability Heuristics (1995).
1. Visibility of System Status
“The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate
feedback within reasonable time” (Nielsen 1999).
The current website is very responsive as the pages load very quickly (i.e. when a user
clicks a link the content displays almost immediately). The photos and movie section of the
site may take longer to load but they display an animated loading bar to ensure that the user
knows that the system is still working.
2. Match between System and the Real World
“The system should speak the users' language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to
the user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making
information appear in a natural and logical order” (Nielsen 1999).
This heuristic is more complicated for the DCU International website since the target users
hail from all over the world. It is therefore difficult to “speak the users' language” as different
users will speak different languages, come from different cultural and educational
backgrounds and may have different technical abilities. Since it would be impossible to
analyse each country's abilities and cater for each country separately, the website should
cater for everybody by keeping language simple and clear.
The current website uses straight forward English (no slang or colloquialisms). International
applicants to DCU need to have a pre-set level of English and should therefore be able to
understand the content. The current website offers links which pass the webpage to Google
88
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Translate (Google Translate 2010) to translate the page to French, German, Irish, Japanese,
Spanish, Chinese or Arabic. This function is also available on the main website.
The menu structure of the website does not follow a “natural and logical order” (see Figure
5.1: Current Website International Menu) and some of the titles are ambiguous. It is difficult
for students to find the information that they are looking for which was proven by the
students in our focus group with one student saying
“I found the website actually quite difficult at first, like figuring out where the information
was...”
For example the menu has options for “Why choose DCU?” and “Once you have applied”.
Where does the student click to find out how to apply? That would seem like a logical step
that is missing.
Figure 5.1: Current Website International Menu
3. User control and freedom
“Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked
"emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended
dialogue. Support undo and redo.” (Nielsen 1999)
This is a big problem with the current website. A lot of information relating to International
students is hosted on the main website (such as registration and fees information) which
means that the user is brought to a different branch of the DCU website without warning and
since the layout and design is almost the same, they may not realize until they have
explored for a while. In order for them to return to the International site, they either have to
89
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
hit the back button numerous times or they must re-navigate there from the main DCU
homepage.
This means that users are restricted in how they interact with the site.
“I mean it’s not so clear. I mean for myself I was a little bit confused. Ok so I’m in the
International Student part & then you click on something & you go back to the
Business School.” Focus Group participant 2010.
4. Consistency and standards
“Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the
same thing. Follow platform conventions” (Nielsen 1999)
The biggest breach of this rule made by the current website is it‟s use of hyperlinks. In some
cases links bring the user to another page within the DCU International section, in others
they take the user to another part of the DCU website and often the links take the user to
some external website. The DCU links open in the same tab. Some of the external links
open in a new tab or window but some open in the same tab meaning that the user has to
click back to return to the DCU International website. In some cases the URL is displayed so
the user will know what they are clicking but in many cases it is not and therefore the user
will not know the result of their click until it has taken place. This inconsistency needs to be
fixed.
5. Error Prevention
“Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from
occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and
present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action” (Nielsen 1999)
The majority of the website seems to function without error. However the Chinese part of the
website contains a number of broken links. These links were broken before the new design
was rolled out and therefore should have been fixed.
90
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.2: Error Message on the DCU International website
6. Recognition rather than recall
“Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user
should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another.
Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever
appropriate” (Nielsen 1999)
As mentioned previously, being brought to different parts of the DCU webpage (which have
a different hierarchy) makes it very hard to remember how to navigate back to a previously
viewed page on the International website.
The main navigation menu on the left is made up of some labels that do not clearly describe
what information they contain. Users must therefore click to see the subtitles and check to
see if what they are looking for is there.
One focus group participant noted “It got quite frustrating actually a little bit […] because like
if I did find the information I wanted, when I would go back to visit the website again, I
couldn’t remember how I found it in the first place.”
7. Flexibility and efficiency of use
“Accelerators -- unseen by the novice user -- may often speed up the interaction for the
expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users.
Allow users to tailor frequent actions” (Nielsen 1999)
91
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Ideally the website should be customised for people from different countries. For example,
on the user's first visit to the site, they would be asked where they are from and from then
on, only information relevant to them will be displayed. When that user returns to the
website, the default location would be set and therefore speed up their time on the website.
The current website doesn't offer any “accelerators” for expert users. This website is mainly
for use during a specific time period (while researching, applying for or attending DCU) so
one could argue that there is no need for such a feature. But, during this period, users will
log on many times to check and recheck information relating to their course or visa
requirements, for example and they must go through the same process each time.
8. Aesthetic and minimalist design
“Dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant or rarely needed. Every extra
unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant units of information and
diminishes their relative visibility” (Nielson 1999)
For the most part, DCU International contains relevant information. One exception is the
Chinese part of the website, which contains out-of-date news, broken links and distorted
photographs (see Figure 5.3).
There are other pages which contain relevant information but the untidy way that it is
presented makes it harder for the user to read and navigate through. They are therefore less
likely to read the content.
92
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.3: Distorted Pictures on DCU International Chinese website
93
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors
“Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the
problem, and constructively suggest a solution” (Nielsen 1999)
Few error messages appear on the current website as few errors occurred during analysis.
The error messages that are displayed when a link is broken (as described above) are not
very constructive. An alternative link is supplied but doesn't bring the user to a page
containing the expected content. These pages should be updated.
10. Help and documentation
“Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be
necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to
search, focused on the user's task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large”
(Nielsen 1999)
The only help documentation provided is an FAQ section, which provides answers to some
of the problems that user's may need addressed. Alternatively, the users only option is to
contact the International Office directly for help.
5.2.2 Appearance/Layout
The current DCU International website has a nice colour scheme and layout (see Figure
5.4). There is a clear navigational structure where the main navigation bar is clearly seen
across the top of the screen. There is another menu in the left sidebar which is the optimal
place to catch a user‟s attention. Breadcrumbs are displayed to show the user their location
in the website hierarchy.
These features remain unchanged throughout the navigation of the DCU International
website. All that changes is the main content which is clearly distinguishable. The only
94
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
exception to this is the Chinese website which has its own menu structure in the left sidebar
(see Figure 5.3). However this section has many other problems which is outline below.
So what's the problem?
Although the navigation across the top of the page is nicely placed and easy to use, it links
to content from the main DCU website. The most important information for international
students is in the less noticeable menu in the left sidebar. If an international student has
clicked on the link to the international page then they obviously wish to view information for
international students and therefore this should appear in the main menu across the top. The
menu on the left requires the user to click on the section title to expand a list and then the
page title. This means that they have had to look for the menu and then perform two clicks
just to get to one of the main pages.
Figure 5.4: Current DCU International Homepage
95
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5.2.3 Organisation/Content
The current website's organisation is not ideal. Some of the most important information is
only available deep into the hierarchy and sometimes in an unexpected section. For
example, to find information on how to apply to DCU, users must go to the FAQ section or
go to Why DCU -> Contact a Representative -> and then click their country. How could they
even guess that information on applying would be there? Surely this is some of the most
important information for international students who wish to come to DCU. Another example
is the information on accommodation. The accommodation page is in the “Once you have
applied section” but another section reads “Living and Studying in DCU” which implies you
will find information on living in DCU (i.e. Accommodation).
The organization of content on the website is demonstrated in Figure 5.5 below. It also
shows the number of clicks needed to reach information. This diagram only shows the pages
that are in the www.dcu.ie/international domain. In fact, further clicks are required to reach a
lot of the information.
The majority of the content and information is relevant but its location and sometimes its
organization on the page means it is often hard to find. Regularly updating content on the
website could improve the website, for example listing events that are being held for
international students. This gives the impression that they are receiving the latest news from
the university. Social media can be used to help with that.
A brief analysis of the content and organization of each section on the current website
follows which also includes diagrams and number of links to other DCU pages and external
websites.
96
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.5: DCU International Hierarchy
97
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Why Choose DCU?
The “Why Choose DCU?” section is so large that it has been broken into two. The title of this
section is ambiguous. It doesn‟t describe the content that it contains. In fact if a user came to
the website looking for DCU overseas representatives, a list of overseas visits or information
on fees and Scholarships, the title “Why DCU?” would mean that this section would not be
the first place they look. The information for applying to DCU resides in the unlikely location
of DCU Oversees Representatives.
Figure 5.6 Why Choose DCU Map
98
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Why Choose DCU? Continued: DCU in your Language
The title of this section is quite misleading. “DCU in your Language” implies that there will be
pages in some foreign languages. However after clicking, the user will realize that only
Chinese is available. It is not a bad idea to have a Chinese website since China is one of
DCU‟s main target markets. However, the execution of the Chinese website is very poor.
The layout is messy, there are many broken links and many of the photographs are
completely distorted.
Figure 5.7: Chinese Website Map
English Language
The main function of this section seems to be to provide links to other parts of the DCU
website or external websites. It does provide a small amount of information on the
foundation programmes. Since language requirements would be a large concern of many
international students, a lot of information should be provided for them on the International
Office website rather than directing them to different parts of the DCU hierarchy.
99
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.8: English Language Map
Once you have Applied
This section contains relevant information for students who have applied to DCU. Again,
some information is contained on other parts of the DCU website which makes it confusing
for users.
Figure 5.9: Once you have Applied Map
100
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Living and Studying at DCU
This section contains relevant information for students who have come to DCU. Again, some
information is contained on other parts of the DCU website which makes it confusing for
users.
Figure 5.10: Living and Studying at DCU Map
DCU Visually
This section seems to contain information that should be integrated elsewhere in the
website. The e-brochure opens on a new page with no warning for the user.
Figure 5.11: DCU Visually Map
101
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5
5.2.4 Search Engine Optimisation
The full SEO report can be found in Appendix 1.13. The recommendations can be seen in
the previous chapter.
5.3
Competitor Analysis
DCU has hundreds of competitors worldwide and it would be impossible to analyse the
website of each. Therefore this analysis will consider five of DCU‟s direct competitors in the
Irish domestic market. It is important to be aware of the techniques being used by
competitors to attract students to their institute.
Below is a brief analysis of these competitor‟s websites, where the best and worst design
features are listed.
Competitor 1: Trinity College Dublin
Name: Trinity College Dublin - International Office
URL: http://www.tcd.ie/international/
Pros
Cons
 Good use of photographs
 Button to expand detailed menu unnoticeable
 Provides welcomes in different languages
 Menus on right hand side will not attract users‟
attention.
 Menu titles are descriptive
 Navigation bar across top on homepage but
jumps to the left when viewing other pages
which is confusing
102
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.12:TCD International website
103
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5
Competitor 2: University College Dublin
Name: University College Dublin – International Office
URL: http://www.ucd.ie/international/
Pros
Cons
 Good use of photographs
 Button to expand detailed menu unnoticeable
 Provides welcomes in different languages
 Menus on right hand side will not attract users‟
attention.
 Menu titles are descriptive
 Navigation bar across top on homepage but
jumps to the left when viewing other pages
which is confusing
104
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.13: UCD International Office website
105
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5
Competitor 3: University College Cork
Name: University College Cork - Study at UCC - International Students
URL: http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/international/
Pros
Cons
 Good use of photographs
 Menu on left has too many links.
 Have separate sites for India, China and  Don‟t make use of the top of the page for
USA
menu or breadcrumbs
 Use Cork to sell UCD. Provide information
about the city in the “Why choose UCC?”
section
106
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.14: UCC International Student Website
107
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5
Competitor 4: National University of Ireland Galway
Name: National University of Ireland Galway – International Affairs Office
URL: http://www.nuigalway.ie/international/
Pros
Cons
 Clear social media presence on home page
 Photographs on header of page change often
 Testimonials from international students
 Menu on left of page has too much information
 The flags on the homepage give a good  Some pages contain too much text.
visual cue to international students and
bring
them
directly
to
a
page
with
information relevant only to them
108
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.15: NUIG International Office Website
109
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5
Competitor 5: Dublin Institute of Technology
Name: International Office at Dublin Institute of Technology
URL: http://www.dit.ie/study/internationaloffice/
Pros
Cons
 Clear social media presence on home page
 When you click the interactive map on the
homepage
 Testimonials from international students
 Layout
and
structure
of
site
seems
disorganized in parts and is therefore hard to
navigate
 Few photographs
 Navigation bar across top on homepage but
jumps to the left when viewing other pages
which is confusing
110
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.16: DIT International Office Website
111
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
5.4
Website Redesign
The New Design
5.4.1 General Design Decisions

Independent Website
Although the International Office is part of DCU, it is thought that a completely separate
website should be implemented for the International Office. This is due to research which
suggested that users get confused when jumping between different sections of the DCU
website. The header and navigation bar at the top remain the same but layout and menu
bars on the left change with no warning, making it difficult to navigate back and forth
between pages. Links to information held on the main DCU website will cause a new tab to
open, ensuring that the user's current location on the international site remains untouched.

Website Name: Destination DCU - International
The DCU International Office runs like a business and must market DCU as an attractive
product. People will associate the website name with the content of the website. “Destination
DCU - International” stands out from other universities who stick to the name of the
University with “International Office”. International students search for study abroad
destinations and having one of these keywords in the title of the website will be a benefit.
This name is a simple short and memorable. It is already used by the International Office on
a number of social media websites. This is due to the fact that many of these websites have
a 15 character limit for usernames which DCUInternational exceeds. Obviously the
International Office should have a consistent name across the Internet and we believe that
they should use DestinationDCU.

Remove Chinese Section
As mentioned throughout this chapter, the Chinese section of the International website has
many problems. Even if the section was restructured and improved, it would still need
regular upkeep by a native Chinese speaker. This seems unlikely to be carried out, based on
112
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
the sections current neglect. It would be better to remove this section completely as potential
students could be put off by the quality of the website. Chinese students have the ability to
translate the website if they need to.
5.4.2 Usability

Appearance/Layout
The new website will retain most of the main aesthetic elements of the current website. The
main difference of this website will be the organization of the website and structure of
content rather than the appearance. New features will appear that will change the
appearance such as more prominent social media links and more photographs.
The colour scheme will be the same using navy and amber as the prominent colours. Like
the current website, the main navigation menu will be across the top of the page and there
will be a lesser menu in the left sidebar. However, the menu bar across the top will only link
to content on the Destination DCU website. The navigation bar will contain the main sections
(as described in the organization and content section). When the user hovers over a section,
the subsection titles will automatically appear in a dropdown menu. This will make it much
simpler for users to locate the content that they are looking for. The sidebar will be used to
display supplementary information, such as links to social media sites and staff contact
details.
113
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.17 illustrates a mock up of what the new design and layout looks like.

Organisation and Content
The majority of the content will remain on the new website but it will be structured differently
and some information will be displayed in different locations on the new site.
The new design displays the information in a much more logical structure. The main menu is
arranged almost chronologically for a student who is in the process of considering
international study at DCU.
114
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
The following list describes the format of the menu from a student‟s point of view:
1. Find out some information about the university, discover what they have to offer and
read other student‟s accounts of the university.
2. Find and research a course that interests them
3. Find out about the costs that will be charged for the course and whether there are
scholarships available
4. Apply for the course
5. Find out how to get onto the course: i.e. pay for the course, enrol with the university
and how to get to DCU
6. Find out about how to survive in DCU and Dublin once they have arrived
This structure seems much more natural than the previous structure. The contents of each
section are transparent, as the pages included in each section are listed when the user
hovers the cursor over the section title in the menu. This means that a user looking for any
specific piece of information can find where it is without even clicking their mouse. The left
sidebar then contains information and links to pages that are more general but still relevant
to students.
Figure 5.18: Destination DCU Layout and Design
115
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
The following lists detail the main sections of both the current International website and the
new Destination DCU site.
Current Website – Menu on left sidebar:
1. Why choose DCU?

Why choose DCU?

FAQs

Contact a representative

Overseas Visits

Fee & Scholarship Info

About DCU in your language
2. English Language

English Language Entry Requirements

Foundation Programme
3. Once you have applied

Pre-Arrival Information Pack

Enrolling with the University

Paying your fees

Visas and Immigration

Accommodation

Travel tips

Pre-departure Checklist

Orientation
4. Living and Studying at DCU

International Student Handbook (PDF)

Student Support Services

Fáilte Programme DCU

Information of Ireland and Dublin

Health services

Working in Ireland

Cost of living
116
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
5. DCU Visually

Movie

E-brochure

Photos
New Design- Main navigation bar across the top of the page
1. About DCU

General Information about DCU

Why choose DCU?

Testimonials
2. Courses - course finder
3. Fees and Funding Options

Determine Your Fee Status

EU Fees

Non-EU Fees

Scholarships and Grants
4. Applying

Application Process

English Language Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements
5. Getting Here

Pre-Arrival Information Pack

Enrolling with the University

Paying your fees

Visas and Immigration

Travel tips

Pre-departure Checklist

Orientation
117
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
6. Living & Studying at DCU

Accommodation

International Student Handbook (PDF)

Student Support Services

Fáilte Programme DCU

Information of Ireland and Dublin

Health services

Working in Ireland

Cost of living
LEFT MENU BAR

FAQs

Contact US

International Representatives

Download DCU Brochure

Download App

Pictures

Movies
The website hierarchy diagram below (See Figure 5.19) shows how any page on the site can
be reached in three clicks or less. This is a dramatic improvement on the current site which
takes up to six clicks to reach some pages (See Figure 5.5).
“Many of us have the frustration of endless searching ourselves. We go to a site, click
through various pages of content, and end up ready to quit. In one of our studies, a
perplexed user threw up her arms and pronounced, "I should be able to find everything
on a site in just three-clicks!" The Three-Click Rule directly addresses this frustration,
acknowledging a user's desire for fast gratification and the threat that a competitor's
content is only a click away”
(Porter 2003)
118
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
It has been argued (Loranger and Nielsen cited in Dagan 2008) that the 3 clicks rule is
defunct “as long as the content flow makes sense and is logical, leading the users in a way
that they understand and expect to the information that they need.” The Destination DCU
site‟s content flow is logical which has had the side effect of fewer clicks. The placement of
content was well thought out whereas the previous design seemed to add new content on
top of an existing structure, causing it to become disorganized and confusing.
The results from our survey and our focus group were used to decide the most important
sections. i.e. those that would appear on the main menu. A logical flow of content pages was
developed on this basis.
119
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.19: Destination DCU Hierarchy
120
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Nielsen’s Heuristics
The analysis of the current website against Nielsen's Usability Heuristics (1990) outlined a
number of problems which will be corrected on the new site. They are addressed below.
 Match between System and the Real World
As described above, the new website will follow a much more logical structure, more like the
process of researching a university offline, overcoming the problems of the current website.
 User control and freedom
The new design will include breadcrumbs allowing the user to return to different sections in
the hierarchy at anytime. The fact that the main menu will be at the top of the page, and
simply scrolling over it shows every page means that users can very easily jump to another
section.
Any links to the main DCU website or another sub-section such as the DCU Business
School website will open in a new tab, as will any external links. This is to allow users to
explore another website or section but still be able to quickly return to their location on
Destination DCU by returning to the original tab.
 Consistency and standards
The new design will use consistent language and terms. The hyperlink variation of the
current site, described earlier will be prevented by updating each link. This was also one of
the recommendations from the SEO report.
121
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
 Error Prevention
The broken pages won‟t be referenced in the new website, which should stop the error
messages found.
 Recognition rather than recall
The simplified navigation menu will definitely help with this. Users can always see the main
sections of the website and by quickly scrolling the cursor over each one can locate any
information needed, without needing to remember where it is.
 Flexibility and efficiency of use
The new website will be very efficient as any piece of information can be retrieved in 3 clicks.
 Aesthetic and minimalist design
Most of the content on the website is relevant to users. One way in which the relevance will
be improved is through the course finder, where after choosing values from dropdown
menus, a user will only be presented with courses that they are interested in (see Figure
5.20).
Other pages contain dropdown menus where the user can select their country ensuring that
only data relating to their nationality will be displayed (Figure 5.), saving them having to
scroll down through lots of irrelevant information as is the case with the current design.
122
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.20: Course Finder on Destination DCU
Figure 5.21: Course Finder Results page on Destination DCU
123
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Figure 5.22: Visa Requirements Section - Hong Kong Selected
Figure 5.23: Visa Requirements Section - Hong Kong Results
124
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Search Engine Optimization
All of the recommendations made in the SEO chapter have been implemented in this design.
Risk Assessment
The risks facing the redesigned website are the same as those which affect the current
website: Malware, Cybercrime (such as hackers) and Software/Hardware failure (i.e
downtime). These are the risks that all websites face.
There is a new risk for Destination DCU due to the inclusion of links to social media sites.
DCU does not have control over these websites and like all Web 2.0 platforms; they act as
broadcasting platforms for their users. Destination DCU is directing users to these sites
where they could view negative comments about DCU and thus, DCU‟s reputation may be
damaged and potential students may look elsewhere to study.
However the redesign will help to mitigate the risk of users getting frustrated by the
organisation of the current website or put off by the bad quality of some pages.
5.5
Implementation
A prototype of the design was developed using Wordpress, “a semantic personal publishing
platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability” (Wordpress 2010).
Wordpress offers a user-friendly platform for web development, which enables the fast
development of a fully functionally website. Wordpress Plugins make the tool even more
powerful. “A WordPress Plugin is a program, or a set of one or more functions, written in the
PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to the WordPress
weblog, which can be seamlessly integrated with the weblog using access points and
methods provided by the WordPress Plugin Application Program Interface (API)” (Codex
2010).
125
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Website Redesign
Wordpress allowed us to develop the prototype Destination DCU website with all of the
features of the new design. The improved website structure was populated with content from
the current website. Plugins allowed many interactive features to be added and edited for the
desired function, such as social media buttons, RSS feeds, translation tools, breadcrumbs,
search functions.
5.6
Conclusion
The DCU International Website is often a student‟s first interaction with the DCU
International Office. We all know that first impressions are vital and DCU could be losing
potential students due to the poor usability of the current website. The website has the ability
to influence users' opinions on the International Office and DCU.
This chapter has shown that the current DCU website needs to be redesigned so that it is
more user friendly. The most important element of this redesign is the content structure
which needs to be altered so that it has a logical and natural layout. Currently the
organisation of content is causing the most problems and frustration. The design proposed in
this chapter demonstrates how the content can be more logically structured to greatly reduce
the number of steps needed to reach any given page of content.
126
5
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
6
Chapter 6
Virtual Open Day
127
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
6 Virtual Open Day
6.1
Background
One of the methods we identified that would prove beneficial when promoting both DCU and
the courses offered here was the notion of organising and recording a virtual open day. This
would all take place online and the user could simply log on over the internet and attend a
live webinar on the course of their choice.
What is a Webinar?
A webinar is basically a seminar that takes place on the World Wide Web (web + seminar =
webinar) and is accessed from a computer that is connected to the internet. They are similar
to traditional seminars whereby experts on a certain topic present visual and audio
information. The majority of webinars include a visual presentation, usually in the form of
PowerPoint slides, which is complemented by an audio broadcast (Intermap Technologies
2010).
The International Office could use webinars to record and deliver brief introductions to each
course, whereby the Course Co-ordinator could describe the course in more detail; each
lecturer could give a quick overview of the modules involved and perhaps take questions
and queries from students that are interested in pursuing this particular course. The students
can submit their questions via a text-typing tool in the Webinar‟s interface which they can
type and send to the presenter at any point during the webinar (Intermap Technologies
2010).
6.2
Benefits of Webinars
WebEx, the technology which we recommend using to host these webinars, allow the
audience to interact with the presenters and this would give students the chance to have any
questions or queries they may have answered personally by those involved with the
128
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
programme. WebEx also provides you with the option of displaying the speaker during the
presentation using a webcam. This further increases the personal nature of the presentation
as the user can physically see the presenters on their computer (see Figure 6.1 below).
Figure 6.1: Image of presenter is displayed onscreen during the webinar
We see the use of webinars‟ as the new method for promoting the many courses that DCU
provide. It allows for a high level of interaction between the college and any students who
are considering attending DCU, and provides them with an alternative platform to acquire
more information about the college and the different programmes offered.
Using WebEx would allow the International Office to:

Display presentations, applications, or anything on their computer screen.

Interact with participants and attendees during the event by using chat, audio etc.

Change presenters during the session by passing control to anyone else that is also
attending the event.

Record the event to prolong the life of the event and promote the recording on the
DCU website.
One of the greatest advantages of a webinar is that once the live session is over, the
International Office can post the recording of the session on their site where users can click
129
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
on it to watch the recording at their convenience. Therefore they can be used as great
promotional tools even after the event itself has taken place. We propose that each course
should record a webinar, and then when users view the course prospectus online, they could
be presented with the option “Click here to watch to a presentation on this course”.
6.3
Technology Involved
What is WebEx?
WebEx brings together real-time desktop sharing with phone conferencing so that all
participants see the same thing as you speak. It‟s a very productive way for hosting
meetings and presentations and allows people all over the world to attend your meeting on
site; thus reducing the need to travel (WebEx 2010).
We feel that WebEx offers the perfect tool for communicating live events and conferences,
which can be utilised extremely effectively by the DCU International Office. Web seminars
are becoming the new way for marketers to drive awareness and demand for your
company's products (WebEx 2010).
WebEx allows you to simply incorporate web seminars into your marketing mix by providing
a choice of three distinct packages which are designed to match the frequency with which
you plan to use these seminars for marketing purposes:
1) One time web seminar package
2) Multiple web seminars package
3) Unlimited web seminars package
6.4
Organising the Webinar
To demonstrate how the International Office can integrate webinars into their marketing
strategy we organised a live webinar which took place on the 22nd July 2010. For
demonstrative purposes we chose one of the new courses offered here in DCU, the
130
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing, as the course to be promoted using this
technology.
We contacted the course Chairman, Mr Donal Clancy, who was very enthusiastic about
participating in the live event. We liaised with Mr Clancy regarding the date, time and
duration of the webinar. We also conducted a number of test sessions a few days prior to the
live event so that we were all familiar with the technology and the general tools, such as the
chat function and video streaming, that WebEx offers participants.
We also designed and implemented a registration form using HTML and JavaScript This
code was uploaded onto the DCU Business School website which allowed attendees to preregister for the event.
Figure 6.2: Registration Form
131
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
Once registered, the attendee‟s details were instantly entered into a database and we then
sent a personalised confirmation email to everyone who had registered.
Figure 6.3: Confirmation of registration for webinar
We then manually entered attendees into the account for the session that we set up on
WebEx.
Figure 6.4: Entering new attendees on WebEx
132
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
WebEx then sent out an automated email to all attendees registered informing them of the
session password so that they could log in to the live webinar on the day.
6.5
Promoting the Event
Once we had organised the date and time for our webinar we went about promoting the
event and creating awareness about it. We will now describe the main methods and
platforms we used to publicise the event.
6.5.1 Google Adwords
Adwords is a text based system for advertising on Google‟s site and also on its partner sites.
Using Adwords, you can create your own ads, select keywords to help target your ads to
your audience, and manage the cost of your advertising by choosing a cost per click (CPC)
plan which means that you will only pay once someone actually clicks on your ad (O‟Reilly
Net 2005).
How does it work?
Basically Adwords works by having companies buy certain keywords. When users go to
Google to conduct a web search, they enter in their search terms or keywords. Google will
then show not only the search results, but also relevant ads from companies that are using
AdWords. These ads usually appear on the right hand side of your screen and also in the
shaded bars that are displayed above the search results (AllBusiness.com 2010).
As stated earlier, your ads aren‟t just displayed on Google pages but also on websites that
take part in the Google AdSense programme which permits sites to show Google AdWords
on their sites. Every keyword has a value which is based on its popularity. Certain keywords
may cost €3.50 or more per click, while other keywords may only cost between 5-10 cents
(AllBusiness.com 2010).
The higher the advertiser bids on a keyword, the higher up their ad will be shown in the
rankings, and there‟s more of a chance that internet searchers will see your ad. Ranking
133
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
equates to visibility, although it‟s important to note that you do not have to place the highest
bid or appear at the top of the rankings in order for your audience to view your ad and click
on it (Anuskiewicz 2006).
When designing the text for our advertisement we tried to make it as descriptive as possible.
We ensured that we included a “call to action”, something that would compel the users to
click on our link. We also included the keywords which people might search under when
looking for marketing courses (see Figures 6.5 and 6.6).
Figure 6.5: Our Google Ad
Figure 6.6: Keywords we used for our campaign
Our Google AdWords campaign ran from the 17th-24thth July. Of the 512 times the ad
appeared on the Google search network, it received 22 clicks, which earned it a respectable
clickthrough rate (CTR) of 4.3%. The most popular keyword was “digital marketing dcu”. In
total, our ad received 22 clicks, which although not a very high figure, was not bad
134
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
considering the fiercely competitive environment in which we were competing. There are
many private colleges in Ireland offering marketing courses, such as the Fitzwilliam Institute
and the Digital Marketing Institute, who were also bidding on the same keywords as
ourselves. However they would have large budgets for their AdWords campaign which
allowed them to place higher bids on popular keywords to ensure their ads were displayed at
the top of the search rankings.
Figure 6.7: competition using Google AdWords
With Google Ads, people had to search under the keywords we selected in order for our ad
to be displayed. Facebook, on the other hand, displayed our ad automatically to users with
demographics that matched the ones we selected when designing the ad. This explains our
greater success rate with our Facebook Ad.
6.4.2 Facebook Ads
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zucherburg (2007), Facebook Ads is “an ad system for
businesses to connect with users and target advertising to the exact audiences they want”
and “represents a completely new way of advertising online”.
Facebook Ads allow you to:
1) Connect with real people
o
Reach over 500m active Facebook users
135
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
2) Devise and create your own ad
o
Enables you to simply create either image or text based ads
o
Advertise your page or an event
o
You can choose between either cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression
(CPM)
3) Optimise your ads
o
Monitor your advancements with real time reporting
o
Acquire an understanding of who‟s clicking on your ads
o
Make alterations to improve ad performance
Our Facebook Ad ran from the 15th to the 21st of July. We decided to use the same text from
our AdWords campaign for our advertisement on Facebook. In the week that our Facebook
Ad was running we managed to generate 1,683,809 impressions which resulted in 407 clicks
on our ad (see Figure 6.8), which was quite impressive given our limited budget.
Figure 6.8: Our Facebook Ad
136
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
Figure 6.9: Facebook Ad Statistics
Figure 6.10: Number of clicks on Facebook Ad
6.4.3 Other Promotional Activities Undertaken

E-mail:
We researched the directory of Marketing Professionals on the Marketing Institute‟s
homepage which contained the e-mail addresses of various people and firms in the
marketing industry who might have an interest in this new programme (see Appendix 1.16).
We were particularly targeting marketing managers who come from a traditional marketing
background and are looking to further their marketing skills to meet the needs of the new
137
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
digital environment we‟re currently experiencing. We then contacted those people through email, informing them of our live webinar.

Bulletin Boards:
We discovered many discussion threads on digital marketing on Boards.ie, the most popular
Irish Internet chat forum, and actually found posts where people were discussing the new
Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing in DCU and enquiring about it. Thus we felt this was
a very relevant platform to promote the webinar as people were already talking about the
course online.
Figure 6.11: Promoting the webinar on Boards.ie

DCU Website
We contacted Laura Grehan, the Head of Marketing for the DCU Business School, about our
live webinar and she encouraged us to promote the webinar on the main DCU website. As a
result when people went in to view the prospectus for the programme they were instantly
informed about the webinar and provided with the link to register for it.
138
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
Figure 6.12: Advertising the webinar on the course page on the DCU website

Social Media
As we were running our social media campaign while organising the webinar, we utilised our
various social media platforms to spread the word about the webinar and to increase
awareness about it. Below is an example of our promotion of the webinar using social media.
Table 6.1: Promoting the webinar using social media
139
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
6.6
Virtual Open Day
Running the Webinar
We received 42 registrations for the webinar (see Appendix 1.17) and many of those
registering were from countries outside of Ireland, such as Germany, the UK, Spain and
Italy, which demonstrates the great reach that webinars can have. As a result of the webinar
taking place online the location of the attendee is irrelevant and a wider audience can thus
be reached.
The webinar took place in the DCU Business School, which we had booked especially for
the recording. The presentation began at 11am and concluded after roughly thirty minutes.
37% of the pre-registered attendees logged in to the session, which was higher than we
were expecting as many people tend to be in work or forget what date and time the webinar
is scheduled to take place.
Figure 6.13: Setting up and preparing for the webinar with Mr Clancy
140
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
Figure 6.14: How the webinar appeared to participants
From organising our webinar we came across a number of instances where respondents
wanted to attend the live event but were restricted by working hours or the time zone in their
locality. Thus we emailed everyone that registered for the webinar with the link to access the
recorded version of the presentation so that they could view it at their own convenience after
the session had taken place. Therefore we definitely see the benefit of posting the recording
on the DCU website afterwards so that it can reach as many potential new students as
possible.
Figure 6.15: Query from respondent on whether the recording will be available after the live
event
141
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
We then promoted the recorded version of the presentation through various social media
platforms.
Figure 6.16: Promoting the recorded version of the event
6.7
Some feedback from participants
We also compiled and distributed a brief questionnaire to gauge participant‟s satisfaction
with the webinar, and their thoughts and opinions on the session. We were very happy with
the feedback we received and the majority of the participants found the webinar very
informative.
Figure 6.17: How participants heard about the webinar
60
50%
50
40
30
16.7%
20
10
16.7%
16.18%
0%
0%
0
50% of respondents stated that they became aware of the webinar through the DCU website
which demonstrates that advertising these webinars on the DCU website is very effective.
16.7% of attendees found out about the webinar as a result of our Google AdWords
campaign with the same percentage becoming aware of the event through our Facebook Ad.
The remaining percent became aware of the event through various other channels such as
LinkedIn etc.
142
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Virtual Open Day
Figure 6.18: Participants agreement with the following statements
Stongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree
I am now considering applying for the Graduate
Certificate in Digital Marketing
I was happy overall with the session resources
made available after the sessions
I feel that the session has aided my decision to
further my education
I was satisfied with the communication of material
by the presenter
I was happy with the information provided
I found it easy to register
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
One of the statistics that stand out is that as a result of the webinar, 50% of participants said
that they “strongly agree” with the statement “I am now considering applying for the
Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing”, while 33.3% said that they “agree” with this
statement which undoubtedly highlights how webinars can be utilised to inform students
about available courses and basically gives the DCU International Office and the course coordinators the opportunity to “sell” the course to the participants.
“I found the webinar really beneficial.....I got real time answers and really helpful advice from
the course director”.
-
Joe Geraghty
“That was my first ever webinar and I thoroughly enjoyed the new experience. I had a bit of
difficulty logging in at the beginning but that was all, everything else was simple and straight
forward”.
-
Mary Gallagher
“Good idea and I would like to see more of these on the other courses I am interested in.”
-
Michael Corroon
143
6
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
7
-
Chapter 7
Smartphone Application
144
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
7 Smartphone Application
7.1
About Smartphones
Until only recently smartphones were considered a niche segment. The only smartphones
that were available were extremely costly and Nokia was the first company to introduce
smartphones to the public, thanks to their reasonably priced Symbian based smartphones
that emerged on the market. Following Nokia, Apple then developed a simplified interface
design and a unified application store where users could locate all the applications for the
phone in one accessible location (Naik 2010).
Today the smartphone market is no longer seen as a niche market and almost every mobile
phone manufacturer of any importance is in the business with numerous smartphones.
Michael Hanley, a Ball State journalism professor and director of the university‟s Institute for
Mobile Media Research states that university students are increasingly using the
smartphone as their primary mobile communication and entertainment device for their busy
lifestyles (Cellular News 2010).
Increasingly more and more people are moving from a simple mobile phone to a more
sophisticated device. Nielsen‟s data shows that as of Quarter 1, 2010, 23% of mobile
consumers now own a smartphone, up 7% from Quarter 2 in 2009, as can be seen in the
graph below.
145
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.1: Smartphone Penetration 2009-2010
The share of smartphones as a fraction of overall device sales has risen to 29% for mobile
consumers in the last six months and 45% of respondents to a recent Nielsen survey stated
that their next device will be a smartphone. These statistics, coupled with falling prices,
improved capabilities of these devices and constant emergence of new applications for
these devices indicate that this growth shall continue. This growth will be so great that
Nielsen predict that by the end of 2011 there will be more smartphones in the U.S. market
than feature phones (Entner 2010).
Figure 7.2: US Smartphone Pentration & Projections
Source: The Nielsen Company (2010)
146
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
In a recent interview with Mobile Magazine, Lee Woo-jong, vice president of marketing at
Samsung Mobile Display, stated that he expects global smartphone shipments to increase
by 50 percent this year, to an overall figure of 260 million (EuroDroid 2010).
7.2
Application Concept
The concept behind the smartphone application is to implement a usable application which
has been designed with our primary research in mind, thereby serving a need which we
have identified as existing within the international student population. We envisage the
application to be a first point of call for international students when considering DCU as the
destination for their international study. It provides a number of useful tailored resources
each of which we have identified as there being a need for.
In carrying out our primary research we ascertained that one of the most significant factors
when international students decided on which university to attend are the courses on offer.
This may sound like an obvious conclusion however it is surprising how difficult it can be to
tailor a search to find courses only which are of interest to each individual. With this in mind
the first function we wished our application to make possible was a decision support system
based course finder for DCU courses.
When an international student decides to study abroad it is not an easy process. Upon
deciding on a course at a particular university one of the first steps a student must consider
is their visa requirements. Without arranging the correct visa requirements the student will
have great difficulty in entering the country. Therefore offering visa requirements information
through the application was an appropriate function on which to add value to the
international student‟s application experience. Like the course finder it is simply not good
enough to present the user with non tailored data so we aimed to implement a second
decision support based section which would present visa requirements to an international
student based on their country of origin.
147
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Whilst designing an application with both a course finder and visa requirements is useful to
an international student, we feel that they would not be enough alone to make such an
application desirable to the user. To offer increased functionality to the user it was decided to
offer both accommodation and working information. Throughout our research we have seen
that many international students have to work when studying abroad to pay for their tuition
fees and living expenses. To this end we feel that the application experience is enhanced by
offering the international student the advice on how they can take up work legally whilst
studying abroad. The provision of accommodation information again was found to be of
great importance to international students who may not have any knowledge of the
possibilities which exist when studying abroad. Through the application we will offer general
advice, information about the on campus accommodation and also the opportunity to search
a vast database of rental properties which are suitable for international students. Offering
advice, on campus and rental information allows the international student to make an
informed decision on what is the best option for them.
As we have outlined earlier in this document we feel that through the use of social media a
university can develop its awareness and its brand amongst the international student
community. To this end we feel that enabling easy access to the DCU International Office
social media platforms through the application opens channels of communication for an
international student which may otherwise be both difficult and time consuming to establish.
Through the use of social media the international student can make initial enquires and get a
feel for real life in the university. We aim to give the option to use social media a prominent
position in our application which is in line with our opinions of its relevance to communication
in an Internet driven world.
In making the journey from our concept to a fully functional smartphone application we
followed a structured approach which involved carrying out a number of processes and
procedures which are outlined in the section which follows.
148
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
7.3
Smartphone Application
Use Cases
To define the functional requirements of the DCU International Office smartphone application
it was necessary to capture the desired behaviour of the system from behavioural scenariodriven events from the perspective of the user. The use cases serve as requirements for the
application development and help in deciding which functionality should be included where.
By capturing the users view of the procedures involved removed from any technical
implementation it has been possible to design an application which provides a match with
the real world, therefore ensuring it is useable.
Each of the use cases describes the steps which are necessary for a user to achieve a
particular task. The task is one which adds value to the user, or actor. For each use case we
have outlined the actor action and the steps which they need to undertake to achieve the
task. These steps have been gathered through a number of methods which include
examining the existing DCU International Office procedures, discussions with international
students, and evaluation of external procedures.
For each use case appropriate system actions have been then added which aim to describe
system functionality at a high level. This mapping between real world and system steps has
contributed greatly to the development of the functional specifications and allowed a
structured approach to application coding.
149
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Table 7.1: Use Case Index
Use Case
ID
UC_01
UC_02
UC_03
UC_04
UC_05
UC_06
UC_07
UC_08
UC_09
UC_10
Use Case Name
Primary Actor
Load International App
Find Courses
Get Visa Requirements
Get Living Advice
Find On Campus Accommodation
Find Off Campus Accommodation
Get Working Advice
Interact with DCU International Office
Interact with International Students
Update International Office information
International Student
International Student
International Student
International Student
International Student
International Student
International Student
International Student
International Office
International Office
Use Case ID
UC_01
Use Case Name
Use Case
Description
Assumptions
Version
Date
1.0
2nd June 2010
Launch International App
An international student wishes to use the DCU International Office
smartphone app.
The International student has a smartphone
The app always launches successfully
The smartphone is fully functional
International Student, Smartphone
Pre Conditions
Actors
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
1
The international student selects the
App from Smartphone menu
150
System Action
The system creates the main form and
form management objects and then
displays the main menu on the
smartphone
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Use Case ID
UC_02
Use Case Name
Use Case
Description
Assumptions
Smartphone Application
Version
1.0
Date
2nd June 2010
Find Courses
An international student wishes to find courses which are run in
DCU based on their preferences
The international student knows how to answer the course finder
questions
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Selected the course finder option from
Launch the course finder form and set
the main menu
up the three questions
2
Answer the study area question
Store the study area answer
3
Answer the study level question
Store the study level answer
4
Answer the study duration questions
Store the study duration answer
5
Select find courses
Build SQL query from the answers to
the three questions and pass this to the
results form. Launch the results form.
6
View Courses
Query SQLLite Database and display
returned results
Post Conditions
International student presented with relevant course details
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_03
1.0
2nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Get Visa Requirements
Use Case
An international student wishes to get visa requirements for the
Description
entry into Ireland from the country which they are from
Assumptions
The international students knows which country they are from
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select the visa requirements option
Launch the visa requirements form and
from the main menu
set up the initial question
2
Answer the region question
Store the region answer and if EU then
set up the second question
3
If answered region non-eu then answer Store the country answer
question two on country
4
Select get requirements when questions Build SQL query from the answers to
answered
the three questions and pass this to the
results form. Launch the results form.
5
View Requirements
Query SQLite Database and display
returned results
Post Conditions
User is presented with relevant visa requirement details for their
country
151
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_04
1.0
3nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Get Living Advice
Use Case
An international student wished to get advice on living in Ireland
Description
Assumptions
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select the living option from the main
Query the SQLite database, launch the
menu
living form and display the data
Post Conditions
International student is presented with relevant living advice
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_05
1.0
2nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Find On Campus Accommodation
Use Case
An international student wishes to find information on
Description
accommodation on campus in DCU
Assumptions
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select living option from the main menu Query the SQLite database, launch the
living form and display the data
2
Select the On Campus tab from the
Query the SQLite database, launch the
form
On Campus tab and display the data
Post Conditions
International student is presented with on campus accommodation
details
152
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_06
1.0
3nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Find Off Campus Accommodation
Use Case
An international student wishes to find off campus accommodation
Description
Assumptions
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select living option from the main menu Query the SQLite database, launch the
living form and display the data
2
Select the Off Campus tab from the
Connect to third part API, launch the Off
form
Campus tab and display the data
3
Scroll down through the properties and
Display property details
select desired property
Post Conditions
International student finds off campus accommodation
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_07
1.0
2nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Get Working Advice
Use Case
An international student wished to get advice on working in Ireland
Description
Assumptions
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select the working option from the
Query the SQLite database, launch the
main menu
working form and display the data
Post Conditions
International student is presented with relevant working advice
153
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_08
1.0
2nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Interact with DCU International Office
Use Case
An international student wishes to interact with the DCU
Description
International Office via the use of social media.
Assumptions
International student has the necessary social media account
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Student, Smartphone
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select one of the social media options
Launching the appropriate social media
on the main screen
platform
2
Log in to social media account
Log in
3
Leave message or read message
Alternative Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Make phone call to International Office
Answer phone
Post Conditions
International student has left a message for the DCU International
Office or read a message from the International Office.
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_09
1.0
2nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Interact with International Students
Use Case
The DCU International Office wishes to interact with International
Description
Students via social media
Assumptions
The International Office has the necessary social media account
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Office
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
Select one of the social media platforms n/a
and load in a browser
2
Log in to social media account
n/a
3
Leave message or read message
n/a
Post Conditions
DCU International Office has left a message for the international
students or read a message from the international students.
154
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Use Case ID
Version
Date
UC_10
1.0
2nd June 2010
Use Case Name
Update International Office information
Use Case
The DCU International Office wishes to update the international
Description
office information
Assumptions
The International Office access to the database
Pre Conditions
Actors
International Office
Basic Flow
Step
Actor Action
System Action
1
DCU International Office update content n/a
database
Post Conditions
DCU International Office has updated the necessary data
155
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The diagram below has been created from the above use case analysis. It shows what
system functions are performed by which system actors and gives a graphical representation
of the functionality of the application. It combines the actor and system actions to give an
overview of the functions of the application.
Figure 7.3: Use Case Diagram
7.4
User Interface Functional Interaction
The previous use case analysis identified the behaviour of the system firstly from a non
technical point of view and then with system actions in mind. This step has allowed for a
platform independent screen interaction layout to be designed.
The screens follow the
design which has been developed from the use case descriptions and diagram.
156
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The diagram in Figure 7.4 represents the screens as they have emerged from the use case
analysis. This design is both platform independent and also does not take into consideration
particular user interface controls or technical implementation.
The diagram shows how the application will have a main menu with five options, one of
these options being links to the DCU International Office social media platforms. The other
four options lead to further screens which present a number of questions to acquire details
about the user, or present information resources to the user which relate to the menu option.
The Course Finder and Visa Requirements present questions, the Working screen presents
information resources, the Living screen contains a number of sub options which also
present information resources.
157
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.4: User Interface High Level Design
7.5
Why Samsung?
Samsung plans to introduce touchscreen smartphones to the
masses and as a result you will see cheaper touchscreen
Samsung phones, such as the Corby and Star, running bada
(Naik 2010). J.K. Shin, President of Samsung Mobile believes
158
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
that the cost of a smartphone will fall to below $200 this year. Many smartphones such as
Apple‟s iPhone models and handsets from Nokia and HTC cost almost twice as much
(Lagorce 2010).
comScore‟s Smartphone Market share report released in July 2010 found Samsung to be
the leading handset manufacturer with 22.4% market share. LG came in second with 21.5%,
followed by Motorola (21.2%), RIM (8.7%) and Nokia (8.1%) (Rao 2010).
Samsung has been competing in the smartphone market for some time now and have one of
the broadest range of smartphones supporting almost every operating system. However in
recent times Samsung felt that they needed to introduce their own operating system, which
they decided to call “bada” (Naik 2010). Following its launch in June 2010, in excess of 1
million units of Samsung‟s first bada OS based smartphone- the Wave have been sold
(TechTree 2010).
7.6
What is bada?
Bada, which is the Korean word for “ocean”, is a new smartphone platform that enables
developers to create feature-rich applications that enhance the user experience in mobile
spaces. Bada was selected to express the limitless variety of possible applications which
can be created using the new platform. Samsung bada is one of the most developer-friendly
environments available, especially in the area of applications using web services.
Additionally, bada‟s ground-breaking user interface (UI) can be transferred into a refined and
attractive UI design for developers (Samsung 2010).
According to Dr. Hosoo Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Media Solution Center at
Samsung Electronics: “by opening Samsung’s mobile platforms we will be able to provide
rich mobile experiences on an increasing number of accessible smartphones” (Samsung
2010).
159
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Samsung have the ability to extend the range of choices for mobile phone users to enjoy
smartphone experiences. Samsung bada also provides an easy-to-integrate platform for
mobile operators so that they can offer differentiated services to their customers.
Samsung bada has a four-layer architecture that consists of kernel; device; service and
framework layers. The kernel layer can be the Linux kernel or a real-time OS kernel,
depending on the hardware configuration. The device layer supplies the primary functions as
a device platform, such as system and security management, graphics and windowing
system, data protocols and telephony, in addition to audio-visual and multimedia
management. The service layer offers service-centric functions that are supplied by
application engines and web service components interconnecting with bada Server. Only the
framework layer can export the C++ open API and the framework is made up of an
application framework and functions exported by the underlying layers (Samsung 2010).
Figure 7.5: Bada Architecture
Source: Samsung (2010)
160
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
7.7
Smartphone Application
Interface Design
For the design of the DCU International Office smartphone application, best practices and
guidelines were examined which allowed the development of an application which not only
had an interface designed with the user in mind but also allowed for design which ensured
the number of steps which must be completed to achieve the goal of each menu were kept
to a minimum.
To illustrate how the application has been designed to take into account these best
practices, it will be looked at in relation to Jakob Nielsen‟s ten general principles for user
interface design and also in relation to Samsung‟s six design principles for user interface
design in bada.
Nielsen Ten General Principles For User Interface Design
Nielsen‟s (1990) ten general principles for user interface design are as follows:
1. Visibility of system status
2. Match between system and the real world
3. User control and freedom
4. Consistency and standards
5. Error prevention
6. Recognition rather than recall
7. Flexibility and efficiency of use
8. Aesthetic and minimalist design
9. Help users recognise, diagnose, and recover from errors
10. Help and documentation
Taking each one in turn, it will be explained how each of the heuristics have been
considered in the user interface design of the smartphone application.
161
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
1. Visibility of system status
A good interface or system “should always aim to keep users informed about what is
going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time” (Nielsen, 1990). The
DCU International Office smartphone application has been designed to ensure that
system response times are kept to a minimum. The user is kept informed that their action
has been accepted by an audible beep upon selection of a menu item, clicking a button
or selecting an item. In the course finder and visa requirements sections of the
application the user is quickly presented with results which match the criteria they have
specified. Where no results have been found the user is promptly presented with
information to this affect.
2. Match between system and the real world
“The system should always speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and
concepts familiar to the user, rather than system-oriented terms” (Nielsen, 1990).
Throughout the DCU International Office smartphone application the system speaks the
users‟ language and at no stage is the user presented with system messages of a
technical nature.
The course finder and visa requirements sections present the user with the concept of
answering a number of questions to get the information they require. This is a concept
which is easily transferred from the real world. Both sections have also used real world
terminology in the label of the button which is used too. Both the use of the word get and
find are similar to what an individual would do in the real world to find the information
they required. Above all the interface has been designed to be intuitive for the user so
that they require little guidance or training.
162
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
3. User control and freedom
When using an interface “users often choose system functions by mistake and will need
a clearly marked exit to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an
extended dialogue” (Nielsen, 1990). The user is given the opportunity on each section of
the DCU International Office smartphone application to go back to where they came from
by use of the back button on the bottom right of the screen. This button is available on
every screen of the application aside from the main menu. The back button in each
instance will bring the user back to the main menu. On the course finder and visa
requirements sections the user may exit at any stage of the process. The application
does not trap the user by making them complete unnecessary steps when they have
decided they do not wish to proceed any further. By affording the user a chance to go
back to screen they came from at any stage users are given more freedom and control
and therefore are encouraged to use the application without the fear of being stuck in an
extended dialogue.
4. Consistency and standards
“Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean
the same thing” (Nielsen, 1990). The DCU International Office smartphone application
has been designed with consistency and standards foremost in mind. The application
uses the same layout throughout all its section which allows the user to be at ease with
the interface. The course finder, visa requirements, accommodation and working
sections have all been designed to be clutter free with clear dialogues which are easy to
navigate and simple to understand. A common look and feel has been followed
throughout which adds to the consistency of the application.
The design of the interface has also been carried out with the Samsung bada human
interface principles under consideration. These principles are outline later in this section.
163
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
5. Error prevention
When designing interfaces “even better than good error messages is a careful design
which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place” (Nielsen, 1990). The interface
of the DCU International Office smartphone application prevents the user from
generating error conditions at all times. Where applicable users are presented with a
selection list instead of allowing them to enter their own selections. Mobile devices suffer
from small screens which make input awkward and error prone for the user. By removing
the need for users to key enter data and instead presenting them with a pre determined
number of options the chance for error has been removed. On the course finder and visa
requirements sections the find and get buttons are disabled until the user has made a
selection for each question. This ensures that the user is not returned data which is
incorrect or irrelevant.
6. Recognition rather than recall
“The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to
another” (Nielsen, 1990). The DCU International Office smartphone application has been
designed to ensure the user does not need to recall information from one screen to
another. In the course finder and visa requirements section of the site the user is
informed of the choices they have made when presented with the results. This ensures
that they know what criteria produced the results and therefore can adjust any
subsequent searches.
7. Flexibility and efficiency of use
Interfaces should consider accelerators which “may speed up the interaction for the
expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced
users” (Nielsen, 1990). The interface of the DCU International Office smartphone
application has been designed with a large emphasis on getting the task completed with
the smallest number of clicks. To this end the application does not necessarily need its
164
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
speed of interaction increased as it already has been normalised to allow quick access to
all information. The interface of the main menu has a number of accelerators along its
bottom which allow for quick access to the various social media platforms which the DCU
International Office interact on. These accelerators allow the user to view the social
media platforms without having to leave the application. This ensures efficient use of the
application.
8. Aesthetic and minimalist design
Nielsen (1990) states that, “dialogues should not contain information which is irrelevant
or rarely needed. Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with the relevant
units of information and diminishes their relative visibility”. Whilst important for all
interfaces, its importance in terms of mobile applications where space is at a premium on
screen is highly important. The DCU International Office smartphone application has
been designed to ensure that only controls which are necessary have been placed on
each dialogue. Temptation to add unnecessary clutter has been resisted. Navigation
buttons are clear and consistent, located on the bottom of the screen away from the
main content on each dialogue which helps reduce clutter.
9. Help users recognise, diagnose, and recover from errors
In interface design “error messages should be expressed in plain language, precisely
indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution” (Nielsen, 1990). The
interface of the DCU International Office smartphone application has been designed to
prevent errors so error messages are a minimum in the application. Where errors can
present themselves, such as no results being returned in the course finder, the user is
presented with a polite message and asked would they like to carry out a new search.
This saves the user valuable time and ensures they can recover quickly.
165
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
10. Help and documentation
Nielsen (1990) states that, “even though it is better if the system can be used without
documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation”. The DCU
International Office smartphone application interface has been designed to be used
without the need for help and documentation. By taking on board Nielsen‟s interface
design heuristics the need for help and documentation has been removed. The interface
is intuitive and provides immediate feedback to the user when they have performed an
action. It prevents errors and is clear and uncluttered. The application encourages use
through simple and consistent dialogues and interactions.
Samsung Bada Six Interface Principles
The process of designing the smartphone application and its interface also followed the
Samsung bada Human Interface Principles (Samsung, 2010) where applicable. The six
principles are as follows:
1. Dedicate the maximum screen space for content
2. Focus on the most important user tasks
3. Keep the screen clear of clutter
4. Avoid unnecessary information or interaction
5. Provide quick ways to use applications or features
6. Apply “Less is more” thinking.
166
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Taking each one in turn, it will be explained how each of the principles have been
considered in the user interface design of the smartphone application.
1. Dedicate the maximum screen space for content
Samsung allows developers to utilise the complete screen of their bada smartphones.
The screen is broken into three different areas, the indicator area, main area and
command area.
Figure 7.6: Bada Form Layout Design
Source: Samsung (2010)
The DCU International Office smartphone application has been designed to allow the
maximum screen space for content with all but necessary use of the command area.
Each form that has been implemented in the application has been given a header which
although reducing the space for content is necessary as an indicator to the user as to
their location in the application. The page title is necessary to add context to each
screen.
167
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.7: Use of Title and Command Area
2. Focus on the most important user tasks
“It is necessary to ensure that the information that is to be displayed is relevant to the
context in which the user actions are being performed” (Samsung 2010). The DCU
International Office App only displays information which is relevant at that particular time
given the context. For instance the visa requirements section initially asks which region
the user is from, which based on their answer, they are presented with the information or
a secondary question.
168
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.8: Visa Requirements
This question asking based on context ensures that the user is able to focus on one task
at a time and irrelevant questions are not asked of them which are both time consuming
and cause the addition of unnecessary controls to the application interface.
3. Keep the screen clear of clutter
"It must be there only when you need it" (Samsung, 2010). As mentioned above, with
mobile applications the size of the screen is one of the biggest concerns, or more
specifically the use of the screen size. The DCU International Office smartphone
application has been designed to ensure that only controls which are absolutely
necessary are visible on screen at any one time. The visa requirements section
intelligently only shows the necessary questions as outlined above, but the other
sections of the application have also been designed to ensure the screen is kept clear of
clutter.
169
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
On the accommodation section of the application, use has been made of the tab control
which allows the application to have three pages in one, each represented by a single
tab.
Figure 7.9: Use of tabs
The application also makes extensive use of expandable lists which allows the
application to only show information when it is in the users focus. The expandable list
has been used on the course finder, visa requirements and working sections of the
application.
Figure 7.10: Use of Expandable List
170
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
4. Avoid unnecessary information or interaction
Samsung (2010) state that when designing an application all the features should be
easily accessible, navigation steps should be reduced to a minimum and desired
information should be easily reached.
Below is a menu map of the interactions possible on the DCU International office
application.
Figure 7.11: Our Smartphone Application Menus
It can be seen that the maximum number of screens the user has to traverse to get their
desired information is two, within some cases one interaction being sufficient. The user
interacts with all the menus, options and buttons on the interface with one touch which
ensures that the application can be controlled easily in one hand.
171
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
5. Provide quick ways to use applications or features
“Getting quick and convenient access to the applications is the basic expectation of the
user” (Samsung, 2010). Samsung recommend doing this by identifying the primary and
secondary functions and developing the interface accordingly. The interface of the DCU
International Office application provides access to the primary functions through the main
menu.
Figure 7.12: Smartphone Application Main Menu
Short cut keys have also been provided to the social media elements of the DCU
International Office through the interface of the application. The shortcuts allow quick
access to the various platforms where an international student can interact with the DCU
International Office should they have questions on any information which they have
discovered through the application.
172
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.13: Smartphone Application Social Media Interaction
The application interface has also been designed to be predictable so that users can
quickly find their way around. Soft keys for instance, which allow users to go back to a
previous interface screen, are consistent throughout the application.
Figure 7.14: Smartphone Application Use of soft keys
Samsung also encourage the reduction of data entry on the interface. As previously
mentioned data entry on mobile screens can lead to errors due to its tedious nature. The
DCU International Office application does not allow for any data entry. Through the
interface, users are presented with options which have been read from a database and
displayed on screen through various controls, thereby removing the need for the user to
enter data and all but removing the likelihood of error.
173
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
6. Apply “Less is more” thinking.
Samsung (2010), in this principle describe good design as something that is “achievable
by following a design approach that involves minimal screen components”. Here the idea
is to keep interface design as clear as possible without compromising functionality. When
an interface is too complex the user can become overloaded with information and have
difficulty in the task. In designing the interface of the DCU International Office application
the “less is more” approach has been firmly applied. From the main menu where spare
space below the menu has not been filled with clutter, to the results pages of both the
course finder and visa requirements sections, the idea has been to only add controls to
the interface which are directly connected to the user task thereby putting the users
focus clearly on either the task or the results of the task.
Figure 7.15: Smartphone Application clutter free
174
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Samsung Bada Application User Interface
A Samsung bada application is made up of a number of different elements. The smartphone
application has incorporated a number of these elements in its user interface. The following
section will describe the controls that have been used and how they interact with each other
to give an application, which follows both Nielsen‟s ten principles for user interface design
and Samsungs bada six human interface principles.
Bada Application Window
The bada application window is made up of three distinct layers, frame, forms and controls.
An application can have only one frame and upon that frame sits one or more forms, each of
which can contain a number of controls. Each form contains an indicator bar and a title bar
along with a main area for controls and a command area at the bottom of the screen. The
diagrams below outline these items.
Figure 7.16: Bada Application Widow
Command Area
Source: Samsung (2010)
175
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The DCU International Office application consists of a number of different forms which work
together to give the application its functionality. Upon each form the page title keeps the user
informed as to their location within the application removing the load from their memory.
Figure 7.17: Smartphone Application Titles
The command area is utilised on each form off the main menu. A simple command button
has been enabled which allows the user to go back to the main menu. This ensures that the
user can exit the dialogue whenever they want, therefore giving the user control and
freedom.
Figure 7.18: Smartphone command buttons (also soft keys)
Bada Application Controls
The DCU International Office smartphone application makes use of a number of form
controls in the design of its user interface. The controls used enable the user interface to
follow Nielsen‟s ten general principles for user interface design, along with ensuring that the
Samsung bada six interface principles are adhered to. The main controls used in the
interface are described below.
176
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Tab
The tab control is used to switch between multiple windows which are created on the same
form. They allow the user to view different onscreen data without having to move out of the
current menu. When a user selects a tab, its related data is shown in the main area.
Figure 7.19: Bada Tab Functionality
Source: Samsung (2010)
In the DCU International Office smartphone application the accommodation section makes
use of the tabs control. This use allows the application to keep the screen clear of clutter and
allows maximum space for content by having distinct sections of the three different areas.
Figure 7.20: Smartphone Application use of Tabs
Expandable list
The expandable list control is used to display information which relates to the top
hierarchical list item (Samsung, 2010). The data shown below can be shown or hidden with
a simple tap on the interface from the user expanding or compressing the list.
177
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.21: Bada Expandable List
Source: Samsung (2010)
In the DCU International Office smartphone application the expandable list is used
extensively. Both the course finder and visa requirements sections use expandable lists to
ask the user questions which make the information displayed more tailored to the user. A
question is presented at the top level of the expandable list with the sub items below the
answers available to the user. This approach helps the application to avoid unnecessary
presentation of information and also allows for an aesthetic and minimalist design.
Figure 7.22: Smartphone Application Course Finder Expandable Lists
178
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The working section also makes use of expandable lists to display its information. Again
through the use of expandable lists in this section information is less cluttered and the user
can experience a user interface which is clear and understandable.
Figure 7.23: Smartphone Application Working Expandable List
Soft Keys
Soft key controls are used to perform the most important and useful functions on the screen.
They are located on the bottom of the main window in the command area.
Figure 7.24: Bada Soft Keys
The DCU International Office smartphone application uses soft keys for two reasons. Firstly
the back soft key provides an exit on every screen aside from the main screen, this gives the
user control and freedom. Secondly on the course finder and visa requirements a find and
get soft key is available on the respective forms which allows the user to retrieve information
179
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
after they have answered the necessary questions. The find and get buttons serve as the
most important function on the screen therefore their representation as soft keys is ideal.
Icons
Icons allow for a method of presenting information visually in the main area (Samsung
2010). They are used to support and compliment text, as well as replacing text.
The DCU International Office smartphone application uses icons to compliment the text
when appropriate. As an application which will be used by international students it is
important to use icons which may assist a users understanding of the information which is
presented or a question which is being asked on the interface.
Figure 7.25: Smartphone Application use of icons
Web
The Web control provides browser parsing and rendering functionality within the bada
application (Samsung 2010). With a web control embedded into an application the user can
load web pages and view content within the application.
In the DCU International Office smartphone application web controls enable the application
to launch the DCU International Office social media platforms through which the user can
180
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
interact with the DCU International Office.
Web controls also are used in the
accommodation – rental section to display rental property which has been retrieved from the
JSOP API.
Figure 7.26: Smartphone Application use of Web
Bada Application Interactions
The bada interface supports a number of interactions from the user on an application user
interface. Of those, two are handled within the interface of the DCU International Office
smartphone application. The first of these is the simple touch interaction. This action occurs
when a user selects a control on the user interface through touching the screen. When an
item on the DCU International Office application user interface is touched it gives feedback
to the user in the form of an audible sound, whilst also indicating the item has been selected
by a change of colour.
181
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.27: Smartphone Application menu item selected
The interface also supports the sweep interaction. The sweep interaction allows the user to
scroll down a screen to view data or lists which are not displayed in the visible area of the
screen. A sweep interaction is a simple “touch, move, and release in a short time”
(Samsung, 2010).
Figure 7.28: Smartphone Application sweep
182
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
7.8
Smartphone Application
Application Architecture
The architecture of the Samsung bada DCU International Office application has been
designed in such a way to separate the programming logic and presentation from the
content. By separating the content away from the application logic and interface it ensures
that the application can be kept up to date with the most relevant information by the DCU
International Office without them having to have any application knowledge. The application
can then check on each initialisation that it has the latest content database. The update
process as outlined below has not been implemented as part of this project. This
implementation focuses purely on the application logic and presentation of the content.
Figure 7.29: Our Application Architecture.
183
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The application itself works in the following way. Upon its launch it initialises the main menu
structure and constructs the main interface as seen below.
Figure 7.30: Our Main Menu
The application adds the menu item and the social media buttons to its event listener. That
is, it listens for interactions from the user on those controls. When it detects an interaction,
such as the user touching the item from the smartphone screen, it carries out a particular
action which has been assigned to it. For each of the menu items, the application launches
the associated part of the application, in each case a form. For the social media element the
application opens a web control and launches the relevant DCU International Office social
media platform.
Each of the menu items on the application perform a different task and therefore are
technically different, although some share similar user interface controls and the same look
and feel. Each menu on the application is represented by a form which either displays data it
184
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
has retrieved from the application database or asks a number of questions (Course Finder
and Visa Requirements) so that its shows relevant data to the user only.
Bada Application Classes and User Interface Descriptions
The application has a number of distinct sections (Main Menu, Course Finder, Visa
Requirements, Living and Working) all of which have their own object. The application has
10 objects or classes which are:
1. BaseForm
2. CourseFinderExpandableListForm
3. CourseFinderResultsForm
4. FormMgr
5. AccomodationTabForm
6. MainForm
7. InternationalOfficeApp
8. VisaExpandableListForm
9. VisaResultsForm
10. WorkingForm
Below the functionality of each object or class is outlined.
BaseForm
The BaseForm is an object upon which all the other form objects take their initial design
from. It inherits from the bada form object therefore it allows user interface controls to be
placed on it. This object sets the „Back‟ button which appears on the bottom right hand
corner of every screen on the application. As other form objects in the application inherit
from this object, they also therefore can exhibit the behaviour and design of a bada form.
185
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
CourseFinderExpandableListForm
The CourseFinderExpandableListForm is an object which controls the logic of ascertaining
which courses a user is interested in. It inherits from BaseForm and consists of a number of
expandable lists each of which ask a particular question with the option to choose from being
list items attached to that expandable list. The object builds the necessary SQL query
statement after the user has answered the necessary questions.
The following user interface is created by the CourseFinderExpandableListForm.
Figure 7.31: CourseFinderExpandableListForm User Interface.
CourseFinderResultsForm
The CourseFinderResultsForm is an object which queries the SQLite database and displays
the relevant returned data. It uses the SQL query statement which is built in the
CourseFinderExpandableListForm object.
186
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The following user interface is created by the CourseFinderResultsForm.
Figure 7.32: CourseFinderResultsForm User Interface.
FormMgr
The FormMgr object manages the user interactions with the main menu. It launches the
appropriate form when requested by the MainForm object.
AccommodationTabForm
The AccommodationTabForm is an object which displays information about a number of
aspects of living in Ireland. It inherits from the BaseForm and consists of three tabs, advice,
campus and rental, with each one containing information about different aspects of living in
Ireland. The rental tab connects to a third party database of rental accommodation through
the use of a JSOP API. The information on the other tabs is read from the SQLite database
and is displayed via a number of controls.
187
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The following user interface is created by the AccommodationTabForm.
Figure 7.33: AccommodationTabForm User Interface.
MainForm
The MainForm is an object which creates the main screen interface. It inherits from
BaseForm and adds the menu structure and social media buttons. It also manages user
interactions with the screen for both the main menu and the social media buttons.
188
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The following user interface is created by the MainForm.
Figure 7.34: MainForm User Interface.
InternationalOfficeApp
The InternationalOfficeApp is an object which initialises the FormMgr object and sets the
MainForm object as the initial form. This object also handles general phone events such as
low battery levels and low memory levels.
VisaExpandableListForm
The VisaExpandableListForm is an object which controls the logic of ascertaining which
region or country a user is interested in finding the visa requirements for. It inherits from
BaseForm and consists of a number of expandable lists each of which ask a particular
question with the option to choose from being list items attached to that expandable list. The
object builds the necessary SQL query statement after the user has answered the necessary
questions.
189
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The following user interface is created by the VisaExpandableListForm.
Figure 7.35: VisaExpandableListForm User Interface
.
VisaResultsForm
The VisaResultsForm is an object which queries the SQLite database and displays the
relevant returned data. It uses the SQL query statement which is built in the
VisaExpandableListForm object.
190
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The following user interface is created by the VisaResultsForm.
Figure 7.36: VisaResultsForm User Interface.
WorkingForm
The WorkingForm is an object which queries the SQLite database and displays the relevant
returned data. The data is displayed through the use of a number of expandable lists with
sub data being added as a sub list item.
191
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
The following user interface is created by the WorkingForm.
Figure 7.37: WorkingForm User Interface.
Application Database
The database which stores the content for the application is a SQLite database. The SQLite
database is not like a traditional database model where the database is installed and stored
separate from an application. With a SQLite database the database is a part of the
application and does not need to be installed or maintained by a database administrator. The
database itself is a single file which is relatively small in size which makes it ideal for use in a
smartphone application. As outlined above the application can check a central server to see
if it has the latest version of the SQLite database. When it is out of date it can easily be
replaced due to its simplicity.
The schema of the SQLite database used within the DCU International Office application is
outlined below.
192
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Figure 7.38: SQLite Database Tables
Table Name
Courses
Field Name
Field Type
Comment
Course_Code
Text
DCU course code, i.e MECB, MECT
Course_Area
Text
Course_Level
Text
Undergraduate or Postgraduate
Course_Duration Text
Full time or part time
Comments
Course details or description
Text
Table Name
Visa Requirements
Field Name
Field Type
Comment
Region
Text
EU or Non EU
Country
Text
China, India, United States or Other
Details
Text
Details on the visa requirements for that country
193
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Application Interaction
The diagram in Figure 7.40 shows how the classes described above interact with both each
other and the other main elements of the application such as the SQLite database and the
JSOP API. The diagram is a high level representation of the interaction. The most important
items to note from the diagram are:

The majority of forms inherit from the BaseForm which in itself inherits from the bada
Form object.

The MainForm displays the main menu and uses the FormMgr to launch other forms
when selected.

Each of the various individual sections connects to either the SQLite database or the
JSOP API to enable them to retrieve relevant and up to date information.

Functionality has been grouped into the classes
Figure 7.39: High Level Class Representation
194
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Application Process Flow Diagrams
The four main user functional areas of the DCU International smartphone application, course
finder, visa requirements, accommodation and working follow a number of processes to
complete their tasks and present the user with the desired information. The diagrams below
show the process flows for each of the four main functions of the application.
195
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Course Finder Process Flow
The course finder process presents the user with a number of questions which when
answered provide the application with the necessary criteria upon which to build an SQL
query from which it can then retrieve the appropriate data from the database. Where no
appropriate records have been found the user is presented with a message to this effect.
Figure 7.40: Our Course Finder Process Flow Diagram
196
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Visa Requirements Process Flow
Similar to the course finder process, the visa requirements process also presents the user
with questions from which to build its SQL query from. If the user is from the EU they are
presented with the relevant data after answering the first question, if they are not from the
EU they must answer a subsequent question which allows the SQL query to be more
specific and therefore the information which is presented to the user is more specific. Again
if no appropriate information is found for the users criteria they are shown an appropriate
message.
Figure 7.41: Our Visa Finder Process Flow Diagram
197
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Accommodation Process Flow
The accommodation process has three options which the user can select depending on their
preference at any one time. Both the advice and campus options are similar in nature. They
both connect to the SQL database and display relevant information to the user. The rental
option when selected connects to a JSOP API which has listings of property available for
rent. This has been configured to show properties local to DCU. The results when returned
are then presented to the user and are fully navigable.
Figure 7.42: Our Accommodation Process Flow Diagram
198
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
Working Process Flow
The working process flow is a straight forward process in relation to the other three with
minimum interaction from the user required. The process simply connects to the SQL
database and adds the relevant data to the user interface controls. The user can then
interact with the data.
Figure 7.43: Our Working Process Flow Diagram
199
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
7.9
Smartphone Application
A Second Smartphone Application
During our research we realised that international students also have a need for information
after they arrive in DCU to study. To this end we developed a specification for a second
smartphone application which we designed as far as the screen interaction stage to
demonstrate the services which would be useful to them. This application, whilst useful for
international students, would also be useful for non international students studying at DCU.
Figure7.44: Smartphone application two
The proposed functionality of this application would be as follows. It is designed with the
same considerations with the DCU International Office smartphone application in mind.
News
This section would contain both official news from the RSS feed from the DCU website and
also links feeds from the various unofficial DCU social media platforms, clubs, societies and
other outlets.
Events
This section would list events which are taking place in and around DCU grouped by „Today‟,
„This Week‟ and „This Month‟. It would also be proposed to search for events by category.
200
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Smartphone Application
When an event is found it can added to the smartphone calendar. The events would be read
from RSS of the events page on the DCU website along with other RSS feeds. DCU
administration could also add events by pushing data to the phone database.
Campus Services
This section lists the essential campus services. Services can be updated as appropriate by
DCU administration staff.
Calendar
The calendar would offer a chance to integrate the DCU academic calendar with the
smartphone calendar. Events from the events section can also be added along with project
deadlines, examination calendars etc..,
201
7
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Resources and Budget Needs
8
Chapter 8
Resources and Budget
Needs
202
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Resources and Budget Needs
8 Resources and Budget Needs
The following chapter outlines the resources and budget needed to implement the
recommendations outlined in this report.
8.1
Social Media
Marketing through social media is not an activity that can be implemented sporadically. It
requires regular updating and frequent interaction. One member of the DCU International
Office staff should take responsibility for this or the tasks could be split between two or three
employees, each taking responsibilty for different platforms.
All of the platforms discussed in this report are very user-friendly and we have also provided
instructions on how to set up and manage the accounts (see Appendix 1.20, “Social Media
Marketing Report). That said, people who are unfamiliar with social media platforms may feel
intimidated at the thought of moderating these accounts. Therefore it may be helpful to send
staff on a social media training course so that they can become familiar and comfortable with
using the technology.
The Digital Marketing Institute offer a one-day Social Media Training Course which covers
Blogging, Podcasting, RSS, Social Networking, Planning & Implementing online PR, Online
brand and reputation management, Online brand loyalty , Facebook (Social Media,
Expectations) and Twitter for €495 per person (Digital Marketing Institute 2010).
Main SMM Platforms
Twitter needs to updated between 1-5 times a day. We feel that this is an acceptable level of
interaction which creates awareness of the DCU International Office without bombarding
followers with information. Facebook should be updated daily and more interactive content
such as competitions should be updated once a week. People who have been tweeting
about a topic or who leave comments on Facebook for the International Office related to
203
8
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Resources and Budget Needs
international study should ideally be sent a direct message by the DCU International Office
within 24 hours.
We feel that these tasks can easily be integrated into staff members' daily routines, with
about an hour a day spent finding and posting content and interacting with users. We feel it
would become part of their routine, like checking and replying to email.
Other platforms such as Flickr and Slideshare should be updated with photos and
presentations whenever they become available. This would probably occur once fortnightly
or monthly. These tasks take little effort but time must be spent providing relevant metadata
such as tags to the photos or presentations. Uploading and tagging 50 images should only
take 20 minutes to achieve.
8.2
Digital Marketing
A budget of around €100 per week should be made available for advertising on Google
Adwords, Facebook ads and any other online advertising methods for advertising DCU as an
international study location. This budget should be increased to €200/€300 per week when
events such as virtual open days or university fairs occur.
8.3
Search Engine Optimisation
Although it may seem that there are many changes to be made to implement the SEO
recommendations, the changes, once implemented will be very beneficial and will only need
minor maintenance, when pages or links are added or updated.
We suggest that each month, a member of the International Office who is technically able,
should implement one of the SEO recommendations. This would only require a small
amount of time out of the month so the staff member can still carry out their normal tasks.
204
8
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Resources and Budget Needs
Although this sounds like a slow process, the changes are more likely to be made if the
tasks are managed alongside other work being carried out by the International Office.
For example in month one, the staff member could concentrate on ensuring all page titles
within the site are relevant and in line with the SEO requirements and in month two, all of the
image titles and alt text etc. could be updated.
8.4
Website Redesign
Before the redesign is implemented and deployed by the International Office, a usability
study should be carried out on both the new design and the current website. Nielsen (1999)
has described how usability studies carried out with five testers can be very effective.
The DCU International Office has access to prime candidates for such a study. International
students should be asked to volunteer for the study. The study could be carried out simply
using the "think aloud" method or the participants could be more closely monitored with eyetracking software and other similar devices. Such a study would require a few hours
preparatory work, followed by 2-3 hours for the study itself.
There are two ways to implement the redesign. The redesigned website could be rolled out
all at once, or it could be implemented in small incremental stages. We feel that changing
the design in stages would be more suitable for the International Office due to time
constraints and workload. This would also ensure that current users of the site wouldn't be
put off by the changes.
8.5
Virtual Open Day
One of the most appealing features of running the virtual open days is the few resources that
are needed. An hour timeslot in a quiet room with a good internet connection is all that is
needed to conduct the virtual open day webinars. Most lecturers have a pre-prepared
205
8
CA550: MECB Practicum 2010
Resources and Budget Needs
presentation describing their course that they use on open days which is perfect to present
for these sessions.
8.6
Smartphone Application
The smartphone applicaiton will be fully functional when it is deployed, therefore very few
resources need to be allocated for its upkeep. The databases containing course information
and visa requirements may need to be updated on an annual basis depending on whether
this information has changed. Some occasional software updates may need to be deployed
on an annual or bi-annual basis but few resources are needed for this.
206
8
Appendices
207
Appendix 1.1: Structure of Focus Group
Focus Group
8th July 2010
Participants:





1.
Laureen Morrissette
Guang Yang
Zhenxing Zhang
Dheeraj Kumar
Na Fu
Set the Scene







2.
Welcome Participants
Thank them for their time
Explain the goal of our focus group
Explain process: Moderator will ask questions and feel free to respond or interrupt
whenever you see necessary. There are no right or wrong answers, everyone‟s
opinions are valid.
Explain that for the purposes of transcribing this focus group, the session will be
recorded.
Explain roughly how long the focus group is expected to last.
Ask the group to introduce themselves, where they‟re from and what they‟re studying
in DCU.
Topics to Cover

What were the main reasons for choosing Ireland as a study destination?
o Did they choose DCU or Ireland first?

How did you find out about DCU?
o Website, agents, peers, university fairs
o Ask them specifically if they had any interactions with DCU agents and whether
this helped them when making their choice?

Why did you choose DCU as opposed to other Irish universities?
o Would there be a strong awareness of DCU in your home university?
o Have many people from your university studied here before?

Did you consider any other countries/universities?
o Why did you rule these out?

Did any of you remember using the website to research your course?
o Did you use the main DCU website or did you look at the International Students
section?
o What was your opinion of the International Students part of the site (if any of
respondents used it) Was it easy to find information etc?
Were you aware of any funding or scholarships that were available to you?
o How did you find out this information?


Would you like to be contacted by a university through social media?
o Why or why not? Does this take away the personal touch?
o Would you prefer to be contacted by a person directly?
208

What were the main concerns you had before coming over to study in DCU?
o Finance, Homesick, Language problems, Difficulty of Course etc

Did you experience any difficulties when you first arrived in Ireland?
o Was it hard locating accommodation? Did you sort out accommodation before
or after you arrived?
o How do you feel these difficulties could be overcome?

Describe the functionality of the app....4 parts to it 1) Course Finder, 2)
Accommodation Locator, 3) Fees & Funding (Scholarships available), 4) Working
(eligibility to work, etc)
o
o
3.
Do you think you‟d use such an app?
What type of information would you find useful in a Smartphone app that
would help you before you arrived in DCU?
Closing the Session



Wrap up and thank yous
Inform participants that their opinions will be of great assistance to our research.
Inform them that we have no problem in providing them with the transcript of the
focus group should they wish to see it.
209
Appendix 1.2: Key Findings of Focus Group

Trust was a key factor, especially for students from Asian countries. They like the
college to be recommended by a friend or lecturer before deciding where to study.
Na came to DCU because her supervisor recommended it. Chinese students trust
information on their college forums as opposed to information on the DCU website or
social networks. They prefer to read the opinions of their peers and people from their
own country and university as opposed to information on social networks.

Word of mouth is very important in Asia. Na informed us that she had a friend who
did their PhD in DCU and then went back to China and recommended DCU as a
good place to study.

The Irish culture and the friendliness of the people is another factor which motivated
students to choose to study in Ireland.

Partnerships between DCU and other universities play a key role. Both ZhenXing and
Guang chose to study in DCU as a result of links between DCU and their home
university.

US students place more trust in the information displayed on websites and the
internet when deciding what college to choose whereas Asian students prefer more
personal contact with the university in the form of visits from DCU lecturers to their
home university.

Consultants tend to control which colleges students are sent to. In India the
consultants are extremely influential and persuade students that they should study in
whatever college is offering the consultants the most commission. They don‟t care
about which college best suits the needs of the students or offers the best career
opportunities; they merely want to earn as much money as possible. This is why
almost 90% of Indian students were sent to either DBS or Griffith College as these
private colleges were offering consultants the most commission.

American students tend to want to avoid the whole touristy aspect of studying in
Dublin, hence Laureen chose DCU over Trinity College. She wanted to see how the
real Irish people live rather than go to a college that is often seen as more of a tourist
attraction.

Tuition Fees were very important for all participants.

In Asian countries there seems to be a lack of awareness of Ireland in general.
Dheeraj Kumar stated that “in India people don‟t know where Ireland is. They just
don‟t know Ireland exists”. Na Fu also confirmed that this was the same situation in
China.
Most Chinese students tend to study abroad in Australia, the US and Canada.

210

All participants used the DCU website to research their course. However they were
all dissatisfied with the website and found it both confusing and difficult to navigate
through. They stated that they found it hard to remember where they located certain
information on the site previously and constantly ended up getting lost on the site.

All participants confirmed that is very difficult to locate information on scholarships
and grants and as a result they often missed the deadlines for applying for grants or
scholarships that they may be entitled to.

All participants agreed that the use of social networks would be useful to create
awareness and to promote DCU in the beginning but ultimately when deciding to
come here, more personal contact is needed e.g. to speak to someone in the
International Office directly.

All participants said that they would like to see more pictures on the DCU website.
They complained that the pictures on the website were too small. They would like to
see better pictures of the college and facilities, and also the local area as they have
never visited Ireland before.

For the Chinese market content must be translated to Chinese.

Facebook should not be used to target the Chinese market. They have alternatives to
Facebook which are more popular in China. These include www.renren.com and
www.kaixin.com.

An important concern is whether there is a high number of students from their own
nationality enrolled in the course. Guang stated that she didn‟t want to enrol in a
course where half of the students were Chinese as she wanted to improve her
English and she felt she wanted to mix with other native English speakers to do this.

Other concerns included understanding the language, finance and the course work
itself and the structure of the course.

In terms of accommodation, 80% of participants hadn‟t organised accommodation
before they arrived in Ireland, while 20% of participants had prearranged
accommodation. Those who hadn‟t organised accommodation stated that this was
one of the greatest difficulties facing them. This further reinforced our decision to
include an “Accommodation Locator” section on our app. Language proved to be a
big challenge which meant they couldn‟t phone the landlords and instead had to
negotiate a price through text messaging.

Internet connectivity in India has not reached high levels as yet, however the
situation is improving. While they have smartphones in India, the majority of them
would not be internet enabled.

All participants thought the app was a very good idea and agreed that the content
was perfect to address a lot of the needs that international students have. They
211
concluded that it would definitely help solve a lot of the difficulties they experienced,
both before coming to Ireland and while studying over here.
212
Appendix 1.3: Transcript of Focus Group
th
Date: 8 July 2010
Venue: Boardroom in DCU Business School, 2
nd
Floor
Participants:
GY= Guang Yang
ZZ= Zhenxing Zhang
DK= Dheeraj (Dino) Kumar
LM= Laureen Morrissette
NF= Na Fu
MODERATOR: So welcome & thanks for coming along because I know you‟re all probably so busy
and
thanks for just giving us your time. Basically the goal of this focus group is, our practicum,
we‟re doing it on international students and sort of, we‟re going to try and help the International Office
recruit international students. So we want to find out how did you find out about DCU & the awareness
of DCU in your college, and the decisions you made coming here, and what influenced those
decisions.
So maybe if we start off with everyone just saying their name, where they‟re from & what they‟re
studying in DCU.
LM: My names Laureen Morrissette. I‟m from the state of Maine in America and I‟m doing a Masters
in Marketing.
ZZ: My name is ZhenXing, I‟m from China and I did my Masters Degree in Electronic Engineering and
I‟m now a research assistant in DCU.
MODERATOR: OK
GY: My name is Guang and I come from China and I‟m doing a Masters Degree in Marketing.
DK: Hey, it‟s Dino, em I‟m doing a Masters in E-commerce and I‟m from India.
NF: My name is Na and I‟m from China and I‟m doing my PhD in the Business School.
MODERATOR: OK very good. So at any time if you want to butt in and interrupt, it‟s just like a general
conversation. So feel free to just say anything whenever you feel like it. There‟s no right or wrong
answers, it‟s just opinion based. It shouldn‟t last longer than I‟d say 45 minutes.
MODERATOR: So I guess I’ll get the ball rolling. What were the main reasons for choosing
Ireland as a study destination? Na what do you think?
NF: I think eh, the main reason is because the people, because I know my supervisor from before I
came here.
MODERATOR: Oh did you yeah?
NF: And he is quite knowledgeable in the HR area so I know him & I came here, that‟s why.
MODERATOR: What about you Dino?
213
DK: A couple of friends when I graduated from India, a couple of us were already here. You know I
heard the culture is nice, the people are nice, and so that was the main reason for me. They‟re really
friendly people the Irish.
MODERATOR: Is that a thing that you think about, culture and the friendliness of the people?
DK: I did that time. Obviously there‟s add-ons, being an international student, the country you‟re going
to you just want to feel comfortable with the people. So you know you don‟t want to see any attacks or
whatever. Obviously there‟s lots of factors you need to take into consideration. It‟s a huge step, like
you know, living in a different country and all, so that was the main reason yeah.
MODERATOR: What about you Guang, coming to Ireland, what made you think of Ireland?
GY: Because like there‟s a partnership between my undergrad & DCU & there‟s a programme in the
school I studied in the Business School but it‟s basically about for undergrads where people go to
DCU to do the Masters, so this is why I‟m here.
MODERATOR: And ZhenXing?
ZZ: My university is very similar & we have cooperation with my undergrad university & I realised it
was a good opportunity for me to come out & study for my Masters Degree. So that‟s why I came
here.
MODERATOR: Laureen?
LM: To be honest I just kind of made a random choice. I wanted to get out & see something different.
It was either between here or I was going to go to London and then when I went looking at different
schools, it‟s just that DCU that stuck out because I wanted something that focused on digital
marketing. It was probably mainly the school why I came here. I really only looked at schools in a
location either here or London. I didn‟t want to be like too far away from home. I didn‟t want like a
huge 12 hour flight ahead of me. So there you go.
MODERATOR: I don’t know did you all choose DCU or did you choose Ireland first and then
find a college or did you say this looks like a nice college or was it just I want to study in
Ireland?
DK: When I came first time it definitely wasn‟t a choice of where to go. I went to DBS. In India at that
time not much knowledge actually to be honest, it‟s a secret story. There‟s a consultant in India so if
you want to go abroad, especially now living in Ireland, I know how the system works. So the
consultant, we can‟t directly apply to the university, so you have to go to the consultant who will help
you to get to the university.
MODERATOR: Oh right.
DK: Maybe 5% of 100 foreign people can directly apply to the university, whereas 95% would go to
the consultant. It‟s the consultant who guides you about everything....tells you, “OK that‟s a good
country, that can be well, there‟s a lot of opportunities there, that‟s a good college”. So the first time
you know, I didn‟t do much research myself when I came into Ireland. The consultant said “DBS is a
brilliant college, they do that & that”, and then when I came in it was just a small private college. So
it‟s ok, obviously I paid the fees but I could have paid the same fees, like 8 grand or something, & go
to DCU where I could get a good Masters, but I wasn‟t aware of DCU. The only reason behind that is
that the consultants got commission, much more commission off DBS....
MODERATOR: So DBS was paying them more?
DK: Yeah so they wouldn‟t care what‟s the career.
214
MODERATOR: They just wanted to send you.....
DK: They had a bunch of people, like hundreds of people, all going to DBS. So that‟s 90% of like if
you see people now they start coming to DCU to get a good career but before it was a bunch of
people like “DBS, DBS, DBS” or “Griffith”, private colleges.
MODERATOR: Yeah that are paying more to the consultants.
DK: Exactly, so that‟s the main thing happening still so you probably need to break the ice & get
awareness as in like there‟s so many great careers, there‟s so many fairs in Ireland, education fairs.
MODERATOR: And Laureen you know the way you were saying that you really knew you wanted to
come to Ireland, was there any other universities that you looked at and sort of thought maybe I might
go there?
LM: Well I looked at.....it was just I think the Dublin Business School & then I looked at Trinity & I think
I looked at UCD as well. But I actually didn‟t want something that seemed touristy. And I felt that
Trinity College was more of a tourist attraction rather than a real university. I wanted to come here &
actually see how people really live & not do all this touristy thing.
MODERATOR: Yeah exactly.
LM: So I felt DCU is kind of like a good mix of that. And when I looked at the programme, I just liked
it. I wanted something that I could focus on digital marketing.
MODERATOR: So it really was sort of the course that sold the college to you?
LM: Definitely.
MODERATOR: Very good. So would you all have used agents or consultants, Dino I know you said
you did. Did any of the rest of you?
All: No
MODERATOR: It was basically organised through your college was it? (to Guang and ZhenXing)?
ZZ: Yea
NF: I just Googled it. Another thing I think is the price, the tuition fee. For example if you have the
collaboration relationship, the tuition fee is reduced a little bit. I think that‟s another reason for people
to come here. If you go to some people who do not have collaborations they may pay €10,000 but if
you come here it may be €9,000 or something like that.
MODERATOR: Say in your university back home, would there be a strong awareness, first of
all of Ireland.....Do you know in your home countries is Ireland up there with the other
countries or when you said you’re going to study in Ireland did people really know about
Ireland?
LM: People couldn‟t believe that I was doing it. Like I mean they know of Ireland back home but for
me to say “Yeah I‟m going to do my Masters in Ireland”, everyone was like “What??”
MODERATOR: Yeah.
All: Laughter.
LM: Like it‟s just so........It‟s actually weird back home. I‟m from a small town, so it‟s like you stay
there. You‟re lucky enough if you go to a different state let alone a different country.
215
MODERATOR: And they probably would expect you to study in London if you were going....
LM: Yeah.
DK: In India people don‟t know where Ireland is.
MODERATOR: Is that true yeah?
DK: I swear to god. (Laughs) I‟m not lying. People, if you say Ireland, they probably think it‟s part of
the UK or something. They just don‟t know Ireland exists.
NF: That‟s right. In China it‟s the same situation. When I told my friends and family, they said are the
walls of steel, the walls of north of Ireland. They get mixed up with advertising for north of Ireland.
MODERATOR: Do you know with the partnerships, Guang and ZhenXing, you said that was one of
the major reasons that you came here. So would DCU....would your university have a high awareness
of DCU....would you hear much about DCU? Or was it just someone came in & told you “well we have
a partnership going on & that was the first you heard of it.....or would many of your friends back in
China know about DCU?
GY: Like I think not many people know about DCU & like the teachers from DCU, they used to come
to my undergrad & give a speech or lecture to tell the students about DCU. The Dean of the Business
School also goes to my undergrad school. But like people not have a high awareness of this school.
Basically in China we all study abroad in the States, Australia and then Canada. They are the major
countries that we choose. So when I heard Ireland is beside the UK & they speak English & when I
did the research of the programme of Marketing, it was good & because the costs were different to
China. This was another reason I come here.
MODERATOR: That‟s one thing we‟ve found is that say the connections that like...when lecturers
from here go over to foreign universities and give you know.....it‟s building up the links...I think that‟s a
really good way for attracting students.
MODERATOR: Have many people from your university studied here before or were you all one
of the first?
LM: One of the first! My university was a private college so there was 900 people total so it was very
very small. They‟re usually all from around the same area, and no one really left and went anywhere
else.
DK: You mean in DCU or......
MODERATOR: Yea like from your home university say in India, had anyone else studied here before
or did you know anyone?
DK: No not in DCU, but in Ireland yeah.
MODERATOR: And where did they study?
DK: DBS
NF: And Griffith
DK: Yeah Griffith as well.
MODERATOR: So really like I guess the consultants were very much making their mark there.
216
NF: I have a good friend that finished his PhD & that‟s another connection because he worked in my
university & then came here to do his PhD & after finishing he just came back. That built the
connection between DCU and my university.
MODERATOR: So that sort of helped you decide to come here?
NF: Yeah that‟s very important for the people that come back, word of mouth.
MODERATOR: Like to hear the experience that they had as well.
NF: Because you trust him
MODERATOR: Yeah exactly yeah
NF: That helps you decide about the university
MODERATOR: That‟s a good point.
MODERATOR: Before you were coming here did any of you use the website to research the course?
All: Yeah
LM: I found the website actually quite difficult at first, like figuring out where the information was...
All: Laughter.
DK: Even for us as well
MODERATOR: It‟s quite hard to find what you‟re looking for & takes so many clicks. Did you go onto
the actual International Student section, did you look at that before you came?
NF: Yeah.
MODERATOR: And what did you think of that?
NF: (to group) Do you feel that the International Office, at the start I thought it was separate but when
you click something you get brought back to the Business School, so it‟s not separate
MODERATOR: It links back yeah
NF: I mean it‟s not so clear. I mean for myself I was a little bit confused. Ok so I‟m in the International
Student part & then you click on something & you go back to the Business School. But in the
Business School, I don‟t know but 3 years ago, the introduction I think was more for EU students.
When you select non-EU there was no introduction & then you come back to international students.
MODERATOR: So it‟s not coordinated together
NF: not well connected
MODERATOR: Any other opinions on like....
NF: That was 3 years ago so I don‟t know what‟s now
MODERATOR: It‟s still, it hasn‟t really changed. I don‟t think it‟s clear really when you‟re trying to find
information what‟s relevant to you, it‟s sort of...
DK: I think they‟ve changed it there recently
217
MODERATOR: Yeah but it‟s still the same stuff it just looks a bit different. It‟s still I think quite
awkward to get to what you want to get to. You really have to click a lot of times to just find a simple
piece of information.
MODERATOR: So basically you didn‟t really find the website was very helpful when you were...
LM: It got quite frustrating actually a little bit when I was trying to go, because like if I did find the
information I wanted, when I would go back to visit the website again, I couldn‟t remember how I
found it in the first place.
NF: Yeah that‟s right!
LM: So then I‟d get really frustrated because I was like “Agh how did I find that”. It takes forever to
click, click, click.
MODERATOR: And you would just end up getting frustrated yeah.
NF: Especially with the lifeline, like when you click Registry or something it shows very different thing
& when you go back you know, they‟re quite different. Like it should be like a tree. If you just click
here, you show there but if you click there the tree is changing. The tree should just be standing there.
The now situation is if you click here the tree is changing. So you don‟t know.
MODERATOR: As a group were you aware of any sort of funding or scholarships, say Dino, that
would have been available to you?
DK: Not at the time.
MODERATOR: What about Guang, did you know about any....
GY: Like because the partnership between my undergrad & here so if I start here there is about 15%
discount so this means for non EU students it‟s about €10,000 I think, so in the end I paid around
€900.
DK: Not like before when I was first come to Ireland but more recently when I came to DCU I was
looking for some sort of scholarship or grant but it‟s really hard to find information.
MODERATOR: That‟s what we‟ve been researching.
DK: I think they‟ve changed it recently now. I was looking last week at the new website, the
International site & I think they have more reachable scholarship section now than last year.
MODERATOR: Because I think there are so much scholarships & grants out there but I think you
don‟t know about them
All: Yea, yea.
DK: Like I found out now but it was too late to apply like for the grants, the student grants. So it‟s too
late now but like if I had had have known before
MODERATOR: This could‟ve helped you
DK: Definitely, so again the navigation part of the website should be more reachable so people are
made aware that they can apply for a scholarship.
MODERATOR: Yeah definitely.
NF: There should be a menu, Business School- 3 student grants available.
218
MODERATOR: Say now, because we‟re running a sort of social media campaign, would you like to
be contacted by a university through social media or would you prefer when you‟re choosing a college
that it‟s more direct contact with a specific individual.
MODERATOR: Say ZhenXing, would you prefer to talk to someone on the phone in the International
Office or say if you were on Facebook and they had a Facebook page & they were contacting you
through that way, which would you......
ZZ: I‟d prefer to talk to someone in the International Office
MODERATOR: A person directly yeah
ZZ: Yeah because it makes it more trustable whereas I think the information is more direct & I can ask
questions & communicate with the people in the International Office & I think that‟s the case for me.
MODERATOR: What about you Guang?
GW: Yeah for me like I think either first stage maybe Facebook because you can get mass
information to let you know the school because sometimes it‟s hard of you‟re in China, it‟s hard to call
Ireland. Maybe they are busy, and different time zone. So if they have a social media website you can
access from China & you can know some information & see peoples comments on this. So when you
have some basic idea about the college, you can then ring....
MODERATOR: So you‟d prefer just near the end, when you‟re really deciding, because it‟s such a big
decision....So social media you think might be useful maybe at the start just building up awareness so
people can log on & see that‟s DCU & they can see photographs and what other people think
LM: Yeah like testimonials kind of, like all the comments & stuff that would be on the page....if
everyone was saying “This is great”, things like that then I think that would help me to then go to the
next step to then how can I find more information.
MODERATOR: Yeah exactly.
LM: And pictures because the DCU website has no pictures
MODERATOR: That‟s something that‟s really...
LM: Like pictures of the area. Before I came because I had never been to Ireland at all before I moved
here. So there was nothing, just you know a little picture of the Business School.
MODERATOR: And they‟re very small
DK: I think that‟s a very good point Laureen made. I would definitely like to see the picture of the
university, what the campus looked like, seeing the different things you know.
MODERATOR: Because that‟s something that I think would sell the college like if you can see...
DK: We all.....people like to see more pictures than text & yeah for the social media I think that‟s
definitely a big help. You can definitely get more information on a Facebook page, which you can
build awareness & see what other people are saying about the university. Definitely this stage it would
be useful. I mean 7 years back when I came first Facebook didn‟t exist.
MODERATOR: What about you Na, what did you think about social media?
NF: Eh social media....
MODERATOR: Like finding out about a college
219
NF: I was thinking about that. In addition to Facebook I think another way is to put all of the pictures in
Google Maps because when you Google Map you know you can see & click the picture. About the
social media, I think for the States most people, English speaking you know, but for China the first
thing we couldn‟t log onto Facebook.
GY & ZZ: No
NF: We couldn‟t.
DK: oh yeah?
NF: No. Another thing with English is my friends in computer school they are working on the...I know
there is a translation website in Google but now they are working on the.....with Facebook....this is
English, this is Chinese, they don‟t need to copy the website. So social media if you want to get to the
Chinese market you must translate it to Chinese.
MODERATOR: Yeah and say what social media would you find would be the biggest, what platforms
in China?
NF: We have our own, I don‟t know maybe you know (to Guang)...
GY: It‟s called Renren.com. This is like the, for college students & our Facebook in China. And after
when you like go to work they have another website called Kaixin.com. Yea so this is the main social
networks people will use to comment or share some links.
MODERATOR: ok
NF: This is more popular than Facebook.
MODERATOR: Really?
NF: Yeah
MODERATOR: See that‟s the thing if you‟re targeting different areas you‟ll need to have to look into
what platforms, definitely!
NF: Another thing that social media I mean I don‟t know, for myself I don‟t log on too much, eh I don‟t
know about what‟s now in college but I trust the person in college. For example in our.....I think in
every university in China, they have their own forum. In China we just know our college forum so if
you want to make everyone know DCU and know Ireland I think the best way for China, for myself, I
think is to say to the agent & that you can announce all of the positions/grants/introduce the
programmes. Otherwise people won‟t trust...I think I trust my university‟s forum more than social
media.
MODERATOR: Yeah. So you basically do think that social media is good to generate the awareness
but you‟ll want to hear it from a person, either someone you know or actually speak to someone in the
International Office.
NF: Yeah.
MODERATOR: Because you‟re not going to move to another country just by looking at a
website...you need contact.
DK: Definitely yeah. I agree. That‟s why the consultant, well sometimes they don‟t work because....but
definitely someone you can trust. I think that‟s something in culture as well. You can see in Asia &
India, they actually prefer to talk to someone rather...
220
NF: That‟s right.
DK: Than to actually you know....I can give a really good example of that so when in India definitely
it‟s a culture thing. If Irish person is going and he has a map in his hand & he probably going to look at
the map & say “oh yea this way”. But in India you‟re definitely going to stop a guy & ask him.
NF: (Laughs)
NF: That‟s true yeah.
All: Laughter.
MODERATOR: That is a good example yeah.
NF: Another thing, do you feel that for Asian countries people like somebody to come to them (to
Dino). Not like me you know I‟m maybe......I was told by my supervisor about the position here but
otherwise I won‟t ask him.
DK: Yea
NF: I don‟t know if....For example, you like the people to talk to you not you go to somebody to ask.
DK: Exactly. I know what you mean. It‟s the same thing sometimes you‟re not aware of that
until......So unless somebody...because you kind of go.....when I was in college I didn‟t look for
anything so yeah my mates are going to Australia, so you maybe ask them what to come in.....exactly
NF: see what it‟s like
DK: And talk to them about the whole thing
NF: And then you‟d have a person, this person would tell the next class
MODERATOR: So word of mouth, definitely.
LM: I didn‟t really talk to anybody. I just did all my research online & I emailed when it got down to a
point where I couldn‟t find information & I was getting kind of frustrated. I just emailed & said here‟s
my list of questions you know
MODERATOR: And were they quick at getting back to you or....
LM: Well it usually took a day because it‟s 5 hours ahead here so by the time I would email, because I
would always forget about the time difference. So by the time I would email, you know they would be
gone...It would be like the next day when I would get something and kind of...
MODERATOR: And did they like...were your questions answered in the email?
LM: Yeah they were pretty good about, like I wrote out a whole bunch of questions & near my
questions they would write out the answer & respond back that way so
DK: Did you meet with anyone before you came here?
LM: Nope I didn‟t. I didn‟t know anyone here, I had never been here before, I just decided.
MODERATOR: Very good. Em Guang what would have been...like did you have many main concerns
before coming to DCU, before you left China....what were your main worries maybe?
GY: The main concern is basically about the course. So the structure of the course is a big part, & like
I want to know how many students this year & is there say a lot of Chinese students in this class or a
221
lot of Asian students because if like....I know in some universities maybe they take 10 or 15 Chinese
students in that class so in this situation it‟s not very valuable to establish a rapport because most of
the students are Chinese. So this is a concern. Another is like I want to know how bad the
environment here or like is it ok because if you just came here along by yourself & how can you get
everything arranged for the first time.
MODERATOR: What about you ZhenXing?
ZZ: Before I come here there is a cooperation between my undergrad & DCU so in the very start we
made a decision....eh my parents were happy for me to make a decision where we need to make sure
that DCU is a good university & DCU is a better experience in Chinese so they needed to ensure that
the university is good & it‟s better for me to travel so far away. So our main concern is we need to be
sure that DCU is good...we can learn something here. So another concern is language because in
China we are learning language for very long time but we don‟t have much experience to talk because
we are using Chinese. We learn the course, the English course, but we never use English.
MODERATOR: Yea
ZZ: And when I came here, for the first half of the year, I couldn‟t understand people talking. It‟s totally
different to what I‟m learning.
All: Laughter.
DK: Yeah.
ZZ: So since I‟m learning in time here. So I went out, talk to the local people & they help me & I get
familiar with English & the situation is getting better.
MODERATOR: So the more familiar you get with it, it does improve yeah.
DK: That‟s pretty much the same, definitely just the accent of Irish people is the biggest challenge I
faced. You know like in terms of you asked me what was the main concern before coming to Ireland I
would say for me it was you know “how am I going to survive”
MODERATOR: Would finance be a big thing?
DK: Exactly for me. How am I going to survive? Where am I going to get a job like you know...it‟s a lot
of difference......you need to survive you know & pay off your bills & everything. It‟s a huge worry. So
that was the main concern...as well as what would the study structure be like. You know would it be
the whole......like the education environment......how do they teach because when I did my undergrad
we didn‟t do lots of projects or assignments so first doing the PG in DBS was lots of
assignments...lots of group work
MODERATOR: Which might have been different to...yeah
DK: Totally different in terms of education system. As well as the biggest challenge as he (ZZ) said
was language...yea definitely was really hard to understand.
MODERATOR: Would homesickness have been, or missing home, would that have been a....
DK: Yeah
ZZ: Yeah
MODERATOR: And when it came to making the decision would your parents have had much of an
input or was it you said “I want to go there”?
222
DK: Parents don‟t mind. Not for me anyway. Not in my case they didn‟t mind me going.
MODERATOR: What about you Na, did you have the input or was it a joint decision?
NF: No, no. I actually....because we have the scholarship so we don‟t worry about finance. I think for
Masters level.....finance & living for people....the finance should be ok but although the language. I
think another big concern is...you know for Asian people I think....you know that are 25/26 is the age
for girlfriend/boyfriend & marriage. So I think 2 or 3 of my friends in DCU they are concerned about
their girlfriend, their wives, their husbands. So eh.....but I mean even DCU give them a programme
with introduction there is no introduction about spouses so this might be.....they don‟t tell people.
People feel.............I know some people that they want to come but they couldn‟t take their wives
DK: So if they married they might want to study
NF: Yea yea. That‟s right so...
MODERATOR: That‟s really interesting actually.
NF: At least there must be some clear rules you know you could take from DCU website
DK: But that would be a very niche market for people who are married and studying, very little isn‟t it?
NF: Ummm how to say....
DK: I mean I don‟t know how in China but definitely in India we don‟t take normally a break so you do
the undergrad & all of a sudden you do the Masters like 21, when you‟re 21, 90%, 95% of people
when they do undergrad....
NF: 20 have graduated from college?
DK: 20/21 yeah. 21/22 & then like all of a sudden they just go into like work & get the work experience
& then apply for the Masters.
MODERATOR: Yea a lot of people do that.
DK: But definitely in India it‟s like people are not married til 24 or 25.
NF: I mean yea in China I think 24 by the time they have graduated from college.
GY: 22
DK: 21/22 yeah.
NF: Oh sorry. Not my generation.
All: laughter.
MODERATOR: That‟s another thing...em was it hard locating accommodation...did you sort out
accommodation before you came?
LM: Yeah.
ZZ: No
GY & DK: No
ZZ: My friends come 2 weeks earlier & I took a later flight & I come here & my friends arranged
everything for me.
223
MODERATOR: Really?
ZC: I was lucky!
MODERATOR: You were very lucky. (Laughter)
ZZ: My friends when they first came here they needed to find a new house & it was very hard for them
because they were not aware & language was a very big challenge & they could not ring landlord.
The only thing they could do is text them & negotiate with the landlord so it‟s very difficult for them.
DK: Yea pretty the same. The consultant, god help them, they arranged everything. Well what they do
they like not physically talk to landlord but they got the students, really build a good relationship with
the students. So there‟s 1 consultant you know....he‟s working sending 100 students every semester
so he builds really good relationship with them so when the next batch comes in he will always try &
arrange short term accommodation for a couple of weeks til the time they can find their own. So that‟s
really.....
MODERATOR: So was that how you did it the first time you came?
DK: Building relationships with the students
MODERATOR: Because often yeah finding accommodation is often one of the hardest things when
you first come here, that‟s why I was just wondering whether people sorted it before....like you sorted
it before you came (to Laureen)?
LM: I contacted the accommodation‟s office & just got like an apartment on campus.
DK: Was it here in DCU campus?
LM: Yea
DK: Was it expensive?
LM: It‟s €550 a month.
DK: And that‟s including all your bills?
LM: Yea
DK: That‟s ok.
MODERATOR: Yea so basically what we‟re planning to do is...we‟re developing a smartphone app for
DCU before you arrived that could possibly help you. So there‟s sort of like 4 sections to it, there‟s
going to be like a Course Finder where you can look up different courses & find out the
requirements....do you know the costs of these courses. Then I don‟t know how you feel about
this.....accommodation locater where you can go in & it‟ll get RSS feeds from one of the websites in
Ireland that deals with accommodation so you can look up whether you want to rent or whatever &
you can see it on the app. Another section then “Fees & Funding” that will display say the
scholarships...once you put in your details....what you‟re entitled to funding. And then a section on
Working. Say if you want to have a part-time job to support yourself. You know the way you
might....certain eligibility requirements....whether you can work while you‟re here.
MODERATOR: So do you think you‟d use such an app on your smartphone....do you think it would be
useful say being able to just see these things?
DK: You‟re talking about like in our home country.
224
MODERATOR: Like say before you were coming to help...say if you were looking “Aww I want to do a
course in DCU but I‟m not really sure” but if you had an app.
DK: Like for an iPhone or a smartphone?
MODERATOR: Yea
DK: But you need a GPS yeah? Like you need the internet
MODERATOR: Yea
DK: Well in India the internet is still not up to that level yet of internet providers. They‟re doing it now
but not at that pace...it‟s not common in India to have the smartphone. They have smartphones but
they don‟t have the internet service on the phone. Not much so.
LM: Yea like I didn‟t have the internet on my phone or anything so that wouldn‟t have really.......
DK: Because it‟s expensive phones to have a smartphone
MODERATOR: But putting cost aside you know if you did have a smartphone do you think
you‟d......an app like this could be useful?
DK: I think so yea.
MODERATOR: Just because you know I think the website is really hard to see the funding &
scholarship information whereas if you had an app that it might ask you to answer a few
questions....like where are you from.....what are you studying & whatever & then give you a list of
what you‟re entitled to...if you‟re entitled to a scholarship or grant. It would just mean that you‟d have
the information there...you don‟t have to go searching through the website which is really bad trying to
find like.
DK: Well I use...
NF: Could that not be useful through emails where you apply & register & give your email & you can
just....
DK: I use iPhone...I think it‟s a brilliant toy to get all the information you need but obviously I‟m living
in Ireland. Think of living in India & having iPhone...you‟re only going to find a very niche market that
have the iPhone or the smartphones. Like students......it‟s a very small little niche market.
Niamh: If you just imagine though in 5 years time we‟re saying that more & more people getting
smartphones. So if you had the internet in India....everything else aside & you had this
phone.....would you find it useful?
MODERATOR: Yea like the content....do you think the content is useful?
DK: Yea definitely. It‟s so handy to have like your phone because phone is the device that you have
all the time...while I‟m asleep.......you can quickly check DCU.....like I can use this time not like I
have.......I can see all this information.
NF: I think DCU could give everybody....people who applied for DCU an iPhone or something.
All: Laughter.
DK: Yeah I‟d love that (laughs).
225
MODERATOR: What we‟re hopefully going to develop is 2 apps: 1 for students before they come
here like giving them information on the courses...accommodation and stuff, then 1 for say all the
students who are here now & when you come. So that‟ll be information just like news feeds from the
website.....what‟s going on in DCU.....Events and then like Services......like library opening hours, do
you know the way they‟re constantly changing....restaurants.....little things like that that are useful to
like all students while they‟re in DCU. So that was the basis of our app.
MODERATOR: Is there any other information that you think would be useful on an app....either before
or when you come that you‟d like to see....maybe that you looked up that you think would be helpful?
LM: Maybe local shops. When I first came I didn‟t know where anything was. The only thing I knew
was the Spar at the end of the road. But em....you know like because the Omni‟s not that far
away....you know something like that, that kind of just shows the local things around. Restaurants or
some places to get food.
DK: Some information on transport or....
MODERATOR: Yea I guess that would be another thing
LM: Buses....figuring out the buses.....(laughs)
MODERATOR: That is quite a challenge.
MODERATOR: Well that‟s basically it. I‟d like to thank you all.....you‟ve been great. And your opinions
will help us so much with our research. If you want I‟ll take your email address & if you want a copy of
the transcript just to confirm what you said or whatever or if you‟d like a copy of our findings.
****END OF FOCUS GROUP****
226
Appendix 1.4: Draft of Research Questions for Qualitative Interview with Marie
Heraughty
 What is the current recruitment process for DCU International?
o What about ambassadors?
o What about agents?
o What about technology?
o Career Fairs?
Here we wished to get an overview of what DCU International Office are currently doing to
recruit students. We hoped to get an insight into where technology is used and where it‟s not
used.
 What are the main challenges/points of failure in the DCU recruitment process?
o How do you feel these can be overcome?”
We hope to improve the recruitment process and this will require an understanding of the
current problems that exist.
 What resources do you find that students need when they arrive?
o Accommodation
o Courses
o Banking
o Restaurants
o Public Transport
For the technological aspect of our Practicum we will have to develop a system based
around the needs of international students. Therefore finding out the resources they most
frequently necessitate is imperative.
 What are the most common problems that students approach the International Office
with?
Carrying on from the last question we also need to understand the biggest problems faced by
international students. We felt that we could find out from Marie about some of the problems
faced by International Students, which they might be hesitant or embarrassed to admit to us.
e.g. language difficulties.
 What regions do you feel is most important to recruit from?
Because we will be developing a system we will need to know who our target market for this
system is. Different regions use different technologies and platforms and also have
contrasting cultures. Understanding these differences will be key to our Practicum.
 What faculties/courses are being promoted to students? or should be promoted to
students? i.e. what courses do you want to get the students into?
227
We are currently involved in a digital marketing strategy for the International Office. For this
we need to be aware of what courses are relevant and irrelevant when it comes to recruiting
international students e.g. Nursing is unavailable to international students.
 Who are DCUs main competitors?
o At recruitment fairs are you competing directly with these?
We will need to find out who DCU‟s main competitors are so that we can benchmark
ourselves against them and measure our progress. We will look at their recruitment
operations and find out what work‟s for them. Above all we hope to be innovative in our
approach while drawing from best practices elsewhere.
 Who is in charge of the website and the content that is put on it?
The website is a key factor in our marketing campaign and we have analysed it in detail and
believe that the organisation and information on the site is fragmented. Therefore we wanted
to ascertain it‟s management process.
228
Appendix 1.5: Technical Steps taken in organising interview with Marie Heraughty
1. Contact Interviewee
After contacting Marie to schedule a suitable date and time for our interview, we decided on
the 12th April 2010 at 5pm.
2. Choose Location
For convenience we arranged to perform our interview in Marie‟s office, which is located in
DCU. We feel this was a suitable choice of location as there will be no noise or outside
distractions that might disrupt the interview. It should also put the interviewee at ease
straight away due to the familiar surroundings.
3. Decide how the interview will be recorded
Video recording was preferred as a method of recording our data as it meant that we could
devote our entire attention on what Marie was discussing and not become distracted by
taking notes. This meant we were free to focus on listening and interpreting what she was
saying. We organised for a video recorder to be made available to us for the day of the
interview. We had to familiarise ourselves with how the camcorder worked and ensure that it
was fully charged and contained enough memory space.
4. Reconfirm interview and inform candidate of the interview procedure
We emailed Marie the day before the interview to confirm that she was still available to
partake in our study. We also supplied her with a list of topics which we were intending to
focus on during the interview.
5. Record the Interview and Obtain Consent
This step involved the actual recording of the interview which took place on the 12th April
2010. Prior to beginning the interview we asked Marie to sign a letter of consent to ensure
we followed the proper ethical guidelines set out in this assignment.
6. Familiarise ourselves with the data
After the interview the group spent a significant amount of time getting to know the data. We
divided the video clip into three segments and each group member was responsible for
transcribing a certain section of the interview clip. While doing this we took note of any
strong vocal expressions made by Marie, and we were also able to interpret body language
as we could visually analyse the video clip. While transcribing the interview we each
developed a better understanding of our research topics by hearing the data being replayed
a number of times. Also once the transcript was finished we all read over it several times
which further increased our knowledge on the topics in question and ensured we had
interpreted the results correctly.
229
Appendix 1.6: Letter of Consent from Interviewee
230
Appendix 1.7: Transcript of Interview with Marie Heraughty
12th April 2010
NC – Niamh Nic Clámha
RE – Rob Elliffe
GL – Grace Lavelle
MH – Marie Heraughty
MH: (re social media) It takes time by the time you manage your ordinary job
NC: What did they notice?
MH: They found it on Facebook
GL: We‟ve a good few fans on that.
MH: I went in and had a look.
GL: I don‟t have many photos, even the DCU website doesn‟t have great photos, we were
thinking of going around with a camera ourselves and taking some.
RE: We were going to take some tomorrow with the sun being nice
GL: Even of the facilities....there is none of the sports centre.
RE: The sports centre is something that should be promoted
MH: Yes it‟s a pity. I was just walking back from another part of the campus and I met a
number of our international students, some of them are doing the doctorate at this stage so
you get to know them over the years and stop and have a chat, and it‟s just gorgeous, it‟s a
typical day you want to be out there taking a photo of people relaxing.
RE: We‟re doing the Facebook and twitter
GL: It‟s really interesting seeing what they are talking about
RE: It‟s a really good way to attract people as there seems to be a lot of talk about
international study and study abroad on the various platforms. We‟ve only really touched the
tip of the iceberg with it. There seems to be a lot more than can be done through it. That‟ll be
all documented in our report.
MH: Fantastic
RE: So we may as well get going with the interview. What were going to do is, we‟re going to
let Niamh deal with the questions and we will join in where we feel necessary. I know we had
a casual chat already but there has to be a structure to this interview.
NC: Actually some of the questions we will ask you may have covered already
MH: That‟s no problem
231
NC: Firstly, if you could tell us about the current recruitment process for DCU
International.
MH: The current recruitment process...do you want me to go back to the marketing stage?
NC: Yes
MH: Ok, well I suppose the way we market DCU varies depending on the particular market.
Each market requires a certain level of differentiation. We would have generic marketing
materials, brochure on DCU, the website, both which will cover a certain amount of
information. We use the various marketing materials which are produced by each faculty, but
some faculties are a little bit ahead, in the sense that Engineering and the Business School
have developed brochures specifically for the international market whereby they just open
the courses that are fulltime programs to the international students. That‟s very helpful as
they have to do it as they have the insider information...so that‟s on those particular
programs. Then each year we would attend a series of international recruitment fairs, that‟s
one of the ways we do it. We would make decisions where the largest numbers would
possibly come from and where our market presence might be a little bit greater at the same
time I would always feel it‟s important to have a secondary market there on the bubble at
least and that‟s why we do dip into smaller markets at times. So we make a conscious
decision where we‟re going to go and who‟s going to go and we prepare for those fairs. We
then look at the type of recruitment fair. There are some very big fairs throughout China that
are extremely expensive to attend and may not necessarily pay dividends so what we‟ve
actually done there is we liaise with a group that do advertising for us from the UK and our
person in China actually attends the fairs in China on their stand so it attracts a double
whammy because it the UK attracts far more attention than Ireland. It has worked out very
nicely for us. Then we have educational agents in different countries but not every country
has educational agents. For example China has and so does India. In the China the agents
there would organise their own local fairs so our representative in China would attend those
fairs. I would say key to the China market is our local representative who is a DCU graduate.
So that‟s absolutely key, she has inside knowledge of the DCU programs and inside
knowledge for China because she‟s Chinese, and is a marketing graduate so that made all
the difference. We do use a small clip of the DCU video and we have a number of gifts on
display carrying DCU logos, be it bags, notebooks, pens, etc.., so we have developed the
range of gifts in China and that‟s what‟s done from there. The agents then would advertise
DCU with no exclusivity clause, so therefore they promote everybody and we would never
go for an exclusivity clause because in that way you are tied down and may only have one
agent in China and we can‟t afford that in a country of 1.3bn people. Agents again in India as
we‟ve said, but in place like Mexico we do it all through fairs, our alumni which are small in
number but are growing over the years have helped us out and sometimes they have
232
actually gone with the embassy to represent us at fairs. Some of the embassies are
excellent and there is a new program in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for anyone
who is going overseas has to have some training in marketing education abroad. They are
excellent if you look at the government departments this is where I think there is a huge
collaboration between DFA and the embassies, the foreign embassies in Ireland, which is
absolutely crucial. It‟s a win-win situation, they are negotiating both ways.
NC: What about the use of technology? The Website?
MH: The website is in transition as you know. There is a new one about to be launched. We
are confined by the number of templates that were there for us and what we felt was rather
than doing huge images which can be very attractive it‟s more important that the student find
the information so we‟ve confined ourselves to six, and divided it into postgraduate,
undergraduate, research, exchange.., and news about DCU because we felt that‟s what
people needed to see immediately, and they are not native English speakers in the main so
we need to be able to break down things as simple as possible for them. We have only
begun the project of using social media and we need the training in it. We do have a CRM
system that has been developed for all the units that is within student support and
development. It‟s at a very early stage of capturing the information. There is a limitation that
it will only capture one email address, but most students have multiple email addresses, so
I‟m not quite sure yet how it‟s going to work. It should work, it really should work to be able to
build up but it‟ll be twelve months before you see who you really see you‟re making contact
with.
RE: And so you can see what work you put into recruiting a student and you can then build
on those result the next year?
MH: Yes you need to take that and then analyse it. I do know that companies that specialise
in international student recruitment who have done CRMs have said it takes ten years to get
it right.
NC: The next question then is what are the main challenges or point of failures in the
(recruitment) process?
MH: Within DCU?
NC: Yes.
MH: I think the basic failure is the lack of human resources. To market properly you need
people who are skilled at marketing and are devoting their heads and time fully to marketing.
When I say lack of human resources we all do multiple tasks, now that‟s not a problem, we
all do, however some of those tasks are extremely absorbing and they distract. To market
and to be really focused on marketing you shouldn‟t be worrying about assessments and a
233
lot of other issues that distract. You need to give it your whole and you need to specialise.
China is huge. To understand what China is about, their educational system, where to look
at, where not to look at...with the support of the China office we have advance hugely
because of that. India we have had to turn the whole strategy on its head and look at it
differently, but again that has taken a lot of learning, it‟s huge. You‟re talking about
educational systems that are totally different from ours so to try and understand them and
really understand them in depth and where the colleges might be, it really needs focus, focus
on human resources. Now after that you could say yes you can develop new material into
the languages there are a lot of other things you could do. I think we‟re strong on the
personal relationships we build up with our students but again due to lack of human
resources we tend to use template replies and I know myself how irritating that is.
RE: You can read them a mile off.
MH: Absolutely. You can say they get the information but do they get the information. They
know immediately that this is some trying to...
RE: You need to personalise
MH: You need to personalise. You need to answer a student. The Mexicans will always
come through to me directly and I suppose I have the advantage of speaking the language
and so you know what they are asking for even if it‟s not in perfect English and you know it
take time and they like time to reflect on things and talk about things and it may take ten
emails before you get to the next stage, but ten emails is a lot of emails if your already doing
a lot of other markets as well. So it‟s specialisation. You‟re talking about human resources.
You‟re talking about specialisation. You need an awful lot of energy for marketing to be out
there.
RE: Would you see the technology/website requiring that same level of personalisation as
you would on the ground away from technology? So the Mexican pages different to the
Chinese pages…
MH: Yes. On the one hand you want to draw people to your main website that should have
all of the answers. To be able to translate everything I don‟t think is really probably feasible
or economical. People can use the Google translation system of course it‟s not always ideal.
But you would have to have that – who are the people you can contact and you would like
testimonials from those particular countries. Like for example we have built up relationships,
we‟ve just signed in recent weeks with the top institutions in India. So to be able to put that
information out there and say this is who.... it‟s like saying DCU has signed with Harvard,
nobody will ask any questions after that. It shows and gives a presence.
So I think that‟s really key as well.
NC: So the next thing we‟re going to go on to is when students actually arrive here. What are
the main resources that they come to you looking for?
234
MH: When they actually get here.. Well most students would have sorted accommodation,
even temporary accommodation before they come here. For those who haven‟t, that would
be their very first thing, as soon as they come in the door because naturally you need a roof
over your head. And unfortunately that is a huge week point as well. WE don‟t have that type
of accommodation service within DCU. The students union did try to help a little bit but then,
they‟re probably quite short on resources as well.
And then they‟ll come..The usual type of things they will come about: opening a bank
account, they will also come about immigration. They have to go to register, whether they‟re
visa or non-visa required. They have to go and register with the office of immigration here.
So they need letters for that. They will tend to go on holidays while they‟re here, at least the
long-term students. They‟ll want embassy letters. They will come [for] advice maybe on
medical issues as well. Module choices…huge number… particularly for Erasmus exchange
students or study abroad students. Stress, again. Very often stress issues are more
language related. They will come perhaps looking for some language learning or language
support, but in the main it‟s more, what they find very difficult is the accent. So it takes a little
while to get yourself used to the Irish accent
RE: Of course yeah, the speed of people talking as well.
MH: Speed absolutely. yeah.
RE: It‟s a massive thing
MH: A lot of the time it‟s…they come for. That‟s really what they come for in the main, yeah.
NC: That‟s kind of our next question as well; the most common problems but you‟ve kind of
covered most of those there. You’ve also covered this earlier on but what regions do
you feel are most important…?
MH: Sure. Well I mean having said that, I feel it‟s very important to realise that the East is
marketing itself to the East.
RE: OK
MH: The centre of the world no longer is the western world and we‟d be very naïve to think it
is. The world has moved on and it‟s moving very fast. It‟s changing extr… I mean even in 2
years I‟ve seen a huge change. China has just exploded and the economy in China is
booming and prices in China have rocketed. All of those things have an impact. But not only
that is the Chinese, I found very very interesting, I was at a conference a few weeks ago is
the Chinese authorities now are saying: Enough of Chinese students going abroad, what
235
about foreign students coming into China. It has to be an exchange. This has to be seen as
a mutual, mutual benefits. Very interesting to here these types of comments.
Internationalisation. All the west talks about is internationalization … And very interesting
professor from the top university in Malaysia saying: Is internationalization a western
concept? You know, what exactly do we mean? Do we still mean international students
coming to the west. We never see it going the other way around.
RE: yeah.
MH: You can see they‟re talking about these things. So many of those countries are offering
their courses abroad. There could be UK Universities… there are in China, in Malaysia.
Students can go to it, get they‟re UK degree there. So why would they start coming over.
You know, why would they come? There has to be something extra. I think we‟re going to
see a big change in future years because of that. And it‟s cheaper. You can imagine if your
salary is two hundred euro a month and you have the option of paying maybe a thousand,
two thousand euro for an entire year of an English degree in your own country as against
having to have at least twenty grand in your pocket to come here.
RE: Yeah
MH: You know…
NC: What do you think the selling point, the unique selling point to get people over
here. DCU. What do you think it could be?
Ok yeah..On the other hand. Like anything like that I think you‟ve got to say experience.
There is an experience. There‟s an experience to be gained by coming abroad because
naturally, you‟re not going to get the same. You might get a very good experience in an
English speaking environment in another country but the whole ambiance is different when
you actually come across and you see not only the education system but even the whole
lifestyle, ..what the environment that we offer. And it was interesting, we had a student this
afternoon in with us from another country. I better leave him nameless at the moment but he
was saying this is what has impressed him from DCU in fact: How friendly the staff are, how
friendly the students are, what a good experience it has been for him to be able to mix with
so many other international students and he wants to have a career in the diplomatic
service. So I think yes we have very friendly staff, a very helpful staff. I mean people do give
a lot of time really to students. That‟s a huge…
RE: They do yeah. I would agree with that yeah
236
MH: That‟s a huge selling point. I think, regardless of all the media hype there have been
about great inflation et cetera in recent times. I mean the OECD have come out and said:
Ireland rates the highest, as regards our Universities in Europe. And that‟s where people
really want to come. The experience is good. So we have, despite the many failings that the
education system has, and it has is. It still is looking that it seems to be fairly good. And it
may be because we‟re smaller than the massive Universities that you do get out there, so
therefore people do get more of a personalized attention. We have good infrastructure I
mean I have travelled widely at this stage and again you look at the infrastructure abroad, I
mean bar ... Like you‟re not going to compare with private universities because private
universities have their own funding and will go to a different standard. But in general, I‟ve sat
in classes in most places and this is comfort.
RE: Yeah, it‟s a different world really is it?
MH: It is a different world. I think people actually, they need to come because you need….
There are things that you will never learn in a classroom, you have to go out and experience
them. So I think that it is the experience. So I think all round and I think the interdisciplinarity
of our courses is exciting
RE: And how do you promote that? You know how do you promote that without sort of
painting the China experience as a negative thing?
MH: Yeah
RE: I mean how do you encourage students to come to Ireland then?
MH: Ok, well I think one of the things: Well our courses are very modern, very flexible, and
they‟re very geared towards the modern economy. So I think that is a huge selling point. We
have courses on offer that nobody else has. So despite something else looking similar, when
you actually dig deep into the courses. You can actually sell the courses themselves.
Certainly for China we offer a suite of programmes that is exactly what the students want
and exactly what the modern economy…so that is the first thing I would say. We have what
you need.
And the youth of DCU gives it flexibility so they have been able to adapt this flexible
approach so I think that also we‟re still in the league you know, we haven‟t grown to our [?]
yet so we‟re able to respond with relative ease.
237
That is … I‟d always been open with students and you know give us your assessment at the
end of the year and say: look this fitted my purpose or this didn‟t fit my purpose and so we
can feed that back into faculty as well.
RE: Yeah and we‟ve seen the surveys ourselves and been asked to do… it does seem to be
taken on board.
GL: Do you feel like it’s a case though that you nearly have to market Ireland before
you start marketing DCU?
MH: Do you know that you have to market Dublin before you market Ireland. That‟s
apparently the way… Out there, its cities are more recognizable almost than countries. You
say Ireland and we get mixed up with Iceland and Holland.
RE: of course yeah.
MH: I mean, it sounds silly but it is true, you know. And most of them haven‟t a clue where
Ireland is. I mean even if you go to Spain sometimes you know they say will you call into my
grandmother who lives in London.
[Laughs]
And I‟m not joking. But you start almost by the city. In fact I start further back and I use the
icons. I use people like Bono. If I‟m in China I use people like Westlife. I mean these are big
in china or you look and find in their countries. Who‟s known and you say: Do you realise he
comes from my country and then you‟ve already hooked them in on this.
So then they say: oh really, and then you go to the next level. You know you do need a few
icons, ambassadors you know.
RE: it‟s very good, yeah
MH: And I think what you need to do is: look at the different things that work for tourism will
work. I mean they‟re basically marketing principles …because they are marketing a certain
way. And the conference centres of Ireland, in Dublin actually have done a fantastic DVD in
marketing Dublin. It‟s actually on the website of Dublin, Dublin. Com or something..
RE: Dublin.ie
MH: …or one of these …
RE: yeah yeah
238
MH..But I have the CD and I use it myself for marketing because it‟s absolutely brilliant. In
fact, I think we could possibly put it up.
RE: that would be interesting yeah.
MH: Because I have a link to it, I think we‟re allowed to at this stage…very exciting. Music is
U2, you know, what a beautiful day, scenes are absolutely fantastic. It shows the olds world,
it shows the new world and I play that normally when I‟m at a recruitment stand. I have a
video with that playing in the background…
RE: On a loop
MH: It‟s the music itself draws
RE: Is brilliant yeah
MH: And I know it will draw. Some people come because they say: Oh Bono, Bono, Bono,
Bono. They come beside you and next thing they‟re looking and they say wow, this is really,
really attractive and you‟re not selling DCU, you‟re selling the city. It‟s really, really
worthwhile. For example the other thing that works wonderfully is Riverdance. Riverdance
went to China about two years ago and did more for us than you know… You could send
RE: Any ministers, I‟d say
MH: As many ministers as you like. [laughs] Unless they are going to be a part of the dance
troop.
RE: We‟ll edit that bit out Marie, you‟re alright
[everyone laughs]
RE: I can‟t see Brian Cowen doing that now in fairness.
[more laughter]
NC: You were saying a minute ago that certain courses that you market directly to the
Chinese market. So are there certain courses and faculties that you aim at different
markets?
MH: yes, yes. For example ...We don‟t set out… Where we just go blank into a market, we
market absolutely everything but we know for example in India, they will be looking much
more at engineering and computing because they‟ve a big high end IT expansion there. And
again they‟re very interested in some of the intercultural modules. They‟re also very…
239
journalism, international journalism is quite interesting there. Where you go across to Mexico
and they‟re looking an awful lot at our international relations programs, they‟re looking at our
intercultural, our comparative literature. So you can begin to discover what the different
countries are actually interested in.
Now some are motivated by, they know they can get funding for particular courses so and
you know that you have agreements with these particular funding bodies again so it works
for that.
NC: Ok, broad question now. Who are DCU’s main competitors?
MH: [laughs] The world
NC: You can change that to say the international, for the international market.
MH: I actually … ok… Well you can look at the Irish market. The Irish market, I think all the
universities in Ireland actually have something quite unique to offer and I might have been
more sceptical about this in the past but we‟ve had recently two visits: American guidance
counsellors, who would be looking to market Ireland to undergrads in the States and their
consensus was that every university is so distinct.
RE: Yeah
MH: That we actually have different things to offer. Ok you might have an arts degree in one
place and the other looks the same but being in a capital city or being in a small city is
going to appeal to different audiences, so it depends who your audience is at the end of the
day.
Ok, I would say some of our courses… by the time you get down to the students and
marketing to the students, some are close to DIT courses. I mean we would have some of
the courses there. You look at the UK and again… I mean the UK is the biggest competitor
of all. I mean the US will take a certain cohort for certain markets but I mean they won‟t take
everyone. Not everyone wants to aim for the US. So again it really does vary per market.
I mean Australia.. well the UK is our closest competitor… the fact that they‟re beside us. The
biggest and most developed market of all is Australia. I mean Australia has had initiatives
that, from government level for thirty years, at this stage. It‟s made a huge impact but… So
that‟s …In the UK, the prime ministers initiative, again funded an awful lot of initiatives there
put a bit of money in to it and they have reaped the benefits
You know so…
240
RE: and would DCU be at a distinct advantage over DIT, in that it has university
status. I know DIT in all but name,…
MH: Yes exactly. I suppose maybe just the fact that we‟re together in one campus. It doesn‟t
but I mean. That‟s going to change for DIT as well over time. I think that‟s just a little bit
where one would need to differentiate … and that‟s where I think say in a market in India…In
a market like India, what we did recently by linking with those top colleges, that makes the
difference.
RE: Yes, yes.
MH: And I think that going forward the Irish Universities Association are going to appoint a
person to do projects on behalf of the International Offices and really join the 7 Universities
together for certain projects. We work very well together, a lot of people wouldn‟t realise that,
but perhaps the International Offices of all the Universities work together much better, simply
because we‟re out there together.
RE: Yeah, exactly.
MH: You know we know we‟re in competition but we can work it very successfully. I‟ve been
on stands in Mexico, I‟ve been on stands in.....well I haven‟t been in Saudi, but someone
else has been in Saudi with them....I‟ve been in India, em, in China, and we know each
other‟s courses so we refer.
RE: of course, yeah.
MH: So I say “I have this, so you have that” and you know even some, well ok you want to
be in a big city, you want to be in a small city, I‟ve no problem doing referrals, because I
know that they have no problem doing referrals either so when you build up that mutual
trust.....
RE: Yeah of course.
MH: It makes a huge difference, likewise with DIT.
RE: They‟ll say it to other people back home in China.
MH: Yea, absolutely and I mean they would have courses that we don‟t have. We get a lot of
questions about maybe, electrical engineering, we don‟t have that, you know. None of the
Universities have actually have it, DIT have it so you know that‟s.....
RE: And you talked about India links, maybe it’s getting away from our interview, but
is it hard to establish those links with a university, I imagine it’s a lot of work?
MH: Extremely difficult. We did in 4 months with India but it has probably taken 4 years with
China.
RE: Right.
241
MH: So it was a very, it was a very concerted effort. It was bringing out top level people from
here, meeting the right people and having the backing of the Ambassador on both sides
made the difference. We could not have done it, they have limited time in office & you know
we had to capitalise while they were there.
RE: So given the amount of work, it‟s something you want to shout about from the rooftops?
MH: Absolutely, Absolutely! I mean its, I have to say, a remarkable achievement. They have
been notoriously difficult to, em, make agreements with. I mean even those who would‟ve
had innings for a long time with India have found it very very difficult to make any, whereas
when you‟ve got partnerships right throughout the world it‟s less difficult. For the people
coming after us it has always been difficult. It coincided with a change of Government as well
in India, who have a very open attitude and the Minister for Human Resources, who covers
education, is very dynamic and has a very different view on things. And very interestingly he
was educated in an Irish Christian Brothers school in India.
RE: Oh, jesus, ha.
MH: We only found that out on the 17th of March.
RE: That‟s a good day for it.
MH & RE: (laughter)
MH: I mean you get a lot of things coinciding together you know and those things matter, I
mean those things really matter at the end of the day.
RE: So Government Policy is a big issue then as well?
MH: Government Policy is huge because like tomorrow, and that‟s why I say you have to
keep different markets going, is if the Chinese Government decide “No no one else leaves
the country to study abroad”, no one else will leave China to study abroad.
RE: Right.
MH: And that is really the end of the Chinese market. Em if you‟re talking about International
Recruitment eh, just as in fee paying students, you know, India makes a big difference. I
mean one of the difficulties I probably didn‟t mention was the recession here and the lack of
part-time jobs. Huge!
RE: They want to support themselves.
MH: I mean they want to payback something.
GL: Do you think the Irish Government; do you think they’re doing much about it now,
what are they doing about it?
MH: They‟ve called together this high level group which em, to form a strategy or a plan as
regards how we can, because we‟re late, and the Government is very late taking action. I‟m
happy enough that the person, one of the key people leading this in fact has worked in the
242
Department of Foreign Affairs for quite a while so has a very level headed approach and,
you know, is not just on “let‟s get lots of students and let‟s solve the country‟s economic
problems with it”. So that‟s very helpful. Em how much „buy-in‟. They‟re beginning, they‟ve
met, the groups had to subdivide into smaller groups and they have met 3 times at this stage
and they‟re now beginning to approach us for questions and answers. So at least something
is beginning to happen. Em......will they put the money into it, at the end of the day I don‟t
know. I don‟t know. I mean the Government to date has been ambivalent on the whole thing
and they have been ambivalent simply because International Students don‟t carry votes. And
let‟s face it.......
RE: Shocking isn‟t it!
MH: It is and it‟s as small minded as that. So instead of, you know, viewing, and again I think
it‟s very important that people keep the whole idea of internationalisation as a broad concept
before their eyes, and not just International Recruitment. I mean there‟s a world of
difference, and that‟s really important but whether or not I just really don‟t know. The good
thing is the Department‟s are working together. We‟ve got a few Government Department‟s
working together. This really doesn‟t happen an awful lot. I mean it happens in other areas
but as regards education, it wouldn‟t happen too much.
RE: Obviously, I wouldn’t be aware of it, but it looks like Fine Gael are going to be a
shoe in in the next Government. What’s their education policies do you know?
MH: Sure, they are, well some of the key people in there are very favourable to International
Education, and I think that, and they have a broader approach to it, and I mean hopefully
they will keep that vision.
RE: Well I think they‟re gonna be in Government anyways by the looks of it. Like them or
loathe them.
MH: Yeah.
NC: Last question. Em just about the website...
MH: Sure
NC: Who’s in charge of what content goes on and who actually puts it up?
MH: Ok, em (laughter)
RE: We can put off the camera now if you want.
MH: Of course it should be updated every month or every week really but eh (laughter)
RE: We did a big analysis of it ourselves already so we know.....
MH: Well I‟ll tell you. I can say some people are in charge of certain sections of the website,
and em, I know they haven‟t been updating it. I can think of one straight off that hasn‟t been
updated in 3 years, I can think of another that hasn‟t been updated in 1 year. The others
243
have been updated from time to time over the last year but I know that there is still 2009
references that should no longer be there (laughter). So em, what we did first of all when we
did the website, not the new new website, but the new website which is about 2 years old,
we looked at the UK and the models in the UK and we followed one of those. But there
wasn‟t the flexibility within the DCU web templates basically to do what we wanted to do, so
we couldn‟t really do that much with it, and we rewrote a lot of the information there, again
trying to follow the models of what people were looking for. But that can‟t always be done
and you really need somebody, and this is going back to if you had somebody marketing,
you‟d have somebody looking at the website constantly.
RE: Like obviously if a new website came out, what’s your ideal, if you could have any
website that was gonna suit your needs what would you like to see on it? What are
the main things, even for interaction with potential students? Would you like it to be
just informational based or would you like it to store and remember people who have
come to the site, remember their preferences, remember what course they’re on, and
send them reminders of......
MH: Ideal, that would be absolutely ideal! (laughter)
RE: But do you have any ideas, what do other people do that you’d like to implement,
that isn’t feasible at the moment?
MH: Ok, I tell you what, I‟ve looked around at some of the best, well what you would call the
best practice ones. A lot of them would have very nice videos on it and I think that‟s
attractive for people to be able to go into. Because when I look at, I do analyse the hits we
get on our website, well I look at the analysis rather, but the movie and the e-brochure get a
lot of hits, em, so it‟s interesting. The movie is probably the thing that‟s most viewed so
people will be looking at it anyway, so obviously that type of thing is of interest. What draws
people back is the, again there were certain areas, again I would look at and see which you
know, what‟s drawing them back. And it‟s different because at different times of the year they
look at different parts. If they‟re about to come they‟ll start looking at, you know, coming to
Ireland, you‟ve got your place so now what‟s next? So you‟d see that gets an awful lot of
hits. I think the main thing that draws people back, again, testimonials. I‟d like a few more
active testimonials up there. But I believe that, you know, incorporating the social media‟s
important but it has to be done by students for students because I believe students like to
hear from students. They don‟t want to hear from us (laughter).
RE: Which is manufactured information like.
MH: Again it goes back to that you know.
RE: Well that‟s interesting yeah.
244
MH: I found that very, that was something I learned again at the recent conference, you
know, that a lot of people have social media but the students are aware that it‟s manipulated,
em so, they would prefer to hear it from students.
RE: And I presume that’s where, you know, you have, I’m gonna mispronounce her
name Xiaoxia Wang , that’s where being a past student as well probably helps?
MH: Absolutely. I mean that‟s where the Alumni come in and that‟s where I prefer to ask a
few of the key alumni, well I‟d like to ask them all anyway, it‟s always good to hear the
experiences. I‟m not afraid of people talking. I prefer people to be honest and say because I
would prefer to be able to get much more feedback.
RE: Of course you improve if you get the feedback.
MH: Yup absolutely. And I think people should never be afraid of feedback. It‟s not nice
sometimes but you can say “well I can‟t do anymore”, but that‟s life.
RE: Unfortunately, that is life, yeah!
NC: Do any of you have anymore questions?
RE: No I think that‟s covered a lot like, you know. Unless you (to Marie) have any questions
for us?
MH: No, none that I can think of. You‟re doing great work.
RE: I don‟t know about that.
MH: It‟s good, and I know because, I like when you‟re asked questions, you have to tease
these things out a little bit more you know and ......
RE: Well that‟s it. It‟s gonna give us a good foundation.
MH: Absolutely and anything you need to come back and say to us “well look what about
this, what about the other?”, we‟d be grateful.
RE: And that was the whole idea really. Like I think we kind of, rather than giving you
pinpointed questions, to just kind of tease information out of you as well like. It‟s a hard skill
to do.
NC: That‟s why I was keeping my mouth shut. We were supposed to kind of prompt you.
GL: It is sort of testing our interview skills.
RE: Yeah, it‟s difficult to do you know as well but I think you‟ve been great (to Marie). We
have to say thanks, you‟ve been very accommodating as well, which is brilliant.
GL: Thanks very much.
MH: Ok (laughter)
245
Appendix 1.8: Designing the Survey
Steps we followed:
Identify
Research
objectives
Define Target
Respondents
Develop
Sampling Plan
Design the
Survey
Pre-test the
Survey
Distribute the
Survey
1) Identify research objectives
Our first task was to decide on what questions we were going to ask and in which order.
From our previous research for our proposal and also from our qualitative interview with the
Head of the International Office we had a concrete idea of the information we wanted to
obtain. We wanted to gauge the concerns that international students may have when
considering studying abroad and also to get an indication of their technology usage.
 What social networks do respondents use
 What handheld devices do they own
 What influences their decision to study abroad
2) Define and characterise the target respondents
Our target audience was identified as anybody over the age of 17 that was either
considering studying abroad or also people who have already studied abroad. Our reasoning
for including students that have already studied abroad is that they will be able to provide us
with an insight into what factors had a major influence on them when deciding to study
abroad. We also had to decide on the size of our sample and we set ourselves a target of
obtaining 100 completed surveys.
246
3) Develop Sampling Plan
During this stage we had to:
 Decide how we were going to select respondents
 The number of respondents that we required for our survey
There were two sampling methods we had to decide between; Probability Sampling and
Non-probability Sampling. We feel that Probability Sampling would be of no benefit to us in
our research as we wanted to target people who appeared to have a keen interest in
studying abroad or had previously studied abroad. Using an approach such as Simple
Random Sampling would not be beneficial as many of the respondents chosen randomly
might have no interest whatsoever in studying abroad.
Non-probability sampling can be divided into two main types; accidental or purposive. The
sampling method we chose was purposive as we had a particular plan in mind and we were
aware of the pre-defined group that we were seeking (Trochim 2006). We primarily sent our
survey to our followers on Twitter who had expressed an interest in studying abroad. We
also promoted our survey on many discussion boards relating to studying abroad. This
ensured that each respondent has met the criteria for being included in our sample.
4) How to distribute /reach respondent
We decided to distribute our questionnaire online through www.surveymonkey.com. We felt
this was the best option for the following reasons:
 it allowed for instant collection of responses;
 reduced the costs involved with printing and distributing a paper based survey as
there is no need to print/post etc
 gave us access to unique populations- Our survey could reach students from far
flung countries which might have proved difficult through physical channels;
 Saved time by allowing us to reach a wide audience in a short space of time.
5) Design the Survey
5.1
Determine Questions to be asked
We had to decide what questions we were going to ask and ensure that they were aligned to
our research objectives. There are four main types of questions that can be asked in a
survey; those that measure:




Attitudes
Beliefs
Attributes
Behaviour
247
We included a number of questions that measured attributes in order to acquire personal or
demographic information. These included Age, Gender, Education, Country of Origin etc.
We got together as a team and brainstormed possible questions for our survey. We had to
prioritise our questions based on our objectives and thus certain questions were not deemed
important enough to be included in the final draft of our questions list.
When drafting up our questions we had to constantly ask ourselves “Is this question
necessary to our research?” If they weren‟t directly related to our objectives we omitted them
in order to ensure that the survey was as relevant and brief as possible. This ensured that
the survey could be completed within a reasonable amount of time.
5.2
Select the type of questions to be used, wording and format of each question
This step involved taking the questions we compiled in Section 5.1 and rearranging and
revising them so that they can be easily understood by our target audience (question
wording) and that they were structured and formatted correctly.
5.2.1
Question Structure
The two main types of question structure include open ended questions (often referred to as
unstructured questions) or closed ended questions (often referred to as structured
questions) (Kasunic 2005).
How we structured our questions involved some serious decision making on behalf of our
team. We will now discuss the three different question structures we decided to use in our
survey.
Structure
Description
Open Ended Questions
This field is left open to the respondent,
allowing them to create their own answer to
the question. There are no options for them
to choose from.
Closed Ended Questions (with unordered
choices)
The respondent chooses from a list of
unordered categories and picks the most
appropriate answer or answers.
Hybrid Questions
The respondent is presented with a list of
choices but the respondent also has the
option of creating their own answer should
they deem the choices given unsuitable.
248
We avoided using any identification questions such as asking for the respondents name,
address or telephone/e-mail details. This meant that the respondents‟ privacy was
maintained at all times and thus they were likely to give more honest responses to the
questions asked. We did however include some classification data to ensure that the target
population have been sampled adequately.
Example of question obtaining classification data
For example in the question above we wanted to find out what region each respondent was
coming from. To ensure that no region or country was excluded we gave the respondent the
opportunity to enter their own response, if different to the other options provided.
The purpose of asking respondents for their age was so that we could differentiate between
the responses given by students who are just finishing secondary/high school and mature
students. Both age groups would tend to have differing opinions of what they deem to be
important when considering studying abroad.
Again asking the gender of the respondent was merely to ensure that we obtain a balanced
sample of both males and females.
249
Examples of Multiple Choice Questions used:
Hybrid questions are used so that respondents are not forced into choosing an answer that
does not fit. Whenever we felt that there might be an alternative option that we mightn‟t have
considered, we used a hybrid question (Kasunic 2005).
Example of a Hybrid Question:
Likert Scale
We decided to use a Likert Scale to scale the responses to a particular statement. Each
choice we used for a response to the statement displays a graduation of a single dimension
of the topic. We chose this type of scale as it is well-suited for establishing the intensity of a
belief or feeling and the regularity of this behaviour (Kasunic 2005). When designing our
scale we decided not to include a N/A option as we felt that if something wasn‟t important to
someone, then it must be unimportant.
250
Open Ended Questions
We used open ended questions in some cases as it proved challenging to describe course
levels in a manner that would be identical for each nationality. Thus we decided it best to
leave this question open to the individuals own response as there were no options available
that would cater to all nationalities; and might even run the risk of confusing respondents.
The main problem with using open-ended questions is that it can be difficult to create
meaningful variables for statistical analysis. With open ended questions it is unlikely that you
will get the same word based response from multiple respondents. These responses are raw
and it can be quite time consuming when it comes to interpreting, organising and analysing
these responses (Kasunic 2005).
251
Always provide a “None of the above” option. For example there is always the chance that
none of the other options are applicable to the respondent.
5.2.2
Decide on question wording
We had to ensure that each question was consistent with previous questions and that the
language used was simple and uncomplicated so that the survey would be easily understood
by students whose native language is not English.
According to Kasunic (2005) there are said to be three conditions for guaranteeing legitimate
responses to survey questions which we took into account. The respondents must:
1) Understand the question
2) Be competent enough to provide the information requested
3) Be willing to supply the information requested.
We also had to consider the following:
 Will the question get the type of response we are looking for?
 Will the language we use be understood by students of different nationalities whose
native language is not English?
 Are any of our questions vague or misleading?
 Have we avoided double barrelled questions?
 Do our questions bias the respondents‟ answers?
 In relation to multiple choice questions, have all possible options been covered?
We had to make sure that we avoided any technical terms that our target audience would be
unfamiliar with and also ensure that our questions weren‟t too demanding. For example, in
our first draft for one of the questions we asked the respondents to rank their top 5 choices
in order of preference.
252
There were 14 options and asking respondents to choose five from the fourteen options was
quite demanding, and also the fact that we asked them to rank them in order of preference.
This would have taken a considerable amount of time and the respondent may have become
frustrated and just ticked any choices because they wanted to complete the survey in the
shortest amount of time possible and didn‟t have the patience to complete the question
properly. Therefore we altered this question so that respondents only had to rank their top
three choices.
5.2.3
Question Order and Design
Survey Length
According to Burchell (1992) survey length is one of the commonest reasons that potential
survey respondents give when refusing to partake in a survey.
We knew that in order to obtain as many responses as we hoped for, our survey had to be
quite short in length. Respondents will not fill out a survey if it will take up too much of their
time. Survey length is also known to have a bearing on data quality. As the time-to-complete
duration increases, the respondents often become weary, frustrated, bored or sidetracked by
external factors. This can have a negative effect on their level of effort and the thought that
they invest in answering questions (James 1990).
To overcome this problem we condensed our survey down and omitted any questions that
weren‟t key to our study. To complete our survey entirely took an average of 3 minutes.
Organising and Structuring our Questions
We used three basic categories in our survey:
Demographic
These were questions that we
asked that related to a
respondent‟s particular
circumstances (gender, age etc.)
These questions are not directly
related to the survey objectives but
rather are used to compare
answers from respondents with
different characteristics (e.g. male v
female, teenager v mature adult
etc).
Substantive
These are questions that we
included that directly address the
survey objectives.
253
Filter
These are questions that we used
that didn‟t apply to all respondents.
The respondents answer to these
filter questions would determine
whether they were required to
answer another question.
We used demographic questions such as age, gender etc. to get the respondents warmed
up for the survey before asking them any difficult questions where they had to reflect or give
their opinions.
Introduction
We included a brief introduction to the survey to explain what our survey was about and how
we would be using the results. The Survey System Tutorial (2009) states that a good
introduction or welcome message will persuade respondents to complete your survey.
Survey Title
We used a descriptive title that explained exactly the topic that our survey related to. This
appeared as the top of each separate section of the survey.
We also ensured that each question explained precisely how the respondent should answer.
We would instruct them whether they should only choose one option or whether we required
them to choose more than one option.
254
Some questions only needed a single answer while other questions allowed the respondent
to pick more than one option.
Survey Layout
We wanted to guarantee that our survey did not appear cluttered; thus we didn‟t place too
many questions on the one page and made sure that no question was split across two
pages. We decided to display questions on a screen-by-screen basis rather than the
scrolling method which allows the respondent to view the entire survey by scrolling down the
page.
Survey Monkey ensures that the respondent can easily navigate their way through the
survey. For example at the bottom of each screen there are two buttons “Prev” and “Next”.
The “Prev” button allows the respondent to go back and alter any answer they may have
given in earlier sections of the survey, while the “Next” button enables them to move onto the
next set of questions.
255
Response Formats
Radio Buttons:
We used radio buttons whenever a question required the respondent to choose one answer
only.
Example of use of Radio Buttons
Check Boxes:
We employed the use of check boxes whenever we wanted respondents to choose more
than one option.
Example of use of Check Boxes
Drop down boxes:
We used drop down boxes when we wanted the respondent to select an answer from a long
list of choices.
Example of use of Drop Down boxes
Text boxes:
We used text boxes whenever we required respondents to enter a response in their own
words. Text boxes are usually used when you provide the respondent with the option
“Other”, which allows them to enter a choice which you may have left out of the equation.
256
Example of use of Text Boxes
Text Areas:
We made use of text areas for any open ended questions in the survey. This gave the
respondent plenty of space to convey their response without being limited by the number of
characters they could use.
Example of use of text areas
Avoiding Errors
We also made sure that respondents could not move onto the next section of questions
without answering all of the required questions. If the respondent tried either accidently or
purposely to move on without answering all the necessary questions a message would be
displayed stating “This question requires an answer”, and the respondent would not be able
to proceed until having provided an answer.
Also where only one answer was required, we ensured that the respondent was not
permitted to choose more than one option.
257
Colour
Before we distributed our question we toyed with a number of different colour schemes
offered by Survey Monkey, as you can see below.
After trying out many different colour schemes we finally settled on “Cloudy Day”, as can be
seen below, as we felt that the colours in this design scheme were quite subdued and less
harsh on the eyes.
The Colour Scheme we choose for our survey
258
Put the questions into logical order
We had to make sure that each question followed on from the previous question. To do this
we also created sections in our survey so that relevant questions were grouped together.
We had to add logic to each question so that respondents only answered questions that
were relevant to their situation. For example if the respondent answered “No” to Question 20
: “Is your mobile phone internet enabled?”, then they clearly would not be in a position to
answer Question 21: “Do you use the internet on your phone regularly?”.
To alleviate this problem we included logic so that if the respondent answered that their
mobile phone wasn‟t internet enabled then the survey would skip to Question 22 and thus
avoided asking irrelevant questions.
6) Pre-test the survey
Pre-testing the survey was crucial to ensure that any mistakes were corrected before the
survey was distributed. To ensure our survey would provide us with optimal results we
arranged a meeting with Mr Gerry Conyngham to query certain elements of our questioning
which we had doubts over or required a second opinion. Mr Conyngham has spent over 20
years lecturing in Statistics and Quantitative Methods and we became familiar with him when
he taught us during the course of one of our modules this year.
Mr Conyngham reassured us that our survey was well structured and that our questions
were phrased appropriately to obtain the information we required. He gave us a few
recommendations which we took on board and hence made a few alterations to our initial
draft.
E-mail correspondence arranging meeting with Mr Conyngham
259
Once we were satisfied with our final survey we then selected twenty of our Twitter contacts
to test the survey on. The key advantage here was that we were using real members of our
target audience to test our survey. The purpose of conducting this pilot test with a small
sample of our target audience was to identify any problems with questions; question wording
or format; which we may have missed.
We received feedback from the pilot tests which was extremely helpful. For example one
tester noticed that he was unable to specify another country when he answered “Other,
please specify”. Having been informed of this, we quickly amended our survey so that this
problem was solved. There were no major changes required based on the feedback we
received and the above example is one of the minor adjustments we made to our survey
following our pilot tests.
Feedback from Pilot Test
6) Distribute the Survey
Once we were satisfied with our survey and had thoroughly checked it for errors and
mistakes, the next step was to distribute the survey. We decided to contact our Twitter
followers individually, posting the link to our survey and asking them if they would take the
time to complete it.
Our survey was also promoted on various “Study Abroad” discussion boards: Survey
Monkey allowed us to log into our account and view the number of respondents who had
successfully completed our survey. This was very useful as we could check the figure on a
regular basis and thus we could easily see when we had gained enough responses in order
for the analysis of the results to be meaningful.
260
Appendix 1.9: Promoting our survey in relevant Study Abroad discussion boards
261
262
Appendix 1.10: Our Survey
263
264
265
266
267
268
Appendix 1.11: Survey Results
What country/region are you from?
The majority of respondents of our survey were from the EU (46.1%), followed China with
20.6% and the US with 12.7%. 10.8% of respondents were from India. The remaining 9.8%
was made up of other countries such as Canada, Australia, Mexico, Korea and Japan.
Country/Region
Other
EU
China
India
US
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
Percent (%)
Age
The majority of respondents of respondents (94%) were between the ages 19-36, with 2%
being over 36 years of age and 4% being under 19.
269
Gender
There was an almost identical balance in terms of gender of respondents. 51% of
respondents were male, while the remaining 49% were female.
Gender
100
Percent
80
60
40
20
0
Female
Male
Which best describes your situation at present?
Just over half of respondents are still currently in education with 52% stating that they‟re a
student. 37.3% of respondents are presently in employment while the remaining 10.8% are
unemployed.
Which best describes your situation at
present?
Unemployed
Currently Employed
Student
0
10
20
30
Percent (%)
270
40
50
60
Are you hoping to further your education?
72.5% of respondents are hoping to further their education in the future, whereas the other
27.5% have no intention of furthering their education.
Are you hoping to further your
education?
No
27.5%
Yes
72.5%
Have you previously studied abroad?
57.5% of respondents have prior experience of studying abroad which lends our results
more credibility as the majority of respondents have been through the process of studying
abroad and are therefore extremely qualified to provide their opinion on the topic.
Have you previously studied abroad?
No
42.5%
57.5%
271
Yes
Do you wish to study abroad for all/part of this course?
Of the 72.5% that stated that they wished to further their education, a resounding 82.4% said
that they would like to study abroad for all or part of their future studies. The remaining
17.6% stated that they did not wish to study abroad while furthering their education.
Do you wish to study abroad for part/all of
this course?
No
Yes
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Percent (%)
Why did you consider/are you considering studying abroad?
40.3% of respondents said that “better career prospects” was/would be their main reason for
choosing to study abroad. 23.4% said “they wanted to learn about different cultures”, 10.4%
responded that they would study abroad “to meet new people and make new friends” while
only 10.4% also responded that they would/did study abroad “to improve their language
capabilities”. Some of the “Other” reasons stated by respondents included “lower fees”,
“different learning method and better education environment”, and “the course I wanted was
available there”.
272
Percent (%)
Why did you consider/are you considering
studying abroad?
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
To learn about
different cultures
To meet new
people and make
new friends
Better career
prospects
Improve language
capabilities
Other
Who has/had the greatest influence on your decision to study abroad?
72.7% of respondents made the decision to study abroad all on their own without any
influencers. Parents were the main influencers for 13% of respondents while 9.1% cited
colleagues/friends. Career advisors influenced 2.6% of respondents to study abroad with
1.3% being influenced by a university marketing agent. The remaining 1.3% of respondents
cited other influencers such as their university professors.
Greatest influence on decision to study
abroad
1.3%
2.6%
1.3%
It was my own decision
9.1%
Parents
Colleagues/friends
13%
Career advisors
University Marketing Agent
72.7%
Other
273
Rate the following on their importance when choosing a study abroad destination?
In this question the respondents were asked to rank various statements on a scale of “Very
Important” to “Unimportant” when deciding on choosing a destination to study abroad. The
statements we asked them to rank included:











Tuition Fees
Courses offered
Reputation of Institution
Career outcomes
Living costs
Work during study
Opportunity to work in country after graduation
Community from your own country
Potential scholarships
Friendliness of people there
On campus/accommodation facilities
Courses offered was the most important factor for 55.8% of respondents. 43.8% believed
that career outcomes was the most important factor when choosing a study abroad
destination while 36.8% cited tuition fees as the most important factor.
The most unimportant factor when choosing a study abroad location was “community from
your own country there” (24%), followed by “on-campus/accommodation facilities” and the
opportunity to work during study, both receiving 12%.
274
Unimportant
Of Little Importance
Neither unimportant or important
Important
Very Important
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
275
Greatest concerns when studying abroad?
Without a doubt, “Finance costs involved” was the greatest concern with 63.6% of
repondents citing this as their number one concern. This was closely floowed by “missing
family/friends/home country (48.1%), “language barriers (39%) and “not making any friends
(33.8%). The least concerning factors for respondents when deciding to study abroad were
“the ability to practice your own religion (2.6%), followed by “Prejudice” (14.3%).
Greatest concerns about studying abroad
Finding the course difficult
Prejudice
Ability to practice your own religion
Adapting to the local culture
Finance costs involved
Language Barriers
Not making any friends
Missing family/friends/home
0
10
20
30
Percent (%)
276
40
50
60
70
What mobile devices do you currently own?
51% of respondents chose “Other” and then included the name of their handset device. The
most popular other options mentioned included Nokia, Samsung and LG handset models.
20.6% of respondents replied that they didn‟t own a mobile device while 17.6% of
respondents owned an Apple iPhone. 6.9% of respondents own a Blackberry, with Android
and Palm devices both owned by 2%.
What mobile device do you currently own?
2% 2%
6.9%
Android
Palm
17.6%
Blackberry
Apple iPhone
51%
None
Other
20.6%
Is your mobile phone internet enabled?
Of those respondents that own a mobile phone, 71.8% stated that there mobile phone was
capable of accessing the internet with the remaining 28.4% of respondents owning mobile
phones that are not internet enabled.
Is your mobile phone internet enabled?
80
60
% 40
20
0
Yes
No
277
Do you use the internet on your phone regularly?
Of the 71.8% of respondents that replied that their mobile phone was internet enabled,
67.2% stated that they use the internet on their mobile phone regularly with the remaining
32.8% replying that they don‟t use the internet on their phone regularly.
Do you use the internet on your phone
regularly?
No
Yes
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Percent (%)
Which search engine do you use the most?
Google was the unanimous leader here with 92.2% of respondents using Google the most
out of all the other search engines listed. 4.9% use Baidu the most; while Bing and Yahoo
are used by 1%. Of the “other” replies, 1% chose Blackle as the search engine they use the
most.
Most Popular Search Engine
Other
I don't use search engines
Baidu
Ask
Alta Vista
Bing
Lycos
AOL
Yahoo!
Google
0
20
40
60
Percent (%)
278
80
100
Do you use social networking sites?
89.2% of respondents stated that they use social networking sites while 10.8% replied that
they do not use social networking sites.
Do you use social networking sites?
10.8%
Yes
No
89.2%
Most Regulary Used Social Networking Sites
Facebook was one of the most popular social networks with 94.6% of respondents using this
platform regularly. The second most regularly used social network site was YouTube with
44%, followed by Twitter (37.4%) and LinkedIn (26.4%)
Most Regularly Used Social Networking
Sites
3.3%
7.7%
Facebook
Twitter
44%
LinkedIn
94.6%
QQ
YouTube
12.1%
Bebo
26.4%
MySpace
37.4%
279
Would you contact a university by social networking sites?
68.1% of respondents stated that they would contact a university through social networking
sites, while the remaining 31.9% stated that they wouldn‟t contact a university through social
media. These responses demonstrate the importance of using social media to target and
provide information to students.
Would you contact a university through
social networks?
No
Yes
0
10
20
30
40
Percent (%)
280
50
60
70
Appendix 1.12: Industry Research
Marie Heraughty
Former Head of DCU International office
Method: Qualitative Interview
Why we interviewed Marie
We interviewed Marie on the 12th of April 2010, at which time she was acting head of DCU's
international office. Marie overlooked the entire recruitment process of the International
Office and therefore had an in depth knowledge on the area of our research. She had
firsthand experience in dealing with international students and would be a reliable source for
explaining the difficulties and challenges she had experienced in her role and also the trends
that are emerging in the International Student Recruitment sector.
The results of the interview are discussed in the document and a full transcript is included in
the Appendix
Claire Bohan
Head of DCU International office
Method: Qualitative Interview
Why we interviewed Claire
Claire Bohan took over the role of Head of DCU International Office in April 2010. We had
already conducted a qualitative interview with Marie Herraghty, the previous head. We were
hoping that Claire could give us further insight into the workings of the International Office
since she was coming from a different perspective. Although Marie had given us a lot of very
useful information, Claire would be able to tell us if any changes to the marketing and
recruitment process were planned. Claire was new to the office and could therefore cast a
pair of fresh eyes on the situation. A lot of what Marie had told us about the International
Office was validate by Claire.
Theis interview with Claire is referenced in the main document.
281
International Student Focus Group
The key findings of the Focus Group are discussed throughout the document and included in
the Appendix. Below is a brief profile of each participant
Dheeraj Kumar is from Delhi in India and came to Ireland in 2004
to study a degree in Business Management at Dublin Business
School (DBS). He is currently completing an MSC in Electronic
Commerce in DCU.
“I heard the culture is nice, the people are nice, and so that was
the main reason for me”
Dheeraj Kumar
India
Laureen Morrissette from Maine in the USA. She is currently
completing an MBS in Marketing at DCU. She decided to come to
Ireland in 2009 after completing a Bachelors of Science in
Marketing Management in Thomas College Waterville, Maine.
“I looked at Trinity & I think I looked at UCD as well. But I actually
Laureen Morrissette didn’t want something that seemed touristy. And I felt that Trinity
USA
College was more of a tourist attraction rather than a real
university. I wanted to come here & actually see how people really
live “
Na Fu is currently completing a PHD in Strategic HRM and
performance in professional service firms at DCU. She is from
Shengyang, China. She graduated from Northeastern University,
Shenyang with BA in Industrial Engineering in 2006 and came to
Ireland in Oct 2007.
Na Fu
China
Guang Yang comes from Beijing, China and came to Ireland in
2009. She is currently completing an MBS in Marketing at DCU
after completing her undergraduate degree in Business Studies
(Specialising in Marketing) in the Capital University of Economics
and Business in China.
Guang Yang
China
282
Zhenxing is a research assistant at Clarity, the centre for sensor web
technologies at DCU.
Zhenxing Zhang
China
I am from the middle part of china, the province name is Hubei. i did
my undergraduate degree in software engineering in Wuhan
university in Hubei, China. and in September of 2007, i came to
Ireland.
DCU Shanghai Trip
We had the opportunity to meet with many interesting, influential and relevant people on a
trip to Shanghai organized for the students of Next Generation Management, one of the
courses run by the Business School. These people were able to give us insights into how
Ireland is marketed in China, Chinese people‟s reaction to Ireland and best practices for
operating in this huge and diverse market
Xioaxia Wang
Head of DCU China Desk
Xiaoxia works on the ground in China for the DCU International Office and therefore knows
everything about recruiting students from China, how they research their study abroad
options, and what is important for them. Xiaoxia attends many education fairs and meets
agents on a regular basis.
We met with Xioaxia a number of times on our trip and therefore got to question her
extensively on Chinese students and their attitudes, wishes and worries for a study abroad
location.
Kenny Yang
Chinese University Agent
Kenny Yang is a university agent in China. He advices students on which universities to
attend and gets paid a commission by the University he sends them to. We got to meet with
Kenny and discuss what DCU could do to help agents, to make the easier.
283
Kenny didn‟t seem very interested in the ideas we suggested such as an agents website. We
realized that sometimes doesn‟t really matter what DCU does to help the agents, they will
send students to wherever is paying the best commission.
Dr. Theo Lynn
Head of LINK Research Center and DCU BS Lecturer
In Shanghai, we attended a talk given to Chinese students in Tongji University
about DCU as a study destination. It was interesting to see this “sales pitch” and see the
students reactions.
It is a tough job as Ireland needs to be marketed before DCU because many Chinese people
wouldn‟t be aware of such a small country.
The students seemed very impressed by how innovative Ireland and DCU seems. The fact
that many huge multinational corporations have EU headquarters in Ireland also impressed
them.
Breiffini Kennedy
Asia Manager Bord Bia,
Breffini Kennedy is the Asia Manager of Bord Bia. When we met with him he told us of his
experienes doing business in China and the cultural differences to be aware of.
Helen Yang
DCU Alumna
We met some DCU alumni in Shanghai including Helen Yang. We were able to ask them
their opinions of Ireland and DCU, in retrospect and discover the reasons they chose here to
study.
Helen came to DCU because she knew somebody else here who she trusted and they
recommended it.
284
Enterprise Ireland‟s Shanghai office is part of a government agency
and is responsible for the development and promotion of the
Ireland‟s business sector in China (Enterprise Ireland 2010).
In Shanghai, we got the opportunity to meet with China Director and East China Manager of
Enterprise Ireland, Alan Buckley and Renee Wu. Renee, a native of China has an in depth
knowledge of the Chinese culture and business practices and Alan has been working with
China for years.
Since Enterprise Ireland‟s purpose is to promote Irish businesses abroad, we felt that they
would have some insight into how to sell to this alien market. DCU needs to be aware of how
as a study destination to China. They told us of their experiences in the market and gave us
tips and advice on how to operate in China. While not all was applicable directly to DCU,
most of it was relevant.
Shanghai World Expo
When in Shanghai, we got the opportunity to attend the Shanghai 2010
World Expo.
The world expo is a world fair containing national pavilions, created by
participating countries. Each country chooses what they put into their pavilion.
This was a great way to see how other countries are marketing themselves to China,
including the impression that Ireland is portraying. The expo will receive over the expected
70,000,000 visitors over its duration. We felt that Ireland did not use this platform effectively
to market Ireland as a good place to invest or to study.
Much focus was put on historic landmarks and for people from China, who may never have
heard of Ireland, are unlikely to remember it after they leave the pavilion, when other
countries were providing much more exciting and innovative display.
Tongji University and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade
We visited two of the leading Universities in Shanghai and got to speak to the students there
and get a feel for University life in China
285
China Findings

We found that many Chinese people are unaware that Ireland even exists let alone
what it has to offer as a study destination

Using names/brands that Chinese people do know can help to market Ireland and
DCU. For example Intel, Google and Hewlett Packard have their EU headquarters in
Ireland. Chinese people also recognize Riverdance and Westlife.
This affirms what Marie Herraghty told us during her interview about using a video
with a U2 backing track at marketing fairs because people will recognize the song
and have something to associate Ireland with

Chinese people like speaking with people directly face-to-face or over the phone
rather than over the internet. It is imperative to give Chinese students personalized
attention and ensure the students trust the international office.

Chinese people want 3rd part accreditation of a University and also pay attention to
world rankings

Keeping ties with alumni can be a beneficial marketing tool since they will speak
about their time in DCU when they return home and may influence others to come to
DCU.
286
Appendix 1.13: SEO Analysis of the DCU International Website
Analysis of the current page titles on www.dcu.ie/international
Page
Title
International Office (Main Page)
International Office – Welcome to Dublin City University
Why Choose DCU?
International Office – Prospectus Students
Testimonials
International Office – Prospectus Students
FAQs
International Office – FAQS
Contact A Representative
International Office – DCU Overseas Representatives
Bangladesh
International Office – Application Outside The EU –
Bangladesh
China
International Office – Application Outside The EU – China
India
International Office – Application Outside The EU – India
Japan
International Office – Application Outside The EU – Japan
Malaysia
International Office – Application Outside The EU – Malaysia
Norway
International Office – Application Outside The EU – Norway
Nigeria
International Office – Application Outside The EU – Nigeria
Pakistan
International Office – Application Outside The EU – Pakistan
USA
International Office – Application Outside The EU – United
States Of America
Saudi Arabia
International Office – Information for Saudi Students
Any Other Country
International Office – Application Outside The EU
Oversees Visits
International Office - Overview of upcoming International
Office visits
Contact Us
International Office - Contact Us
Partner institutions/ how to apply
International Office - Partner Institutions / How to apply
About DCU in your language
International Office - International Office in Your Own
Language
Dublin City University Chinese
website
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
287
Brief Introduction of Dublin City
University
List of Partner Chinese Universities
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Wuhan University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Beijing University of Posts and
Telecommunications
Hangzhou Dianzi University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Beijing University of Technology
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Capital University of Economics and
Business
China Three Gorges University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Sichuan University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Capital University of Economics and
Business
Research Collaboration
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
DCU - China Exchange Visits
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
DCU Visits China 2003
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
DCU Visits China 2005
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
DCU Visits China 2006
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
DCU Chinese Students Profile
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
DCU Course related information
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
Ireland Immigration Information
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
English Language Requirements
International Office - English Language Requirements
DCU Foundation Programme
International Office - DCU Foundation Programme
Enrolling with the University
International Office - Once You’ve Applied
Paying your fees
International Office - Once You’ve Applied
Determination of EU/Non-EU Status
Determination of EU/Non-EU Status - Dublin City University
Immigration Regulations
International Office - Once You’ve Applied
Accommodation
International Office - Once You’ve Applied
Travel Tips
International Office - Once You’ve Applied
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
International Office - Welcome to Dublin City University
288
Once You’ve Applied: Pre-departure
checklist
International Office – Once You’ve Applied
Once You’ve Applied: Orientation
International Office – Once You’ve Applied
Living & Studying at DCU: Student
Support Services
Your page has not been found – DCU
Living & Studying at DCU: Failte
Programme DCU
International Office – Host Family Programme
Living & Studying at DCU:
Information of Ireland & Dublin
International Office- Living & Studying at DCU
Living & Studying at DCU: Health
Services
International Office- Living & Studying at DCU
Living & Studying at DCU: Working in International Office- Living & Studying at DCU
Ireland
Living & Studying at DCU: Cost of
Living
Financial Assistance Service- Quick Guide to Financial Survival
in University
DCU Visually: Movie
International Office- Video
DCU Visually: E-brochure
Dublin City University
DCU Visually: Photos
International Office- Gallery
Analysis of the current page descriptions on www.dcu.ie/international
Page
Meta Tag
International Office (Main Page)
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Why Choose DCU?
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Prospective Students
Testimonials
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Prospective Students
FAQs
Dublin City University - FAQS - Where do I apply if I am an
undergraduate EU applicant? All EU citizens seeking admission
to the first year of an undergraduate programme at DCU are
required to apply thr
289
Contact A Representative
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - DCU
Overseas Representatives
Bangladesh
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU –
Bangladesh
China
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU – China
India
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU – India
Japan
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU – Japan
Malaysia
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU –
Malaysia
Norway
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU –
Norway
Nigeria
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU –
Norway
Pakistan
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU –
Pakistan
USA
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU –
United States of America
Saudi Arabia
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Prospective Students
Any Other Country
Dublin City University - Applications from Outside the EU
Oversees Visits
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - DCU
Overseas Representatives
Contact Us
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Contact Us
partner institutions/ how to
apply
Dublin City University - Partner Institutions / How to apply - DCU
has international exchange agreements with the following
universities. If you are a DCU student , please refer to the
programme of study you are currently pu
About DCU in your language
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University International Office in Your Own Language
Dublin City University Chinese
website
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
290
Brief Introduction of Dublin City
University
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
List of Partner Chinese
Universities
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Wuhan University
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Beijing University of Posts and
Telecommunications
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Hangzhou Dianzi University
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Beijing University of Technology
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Capital University of Economics
and Business
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
China Three Gorges University
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Sichuan University
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Capital University of Economics
and Business
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Research Collaboration
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
DCU - China Exchange Visits
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
291
DCU Visits China 2003
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
DCU Visits China 2005
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
DCU Visits China 2006
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
DCU Chinese Students Profile
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
DCU Course related information
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
Ireland Immigration Information
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Dear Students, May I offer a few words of congratulations to
those of you who have completed your academic ye
English Language Requirements
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University English Language Requirements
DCU Foundation Programme
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Prospective Students *******
Enrolling with the University
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
You’ve Applied
Paying your fees
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
You’ve Applied
Determination of EU/Non-EU
Status
Immigration Regulations
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
You’ve Applied
Accommodation
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
You’ve Applied
Travel Tips
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
You’ve Applied
Once You’ve Applied: Pre-
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
292
departure checklist
You’ve Applied
Once You’ve Applied: Orientation
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Once
You’ve Applied
Living & Studying at DCU:
Student Support Services
Dublin City University - Page Not Found
Living & Studying at DCU: Failte
Programme DCU
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University Prospective Students
Living & Studying at DCU:
Information of Ireland & Dublin
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Living
and Studying at DCU
Living & Studying at DCU: Health
Services
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Living
and Studying at DCU
Living & Studying at DCU:
Working in Ireland
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University - Living
and Studying at DCU
Living & Studying at DCU: Cost of
Living
Dublin City University - Quick Guide to Financial Survival in
University - Cost of Living We are often asked, particularly by
international applicants, to give some indication of the cost of
living for a third level student.
DCU Visually: Movie
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University –
Video
DCU Visually: E-brochure
Dublin City University online brochure
DCU Visually: Photos
Dublin City University - Welcome to Dublin City University –
Gallery
Analysis of the current URL descriptions on www.dcu.ie/intenational
Page
URL
International Office (Main Page)
www.dcu.ie/international/index.shtml
Why Choose DCU?
www.dcu.ie/international/why_dcu.shtml
Testimonials
www.dcu.ie/international/testimonials.shtml
FAQs
www.dcu.ie/international/faq.shtml
Contact A Representative
www.dcu.ie/international/representatives.shtml
Bangladesh
www.dcu.ie/international/bangladesh.shtml
293
China
www.dcu.ie/international/china.shtml
India
www.dcu.ie/international/india.shtml
Japan
www.dcu.ie/international/japan.shtml
Malaysia
www.dcu.ie/international/malaysia.shtml
Norway
www.dcu.ie/international/norway.shtml
Nigeria
www.dcu.ie/international/nigera.shtml
Pakistan
www.dcu.ie/international/pakistan.shtml
USA
www.dcu.ie/international/usa.shtml
Saudi Arabia
http://www.dcu.ie/international/saudi_arabia.shtml#application_info
Any Other Country
http://www.dcu.ie/international/other.shtml
Oversees Visits
www.dcu.ie/international/visits.shtml
Contact Us
www.dcu.ie/international/contact.shtml
partner institutions/ how to
apply
www.dcu.ie/international/partners.shtml
About DCU in your language
www.dcu.ie/international/own-language.shtml
Dublin City University Chinese
website
Brief Introduction of Dublin City
University
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/index.shtml
List of Partner Chinese
Universities
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_Partner_university.sht
ml
Wuhan University
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_WHU.shtml
Beijing University of Posts and
Telecommunications
Hangzhou Dianzi University
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_BUPT.shtml
Beijing University of Technology
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_BJUT.shtml
Capital University of Economics
and Business
China Three Gorges University
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_CUEB.shtml
Sichuan University
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_SCU.shtml
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_Brief_Intro_in_Chinese.
shtml
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_HDU.shtml
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_CTGU.shtml
294
Capital University of Economics
and Business
Research Collaboration
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/links_NJU.shtml
DCU - China Exchange Visits
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_Exchange_visits.shtml
DCU Visits China 2003
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_visits_2003.shtml
DCU Visits China 2005
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_visits_2005.shtml
DCU Visits China 2006
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_visits_2006.shtml
DCU Chinese Students Profile
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/students_profiles_00.shtml
DCU Course related information
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_Course_related.shtml
Ireland Immigration Information
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/Ireland_Immigration.shtml
English Language Requirements
www.dcu.ie/international/requirements.shtml
DCU Foundation Programme
www.dcu.ie/international/foundation.shtml
Enrolling with the University
www.dcu.ie/international/enrol.shtml
Paying your fees
www.dcu.ie/international/pay_fees.shtml
Determination of EU/Non-EU
Status
Immigration Regulations
www.dcu.ie/international/eu_status.php3
Accommodation
www.dcu.ie/international/accommodation.shtml
Travel Tips
www.dcu.ie/international/tips.shtml
Once You’ve Applied: Predeparture checklist
http://www.dcu.ie/international/checklist.shtml
Once You’ve Applied: Orientation
http://www.dcu.ie/international/orientation.shtml
Living & Studying at DCU:
Student Support Services
http://www.dcu.ie/international//current-students.shtml
Living & Studying at DCU: Failte
Programme DCU
http://www.dcu.ie/international/host_families.shtml
Living & Studying at DCU:
Information of Ireland & Dublin
http://www.dcu.ie/international/ireland.shtml
www.dcu.ie/international/chinese/docs/DCU_Research_collaboration
.shtml
www.dcu.ie/international/immigration.shtml
295
Living & Studying at DCU: Health
Services
http://www.dcu.ie/international/health.shtml
Living & Studying at DCU:
Working in Ireland
http://www.dcu.ie/international/working.shtml
Living & Studying at DCU: Cost of
Living
http://www.dcu.ie/students/finance/guide.shtml
DCU Visually: Movie
http://www.dcu.ie/international/video.shtml
DCU Visually: E-brochure
http://www.i-studentadvisor.com/dcu/
DCU Visually: Photos
http://www.dcu.ie/international/gallery.shtml
Analysis of the current content on www.dcu.ie/international
Page
Comments
International Office (Main Page)
The content is fine with it mainly being links to the six main
sections of the International Office, namely Undergraduate
Study, Postgraduate Study, Visiting Students/Study Abroad,
Research, Erasmus/Exchange Programme and New and Events.
The top six and bottom six are separated by a blue divider, the
second of these is unnecessary as it bring content further down
the page.
Why Choose DCU?
Page has good content but layout is not attractive. It is all text
based and not broken up well to aid reading. Some data is out of
date or too old to be significant. Contains links in all sections. We
believe more text, images and figures would be more relevant.
Testimonials
Page content and layout is fine. Page would be complimented
with images of the students the testimonials are from.
FAQs
Page contains many answers to questions. Some of the content is
out of date i.e. Academic Calendar is for 2008/09. Instead of a
hard coded academic calendar is should just link to the standard
dcu.ie calendar. There are also inconsistencies between links;
some have labels whilst some are in the format http://www...
They should all be labelled clearly. In general the page needs to
be proof read for correctness.
Contact A Representative
Page contains a number of links to the various DCU country
pages. Content and layout is fine. An interactive map of the world
may be a good idea here instead of the standard links.
296
Bangladesh
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review.
China
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. There are also
inconsistencies between links; some have labels whilst some are
in the format http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In
general the page needs to be proof read for correctness. Contact
at the end of the page may be better suited to a table or
interactive map.
India
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. There are also
inconsistencies between links; some have labels whilst some are
in the format http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In
general the page needs to be proof read for correctness. Contact
at the end of the page may be better suited to an interactive
map.
Japan
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. In general the
page needs to be proof read for correctness. Contact at the end
of the page may be better suited to an interactive map.
Malaysia
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. There are also
inconsistencies between links; some have labels whilst some are
in the format http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In
general the page needs to be proof read for correctness.
Norway
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. There are also
inconsistencies between links; some have labels whilst some are
in the format http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In
general the page needs to be proof read for correctness.
Nigeria
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. In general the
page needs to be proof read for correctness.
297
Pakistan
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. In general the
page needs to be proof read for correctness.
USA
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. There are also
inconsistencies between links; some have labels whilst some are
in the format http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In
general the page needs to be proof read for correctness. Contact
details at the end need to be formatted.
Saudi Arabia
Page is a section of a larger page on Saudi Arabia. Page contains
general information with good content. Menu at the top would
page links to below would aid navigation. There is also a mix of
styles on it, this need to be review. There are also inconsistencies
between links; some have labels whilst some are in the format
http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In general the
page needs to be proof read for correctness.
Any Other Country
Page contains general information with good content. Menu at
the top would page links to below would aid navigation. There is
also a mix of styles on it, this need to be review. There are also
inconsistencies between links; some have labels whilst some are
in the format http://www... They should all be labelled clearly. In
general the page needs to be proof read for correctness.
Oversees Visits
Contains information about international visits to China, India
and the USA. Simple, relevant and easy-to-read content. Key
words are used “international”, “visits”.
Simple layout.
Contact Us
Contains a list of contact details and photos of some of the
International Office staff. List of numbers fine but the “who we
are” section is inconsistent. It should have a photo for each
person.
Not many keywords used but simple and relevant for user.
Partner institutions/ how to
apply
This page contains links to International Universities that DCU has
connections with. Some keywords are used at the start but there
is far too much information on this page. Users must scroll down
a lot to find relevant information.
About DCU in your language
Only Chinese available even though title implies more languages
298
Dublin City University Chinese
website
Brief Introduction of Dublin City
University
List of Partner Chinese
Universities
Messy layout. Very little content
Wuhan University
Contains general information about Wuhan University in both
English and Chinese.
Beijing University of Posts and
Telecommunications
Contains general information about Beijing University of Posts
and Telecommunications in both English and Chinese.
Hangzhou Dianzi University
Contains general information about Hangzhou Dianzi University
in both English and Chinese.
Beijing University of Technology
Contains general information about Beijing University of
Technology in both English and Chinese.
Capital University of Economics
and Business
Contains general information about Capital University of
Economics and Business in both English and Chinese.
China Three Gorges University
Contains general information about China Three Gorges
University in both English and Chinese.
Sichuan University
Contains general information about Sichuan University in both
English and Chinese.
Capital University of Economics
and Business
Contains general information about Capital University of
Economics and Business in both English and Chinese.
Research Collaboration
The page contains a list of DCU’s research collaboration projects
with Chinese universities. Content does not have a nice lay out
and no keywords are used.
DCU - China Exchange Visits
This page contains links to pages containing photos of DCU-China
visits. It has a very bad layout. It is not explained what the links
are for and no keywords are used.
DCU Visits China 2003
This page contains photos of DCU visits to China. The
photographs are terrible quality (see Pictures section)
DCU Visits China 2005
This page contains photos of DCU visits to China. The
photographs are terrible quality (see Pictures section)
DCU Visits China 2006
This page contains photos of DCU visits to China. The
photographs are terrible quality (see Pictures section)
Can’t comment because don’t understand content
The page contains a list of DCU’s partner Chinese universities.
Content does not have a nice lay outand no keywords are used.
299
DCU Chinese Students Profile
This page contains relevant, easy-to-read content.
DCU Course related information
This page only contains links to other pages. It doesn’t have any
other content.
Ireland Immigration Information
This page only contains links to other pages. It doesn’t have any
other content.
English Language Requirements
This page has very little information but contains links to other
pages.
DCU Foundation Programme
Contains information about DCU foundation programme Simple,
relevant and easy-to-read content. Simple layout.
Enrolling with the University
Contains information about Enrolling with the University. Simple,
relevant and easy-to-read content. Simple layout.
Paying your fees
This page is titled “paying your fees”. It provides very little
information on paying fees but instead links users to other pages
to find the information.
Determination of EU/Non-EU
Status
This page contains a survey allowing users to determine their EU
Status. It has a simple lay out and is easy for the user to
understand.
Immigration Regulations
Far too much info on this page.
Accommodation
Contains some content with keywords but mostly just links to
other websites
Travel Tips
Contains information about traveling to Ireland and DCU (Slightly
different than title implies). Simple, relevant and easy-to-read
content. Simple layout.
Once You’ve Applied: Predeparture Checklist
This page contains a checklist for students to inform them of
items they’ll require prior to their departure. It also states the
important documents which they must present on arrival at
Dublin airport. It also contains a link to the visit dublin website
for accommodation purposes. Overall, the content is simple and
easy to understand. Perhaps the title of the page should be
remained as it contains information not only related to predeparture but also relating to once the student has arrived in
Ireland.
Once You’ve Applied: Orientation
Contains information on DCU’s Orientation programme and
provides a link to a PDF of the orientation schedule. There is no
problem with the quality of the content, however the layout
needs to be improved. At present, contains big paragraphs of text
300
which would be very overwhelming for International Students
whose native language is not English. We would recommend the
use of images on this page in order to help students increase
their understanding of the information on the page.
Living & Studying at DCU:
Student Support Services
404 page- The site has very good error messages in place. They
are clear, friendly and explain to the user why the problem might
have occurred and offers them advice on how to rectify the issue.
Living & Studying at DCU: Faílte
Programme DCU
Contains information on the Host Family Programme. One image
is used which adds to the overall appearance of the page. Good
quality content, but again a few instances where the layout might
be improved.
Living & Studying at DCU:
Information of Ireland & Dublin
Contains general information on Ireland relating to issues such as
Climate, Transport, Banking, Emergency Services etc. The Public
Holidays and Climate information are nicely displayed in a table.
Perhaps too much content included for one page and again we
would recommend the use of more images.
Living & Studying at DCU: Health
Services
Contains information on Health Services for Students from the EU
as well as for Students outside the EU. Also contains a link to a
“Guide to the Irish Health Service”. No problem with content
however simpler English might be required in certain areas of this
page. Also content needs to be universalized; For example this
page refers to General Practitioner’s (GP’s), however they are not
described as GP’s in all other countries which is something the
page should take into account.
Living & Studying at DCU:
Working in Ireland
Contains information on working in Ireland and also on how to
apply for a Graduate Employment Scheme or a Green Card/Work
Permit. No major problems with this page and they use bullet
points effectively to help break up some of the information so
that it is displayed in a clearer manner.
Living & Studying at DCU: Cost of
Living
Contains information on the Costs of College but is not part of
the International Office site. This page is very well designed and
displays information in a way that is easy to understand.
DCU Visually: Movie
Contains a video showing the different services and activities that
DCU has to offer. One problem is that there is no method for
pausing or stopping the video once the user has hit “play”.
DCU Visually: E-brochure
Contains DCU e-brochure. Directs the user to an alternative site
to view.
DCU Visually: Photos
Contains a photo gallery with some really nice photos of life at
DCU. However the big problem is that each photo has the same
301
description- “International Office”. We would recommend giving
each photo its own unique description based on what is
displayed in that particular image.
Analysis of current links on www.dcu.ie/international
A – Descriptive; B – Concise; C – Easy to spot
Page
Links
A B C
  
International
Office (Main
Page)
302
Why Choose
DCU?
 X 
FAQs
  
Contact A
Representati
ve
  
Bangladesh
x x 
China
India
Japan
303
Malaysia
Norway
Nigeria
Pakistan
USA
Saudi Arabia
Any Other
Country
Contact Us
  X
Contact Us
 X 
partner
institutions/
how to apply
x  
About DCU
in your
language
X  
304
Dublin City
University
Chinese
website
  
List of
Partner
Chinese
Universities
  
Wuhan
University
  
Beijing
University of
Posts and
Telecommun
ications
  
Hangzhou
Dianzi
University
  
305
Beijing
University of
Technology
  
Capital
University of
Economics
and Business
  
China Three
Gorges
University
  
Sichuan
University
  
306
Capital
University of
Economics
and Business
  
Research
Collaboratio
n
  
DCU - China
Exchange
Visits
X  
DCU - China
Exchange
Visits
X  x
DCU - China
Exchange
Visits
X  x
DCU Chinese
Students
Profile
  
DCU Course
related
information
  
307
Ireland
Immigration
Information
  
English
Language
Requirement
  
English
Language
Requirement
DCU
Foundation
Programme
 X 
Enrolling
with the
University
Enrolling
with the
University
Paying your
fees
x  
Determinatio
n of EU/NonEU Status
Immigration
Regulations
  
Immigration
Regulations
  
Immigration
Regulations
 X 
  
  
x  
  
308
Immigration
Regulations
  
Accommodat
ion
  
Accommodat
ion
x  
Travel Tips
  
Travel Tips
x  
Predeparture
Checklist
X  
Orientation
X X X
Student
Support
Services
  X
Student
Support
Services
Failte
Programme
DCU
Information
of Ireland
and Dublin
  
Information
of Ireland
and Dublin
 X 
  
  X
309
Information
of Ireland
and Dublin
Information
of Ireland
and Dublin
  
Health
Services
 X X
Health
Services
X X X
Health
Services
 X 
Working in
Ireland
 X X
Working in
Ireland
  
Cost of living
X  
Movie
X  
N/A
310
E-brochure
N/A
Photos
N/A
Analysis of the current heading on www.dcu.ie/international
Page
International Office (Main
Page)
Heading
H1 – Welcome to the International Office
H2 – Programmes
H2 – Programmes
H3 – Undergraduate Study
H3 – Postgraduate Study
H3 – Visiting Students/Study Abroad
H3 – Research
H3 – Erasmus/Exchange Programme
H3 – News and Events
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Why Choose DCU?
H1 – International Office
H2 – Why Consider DCU?
H3 – Irish Education
H3 – Student Profiles
H3 – Life In Dublin
H3 – Overview of Upcoming International Office Visits
H4 – Where our students come from
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Prospective Students
Testimonials
H1 – International Office
H2 – Testimonials
311
H3 – An Intercultural Experience at DCU
H3 – DCU paved the way for my future
H3 – Teamwork is big in DCU!
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
FAQs
H1 – International Office
H2 – FAQs
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Contact A Representative
H1 – International Office
H2 – DCU Overseas Representatives
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Bangladesh
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – Bangladesh
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information
H3 – Representatives in Bangladesh
H4 – Entry Requirements
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H4 – Entry Requirements
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
China
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – China
H3 – Foundation Programme Entry Requirements
H3 – Blank
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
312
H3 – Blank
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes
H3 – Blank
H3 – Further Programmes
H3 – Representatives in China
H3 – DCU Agents in China
H4 – Beijing JJL Overseas Education Consulting & Service Co Ltd
H4 – Shanghai Oriental Overseas Studying Service Co. Ltd
H4 – Beijing Space Study Service Co., Ltd
H4 – Shanxi International Exchange Service Developing Department
(IESDD)
H4 – Shanghai JiaMing Education Consultant Co.Ltd
H4 – EIC Group Beijing
H4 – AOJI Education Group
H4 – Beijing Wiseway Consulting Co., Ltd
H4 – Jilin International Talents & Technology Cooperation Co., Ltd
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
India
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – India
H3 – Undergraduate Programme Applications
H3 – Postgraduate Programme Application
H3 – Further Information:
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Application Procedures:
H4 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H4 – Entry Requirements for Application
H4 – DCU Agents in India:
313
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Japan
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – Japan
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information:
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Malaysia
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – Japan
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information:
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Norway
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – Norway
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information:
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Nigeria
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – Nigeria
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
314
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information:
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Pakistan
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – Pakistan
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information:
H3 – Representation inPakistan
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H4 – Entry Requirements:
H4 – Applications Procedures:
H4 – DCU Agents in Pakistan:
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
USA
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU – USA
H3 – Dublin City University
H3 – Information on The Recognition of Qualifications from the USA
H3 – Undergraduate Study
H3 – DCU Study Abroad Programme
H3 – Postgraduate Study at DCU
315
H3 – US Federal and PLUS Loans
H3 – Further Information
H4 – Research at DCU
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Saudi Arabia
H1 – International Office
H2 – DCU and Saudi Arabia
H3 – OBEIKAN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, CAMBRIDGE
UNIVERSITY PRESS, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY AND DUBLIN CITY
UNIVERSITY LAUNCH LEARNING INITIATIVE FOR ARAB WORLD
H3 – DCU’s research relationship with Saudi Arabia
H3 – International Office
H3 – Entry requirements for students from Saudi Arabia
H3 – Saudi Arabia Scholarship Application
H3 – Undergraduate Programme Application
H3 – Postgraduate Programme Application
H3 – Foundation Programme
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Student Support and Development
H3 – Inter Faith Centre
H3 – Visa information for students from Saudi Arabia
H3 – Arabic in DCU
H3 – Further Information:
H4 – Entry Requirements and Applications
H4 – Master’s by Research:
H4 – PhD by Research
H4 – Immigration Regulations
H4 - Visas
316
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Any Other Country
H1 – International Office
H2 – Applications from Outside the EU
H3 – Non-EU Applicants
H3 – Undergraduate Programmes
H3 – Blank
H3 – Postgraduate Programmes (Master’s / PhD)
H3 – Further Information
H6 – Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Oversees Visits
Contact Us
partner institutions/ how to
apply
h1
International Office
h2
Overview of upcoming International Office visits
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Contact Us
h3
Who to contact
h3
Who we are
h3
What we do
h3
Who we are linked with
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
partner institutions / how to apply
h3
Languages for International Communication
h3
International Business & Languages
h3
Chemistry
Law and Government
317
Computer Applications
Physics
Journalism / Communications
Engineering
Mathematical Science
Biotechnology
Science International
Business Informatics
Health & Human Performance
About DCU in your language
Dublin City University
Chinese website
Brief Introduction of Dublin
City University
List of Partner Chinese
Universities
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
International Office in Your Own Language
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h3
An Post launches a new stamp to celebrate the Year of the Ox
h3
Happy New Year to all our students from China!
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
318
Wuhan University
Beijing University of Posts
and Telecommunications
Hangzhou Dianzi University
Beijing University of
Technology
Capital University of
Economics and Business
China Three Gorges
University
Sichuan University
Capital University of
Economics and Business
Research Collaboration
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
319
DCU - China Exchange Visits
DCU Visits China 2003
DCU Visits China 2005
DCU Visits China 2006
DCU Chinese Students
Profile
DCU Course related
information
Ireland Immigration
Information
English Language
Requirements
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
*Chinese ascii codes*
h2
Dublin City University Chinese website
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
English Language Requirements
h3
English Language Courses
320
DCU Foundation Programme
Enrolling with the University
Paying your fees
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
DCU Foundation Programme
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Enrolling with the University
h3
What to do once you have received an offer to come to DCU…
h3
Next step registration…
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Paying your fees
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Determination of EU/Non- h1
EU Status
h2
Immigration Regulations
International Office
Determination of EU/Non-EU Status
h3
Nationality/Residency
h3
Notes:
h4
*Residency:
h1
International Office
h2
Immigration Regulations
h3
Visas
h4
Department of Foreign Affairs,
h4
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform website
h3
INDIA
h3
Registration with the Immigration Authorities in Ireland:
h3
Special Opening Hours of GNIB for new students:
h3
Re-entry Visas
321
Accommodation
Travel Tips
Pre-departure checklist
h3
Study Visa Renewal
h3
Special Student only Opening Hours in 2008:
h3
Students from the EU/EEA:
h3
Checklist of Documents Needed on Arrival
h4
EU/EEA Citizens:
h4
Non-EU Citizens:
h3
List of Countries Whose Passport Holders Do Not Require Visas
to Enter Ireland:
h4
Hong Kong (SAR)*
h4
**British Dependent Territories (Colonies):
h3
Transit Visas Are Required by Citizens of the Following:
h3
Other useful websites
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Accommodation
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Travel Tips
h3
Dublin airport
h4
Non-EU Students:
h4
EU/EEA Students:
h3
Luggage collection:
h3
Getting to DCU
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Once You‟ve Applied: Checklist
h3
Pre-departure checklist
322
Orientation
Living & Studying at DCU:
Student Support Services
Living & Studying at DCU:
Failte Programme DCU
Living & Studying at DCU:
Information of Ireland &
Dublin
h3
Next
h3
On Arrival
h4
Important Documents for Non-EU Students to bring:
h4
Important Documents for EU/EEA Students to bring:
h4
Orientation pick-up service
h4
Accommodation
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Orientation
h3
International Student Orientation September 2010
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
Page not found
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Host Family Programme
h3
HOW IT WORKS
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
General Information on Ireland
h3
Climate
h3
Dublin city transport
h3
Location of DCU
h3
Banking and Currency
h3
Electricity
h3
Emergency Services
323
Living & Studying at DCU:
Health Services
Living & Studying at DCU:
Working in Ireland
Living & Studying at DCU:
Cost of Living
h3
Public Holidays in Ireland
h3
USEFUL ADDRESSES
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Health Services
h3
Students from EU Member States
h3
Students from outside the EU
h3
Health Services on Campus
h3
Emergency Service
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Working in Ireland
h3
Entitlement to Employment
h3
Personal Public Service (PPS) Number:
h3
Graduate Employment Scheme
h3
Who can apply
h3
How to apply
h3
Fees
h3
Permission to remain
h3
Conditions
h3
Expiry
h3
Green Card/Work Permit Applications
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
Financial Assistance Service
h2
Costs & Budgeting
h3
Costs of College
324
DCU Visually: Movie
DCU Visually: Photos
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Video
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
h1
International Office
h2
Gallery
h6
Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland
Analysis of the current images on www.dcu.ie/international
ID
Page Name
Description
Title
File Name
Alt Text
1
International
Office (Main
Page)
Two students
working in lab
Undergraduat
e Study
internationalimage1.jpg
Placeholder
image
2
International
Office (Main
Page)
Graduating mother
with son
Postgraduate
Study
Internaional-image3.jpg
Placeholder
image
3
International
Office (Main
Page)
International
Student
Visiting
Students/
Study Abroad
internationalimage4.jpg
Placeholder
image
4
International
Office (Main
Page)
Invent
Research
internationalimage2.jpg
Placeholder
image
5
International
Office (Main
Page)
Three students
Erasmus/
Exchange
Programme
internationalimage4.jpg
Placeholder
image
6
International
Office (Main
Page)
Asian Students at
St Patricks Day
News/ Events
internationalimage6.jpg
Placeholder
image
7
Saudi Arabia
DCU, State and
Saudi Delegation
(See below)
Saudi.jpg
None
8
Saudi Arabia
Three Saudis
None
Tom Bourke_1.jpg
None
9
Saudi Arabia
Saudis Praying
Inter Faith
islam3_landscape.jpg
None
325
Centre
10
Contact Us
Small headshot of
Audrey Byrne
Ms Audrey
Byrne
audrey_byrne.jpg
Ms Audrey
Byrne
11
Contact Us
Contact Us
Ms Angela
Mitchell
Ms Sylvia
Schroeder
13
Dublin City
University
Chinese
website
Medium sized
photo of 5 Chinese
girls holding up
large stamps
Ms Angela
Mitchell
Ms Sylvia
Schroeder
An Post
launches a
new stamp to
celebrate the
Year of the Ox
angela_mitchell.jpg
12
Small headshot of
Angela Mitchell
small headshot of
Sylvia Schroeder
14
Dublin City
University
Chinese
website
Dublin City
University
Chinese
website
DCU Visits
China 2003
Picture of Darren
Sutherland and
others in front of
Chinese dragon
DCU Student
wins bronze
_MG_3958.jpg
Picture of DCU
building
Dublin City
University
rince_building_front.jpg
Irish President with
DCU Deputy and
HDU President and
others
***bad quality
image
image_11_large.jpg
17
DCU Visits
China 2003
Irish President with
DCU Deputy and
HDU President and
others
***bad quality
image
18
DCU Visits
China 2005
distorted image of
the Taoiseach with
Chinese University
19
DCU Visits
China 2005
Distorted image of
the Taoiseach with
Chinese University
20
DCU Visits
Distorted image of
the Taoiseach with
Irish President
receives DCU
Deputy and
HDU President
in Shanghai on
13 th October
2003.
Irish President
receives DCU
Deputy
President and
BUPT
President in
Beijing on 10
th October
2003.
Irish Prime
Minister
receives DCU
and WHU
presidents in
Beijing on 19th
Jan 2005.
Irish Prime
Minister
receives DCU
and BUPT
President in
Beijing on 19
th Jan 2005.
Irish Prime
Minister
15
16
326
sylvia_schroeder.jpg
Chinese-New-YearPhoto.jpg
image_06_large.jpg
image_04_large.jpg
image_05_large.jpg
image_08_large.jpg
China 2005
Chinese University
21
DCU Visits
China 2005
Distorted image of
the Taoiseach with
Chinese University
22
DCU Visits
China 2006
Distorted image of
people in a
boardroom
23
DCU Visits
China 2006
Two men and a
woman at dinner
24
DCU Visits
China 2006
Many people in a
boardroom under a
Chinese banner
25
DCU Visits
China 2006
Distorted image of
many people under
Chinese banner
26
DCU Chinese
Students
Profile
DCU Chinese
Students
Profile
DCU Chinese
Students
Small photo of
Decai Jiao
Witnesses the
signing of
collaboration
between DCU
and WHU on
19 th Jan 2005
Irish Prime
Minister
receives DCU
and HDU
Presidents on
19 th Jan
2005.
DCU Deputy
President and
China Three
Gorge
University vice
President sign
Agreement of
Intent on 27 th
October 2006.
Wuhan
University
President host
a dinner to
DCU
delegation led
by Deputy
President Prof
Anne Scott on
24 th October
2006.
DCU Deputy
President and
Yangtze
University vice
President sigh
Agreement of
Intent on 26 th
October 2006.
DCU Deputy
President and
Sichuan
University Vice
President sigh
Agreement of
Intent on 23
October 2006.
Name: Decai
Jiao
Small photo of
Shumin Cao
Name: Shumin
Cao
Shumin.jpg
Small photo of Jing
Tao
Name: Jing
Tao
JingTao.jpg
27
28
327
image_09_large.jpg
image_02_large.jpg
image_03_large.jpg
image_07_large.jpg
image_10_large.jpg
DecaiJiao.jpg
Profile
ID
Photo
1
2
3
4
5
6
328
7
8
9
10
11
329
12
13
14
15
330
16
17
18
331
19
20
21
22
332
23
24
25
333
26
27
28
Analysis of inbound links for www.dcu.ie/international
Backlink
Anchor Text
Outbound
Links
http://www.internationaledu.net/
Image
141
http://www.science-engineering.net/
Image
278
http://www.internationalgraduate.net/
Image
241
http://www.internationalstudy.in/
Image
125
334
http://www.studyoverseas.com/index.htm
http://www.utdallas.edu/oie/exchangeprograms.html
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
57
http://www.funed.org.mx/nsitio/becas.php
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
67
http://www.uww.edu/international/studyabroad/exc
hange_p.....
Image
91
http://www.utdallas.edu/oie/about/exchangeprogra
m.htm
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
70
http://www.kobe-u.ac.jp/international/study-abroadprog.....
ƒ_ƒuƒŠƒ“ƒVƒeƒB‘åŠw
149
http://www.educationireland.ie/index.php?option=co
m_con.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
248
http://www.educationireland.ie/index.php?option=co
m_con.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
249
http://www.internationaledu.net/english/index.htm
Image
136
http://www.iua.ie/iua-activities/internationalaffairs.html
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
33
http://www.scribd.com/DCUInternational
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
247
http://www.slideshare.net/DCUInternational
www.dcu.ie/international/
164
https://www.utdallas.edu/oie/about/exchangeprogra
m.htm
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
70
http://twitterholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/
Dublin/
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
218
http://www.iua.ie/media-and-events/eventsconferences/e.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
26
http://happn.in/dublin/23apr10-07pm/dublin+city
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
6
http://happn.in/dublin/24apr10-10pm/dublin+city
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
2
http://www.happn.in/dublin/23apr10-
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
6
335
11am/dublin+city
nal/
http://www.happn.in/dublin/24apr1011am/dublin+city
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
6
http://www.irlanda.cc/studiare-a-dublino-leprincipali-.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
68
http://www.conacyt.mx/becas/Aspirantes/Becas_Pro
gramasC.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
28
http://www.kufs.ac.jp/international/kokusaikoryu.ht
ml
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
200
http://www.twibes.com/dublin/twitter-list
http://www.dcu.ie/int...
44
http://www.twibes.com/Students/twitter-list
http://www.dcu.ie/int...
84
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=2007
0911165.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
174
http://educationireland.ie/index.php?option=com_co
ntent.....
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal
249
here
116
http://www.eestars.com/urlindex/GoUrl.Asp?ID=220
2
http://www.twibes.com/international/twitter-list
http://buzztter.com/en/k/%22's%20most%22
http://www.gotocollege.ie/studying_abroad/exchang
e_prog.....
http://twitterholic.com/top100/friends/bylocation/D
ubli.....
http://twitaholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/D
ubli.....
http://twitaholic.com/top100/followers/bylocation/D
ubli.....
http://www.globalsuccessfair.com/schools/4
http://www.explorewww.com/user/jtliewim/7
http://www.explorewww.com/user/KarenCook/7
http://www.explorewww.com/user/AngelaSTw/7
336
http://www.explorewww.com/user/gradireland/7
http://www.4h1j.com/weblink/4180.html
http://intdbserver.unibe.ch/static/single/erasmus/faec.....
Dublin City University (DCU)
http://www.kufs.ac.jp/english_site/exchange/partner
.html
http://www.dcu.ie/internatio
nal/
337
4
113
Appendix 1.14: Tweet history
Re-tweeted4
No.
Date
Tweet
1
25th Jan
Thinking of studying abroad? Check out our website www.dcu.ie/international
or www.dcu.ie
2
25th Jan
@MIZTRENDY why not in Dublin, Ireland at DCU? Check out
www.dcu.ie/international
3
26th Jan
@DatingAndDates ckeck out the Dublin City University website:
www.dcu.ie/international
4
26th Jan
@JesseAdler6 why not Dublin, Ireland! Check out www.dcu.ie/international
5
26th Jan
@ErikaApple why not Ireland?! Check out www.dcu.ie/international
6
26th Jan
@lizzart why not in Dublin, Ireland at DCU? Check out www.dcu.ie/international
7
26th Jan
Take a tour of DCU! http://bit.ly/afZd0n
8
26th Jan
@DRhodes13 why not Ireland at DCU? Check out www.dcu.ie/international
9
26th Jan
@MMDavis89 check out studying in Dublin, Ireland at DCU
www.dcu.ie/international might help to make up your mind ;)
10
26th Jan
@irishfrtncookie if you're thinking of studying in Ireland come to DCU! check
out www.dcu.ie/international
11
26th Jan
@littlebridge3 did you consider studying at DCU? check out
www.dcu.ie/international
12
26th Jan
@arisa19 check out studying at DCU in Dublin, Ireland
www.dcu.ie/international
13
26th Jan
@lastweekssocks check out studying at DCU in Dublin, Ireland
www.dcu.ie/international
14
26th Jan
@bajachalupa check out studying at DCU in Dublin, Ireland
www.dcu.ie/international
15
26th Jan
check out our 2009/2010 International Student Handbook http://bit.ly/dnKUGk
16
27th Jan
@abs531 why not ireland? check out http://bit.ly/bqvodt
17
27th Jan
@knh9311 how about studying in Dublin, Ireland? Check
outhttp://bit.ly/bqvodt
18
27th Jan
@caromarsden Have you considered Dublin, Ireland? Check
outhttp://bit.ly/bqvodt
19
27th Jan
@matonti08 have you considered Ireland? Check out the Dublin City University
website http://bit.ly/bqvodt
4
To facilitate the sharing of ideas Twitter allows you to repost other peoples messages and also give them
credit for the initial message. This is referred to as re-tweeting. This column displays the messages posted by
us which were shared again or “re-tweeted” by others.
338
20
27th Jan
@SHazzyLove Have you considered Dublin, Ireland? Check out
www.dcu.ie/international
21
27th Jan
@hilo1420 how about studying at DCU in Dublin, Ireland http://bit.ly/bqvodt
22
27th Jan
@JamesMackney Have you considered studying in Dublin, Ireland? Check out
the Dublin City University website http://bit.ly/bqvodt
23
27th Jan
@rebecca_grace Have you considered studying in Dublin, Ireland? Check out
the Dublin City University website http://bit.ly/bqvodt
24
27th Jan
@whoaholly have you considered Dublin, Ireland? Check out the Dublin City
University website www.dcu.ie/international
25
27th Jan
why DCU? https://www.dcu.ie/international/why_dcu.shtml
26
27th Jan
@zakaryrussell check out the Dublin City University website
www.dcu.ie/international
27
28th Jan
@wtfstephhhh have you considered studying in Dublin. Ireland? Check out the
Dublin City University website http://bit.ly/bqvodt
28
28th Jan
@LaurenKinnard have you considered studying in Dublin, Ireland? Check out
the Dublin City University website: www.dcu.ie/international
29
28th Jan
some general information on Ireland: http://bit.ly/9DaBnh
30
8th Mar
@HannahJStowell Have you considered Dublin City University. Check out
Ireland's most innovative University! http://www.dcu.ie/international/
31
10th Mar
@heyitshales Great choice! Check out Dublin City University, Ireland's most
innovative University: http://www.dcu.ie/international/
32
10th Mar
@Fiddle_Girl great choice! check out Dublin City University, Ireland's most
innovative University!http://www.dcu.ie/international/
33
12th Mar
@Fiddle_Girl Here's a list of all our courses http://bit.ly/9QTOvf Click each one
for full description. Any more questions, just ask!
34
17th Mar
Happy St Patrick's Day from DCU
International!http://tweetphoto.com/14744777
35
18th Mar
@shyelalestari Why not Ireland?Dublin City University is a great
choice!http://bit.ly/bqvodt All courses listed here http://bit.ly/9QTOvf
36
18th Mar
@itnick Why not come to Dublin City University, Ireland's most innovative
University! Check it out http://bit.ly/alSspi
37
18th Mar
@ChrissyNoel What about Ireland? Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
38
18th Mar
@TheNotoriousJEN What about Ireland? Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
39
25th Mar
@jtylerjones Why not Ireland? Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
40
25th Mar
@retxeDmadA Great choice! What about Dublin City University. It's Ireland's
most innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
41
25th Mar
@Dillanlexder Great choice! What about Dublin City University. It's Ireland's
339
most innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
th
42
25 Mar
EC study: Ireland produces most highly-employable
graduateshttp://bit.ly/bqplYP
43
25th Mar
@tj_brandt Why not come to Dublin City University, Ireland's most innovative
University! Check it out http://www.dcu.ie/international/
44
28th Mar
DCU signs major collaboration agreements with third-level Indian
Instituteshttp://www.dcu.ie/news/2010/mar/s0310m.shtml
45
28th Mar
@fullheartss Great choice! What about Dublin City University. It's Ireland's most
innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
46
28th Mar
@Netchakhun14 Why not Ireland? Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
47
28th Mar
@emh417 Why not Ireland? Dublin City University is Ireland's most innovative
University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
48
1st April
@ChristineKourk Ireland is a great choice? Dublin City University is Ireland's
most innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
49
1st April
@Grrrstin Ireland is great fun! What about Dublin City University. It's Ireland's
most innovative University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
50
1st April
@Netchakhun14 Why not Ireland? Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University! http://www.dcu.ie/international/
51
1st April
@aquividens You should come to Ireland! Dublin City University is Ireland's
most innovative University! http://www.dcu.ie/international/
52
1st April
DCU in Tokyo’s 19th St.Patrick’s Day Parade. Be a part of something
special.http://ow.ly/1twts
53
1st April
EC study: Ireland produces most highly-employable
graduateshttp://ow.ly/1tLcN
54
1st April
@MVVitrona Have you considered DCU? It's Ireland's most innovative
University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
55
1st April
@angieeeboo Lots of options for you, lots of decisions! Have you considered
DCU? It's Ireland's most innovative University...
56
2nd April
@ellieck Have you considered DCU? It's Ireland's most innovative
Universityhttp://www.dcu.ie/international/
57
2nd April
@camcorporate Have you considered DCU for your study abroad? It's Ireland's
most innovative University http://www.dcu.ie/international/
58
2nd April
@mariabrady Hey! You should consider DCU in Ireland for study abroad. We're
Ireland's most innovative university...
59
3rd April
@Shamarri You should come to Ireland! Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University! http://www.dcu.ie/international/
60
3rd April
@natcle Hey! You should consider DCU in Ireland for study abroad. We're
Ireland's most innovative university....
61
3rd April
@rainydaykate Paris or Milan? Why not join us in Dublin? DCU is Ireland's most
innovative university. Take a look www.dcu.ie/international
340
62
3rd April
@Shamarri Have you thought about studying abroad in Ireland? We're pound
of being Ireland's more innovative university at DCU -...
63
6th April
Reasons to study in Ireland http://ow.ly/1v4qj
64
8th April
@kali_rose I see your applying for a fellowship to study in Ireland. Have you
considered what course yet? Take a look at DCU, Ireland...
65
8th April
@kaylasturner Reasons to study abroad in Ireland http://ow.ly/1vOlw Check
out DCU - Ireland's most innovative university http://ow.ly/1vOl1
66
8th April
@KoutureKandi Reasons to study abroad in Ireland http://ow.ly/1vOnwCheck
out DCU - Ireland's most innovative university http://ow.ly/1vOnx
67
8th April
@HumanityNews Reasons to study abroad in Ireland http://ow.ly/1vOpkCheck
out DCU - Ireland's most innovative university http://ow.ly/1vOpl
68
8th April
@chazchettchuck Consider study abroad in Ireland http://ow.ly/1vOqq Check
out DCU - Ireland's most innovative university http://ow.ly/1vOqr
69
8th April
@sammimui Hi! Check out what's available for your study abroad at
DCUhttp://ow.ly/1vOsu We're Ireland most innovative university!
70
8th April
@gosssip_girlz If you want to study abroad just do it! Hi! Check out what's
available for your study abroad at DCU http://ow.ly/1vOuW
71
8th April
@vivalatiger Hi! Check out what's available for your study abroad at
DCUhttp://ow.ly/1vOw5 We're Ireland most innovative university!
72
8th April
@bodizs Hi! Check out what's available for your study abroad at
DCUhttp://ow.ly/1vOx8 We're Ireland most innovative university!
73
8th April
@gosssip_girlz We might be able to help with this http://bit.ly/b43Dn6
74
8th April
Destination DCU blog. Contributors welcome http://ow.ly/1vYoO
75
8th April
@LaurLaff1 So your considering study abroad in Ireland? Have you had a look at
DCU? http://ow.ly/1waI1 Feel free to ask any questions
76
8th April
@EnvyEvander Hi, where are you considering for study abroad? Take a few
minutes to check out Ireland's DCU http://ow.ly/1waQj
77
8th April
@MadisonsMixtape Hi, where are you considering for study abroad? Take a few
minutes to check out Ireland's DCU http://ow.ly/1waSU
78
8th April
@_Matthijs_ Don't forget about Ireland for study abroad. Check out Ireland's
most innovative university - DCU of course http://ow.ly/1wb1V
79
8th April
@MadisonsMixtape Enjoy and best of luck!
80
8th April
@LaurLaff1 No problem. Best of luck with your studies.
81
9th April
Check out our blog: Destination DCU -- http://bit.ly/btMBPV
82
10th April
@pheelipberg Have you considered Ireland? http://ow.ly/1vOqq Check out
DCU, Ireland's most innovative university http://ow.ly/1vOqr
83
10th April
@stddyabrddomain Study abroad in Ireland! http://ow.ly/1vOqq Check out
DCU, Ireland's most innovative University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
84
10th April
@InStudyAbroad Ireland is a brill place to study
abroad! http://ow.ly/1vOqqDCU is Ireland's most innovative
341
By 3 people
By 1 person
University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
85
10th April
@study_english Want to study in an exciting English speaking country? DCU is
Ireland's most innovative University! http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
86
10th April
@AllStudyAbroad Study abroad in Ireland! http://ow.ly/1vOqq Check out DCU,
Ireland's most innovative University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
87
10th April
@WTF_MIKE Study abroad in Ireland! http://ow.ly/1vOqq Check out DCU,
Ireland's most innovative University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
88
10th April
Dublin now one of the cheapest capitals in western Europe http://ow.ly/1wUQb
89
11th April
@Indiaedu Ireland is an ideal study destination http://bit.ly/aigeKa DCU,
Ireland's most innovative University! http://bit.ly/aZ0igrstudy
90
11th April
@joeyPSG Ireland is a brilliant place to study abroad! http://ow.ly/1wZPKDCU is
Ireland's most innovative university http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
91
11th April
@sireuropa Don't forget to consider Dublin's DCU ttp://ow.ly/1wZQ8 Ireland is
a brilliant place to study abroad! http://ow.ly/1wZQf
92
11th April
@annaliza_borba Ireland is a brilliant place to study
abroad!http://ow.ly/1wZQt DCU is Ireland's most innovative university...
93
11th April
@MARIAmarchese Ireland is a great place to study
abroad! http://ow.ly/1wZQD DCU is Ireland's most innovative
university http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
94
11th April
@yuu1002 Where are you considering for your study abroad? Check out
Ireland's DCU - we're in Dublin http://ow.ly/1wZRh
95
11th April
@antwonebex So international study is looking cool! Well why not take a look
at what we offer in Ireland's DCU http://ow.ly/1wZS7
96
11th April
@ryoma_teradaya Where are you considering for study? Have a look at Ireland
most innovative university, DCU. http://ow.ly/1wZSB
97
11th April
@Indiaedu Dublin City University signs major collaboration agreements with
third-level Indian Institutes http://bit.ly/bzHboH
98
12th April
Add @DestinationDCU to @Masa__Israel's Study Abroad list on
Listorioushttp://bit.ly/aEUahb because Ireland is a great place to study!!
99
12th April
Just added myself to the #studyabroad, #education, #university, #dublin,#international, and #students Twitter
lists on http://twibes.com
100
13th April
Students relaxing outside the library today in the beautiful
weather!!http://tweetphoto.com/18290523
101
13th April
@saneirenee You should come to Dublin City
University!! http://bit.ly/aZ0igrWe're Ireland's most innovative University!
102
13th April
@successful2013 You should come to Dublin City
University!http://bit.ly/bqvodt We're Ireland's most innovative University! :)
103
13th April
@banner_ad You're not even considering Dublin?!! DCU is a brilliant
University http://bit.ly/bqvodt What courses are you interested in? :)
342
By 1 person
By 1 person
104
14th April
@jordanperkins You should come to Dublin City
University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr It's a great place for study and lots more! :)
105
14th April
@misseemess You should come to Dublin City
University!! http://bit.ly/aZ0igr We're Ireland's most innovative University!
106
15th April
@alisonnnleigh You have another choice for studying in Dublin. Check out
Dublin City University! http://bit.ly/aZ0igr
107
15th April
@mikey_m00n Where have you decided to study abroad? Dublin is
greathttp://ow.ly/1yRkx
108
15th April
@lunette_louw step 2: Consider Dublin's DCU http://ow.ly/1yRnJ
109
15th April
@redrosesnsun Also consider Dublin, it's a great city. DCU is one of Ireland top
universities http://ow.ly/1yRru
110
15th April
@marsbell Make it happy at Dublin's DCU http://ow.ly/1yRtj Feel free to ask
any questions
111
19th April
DCU extends its sympathy to the people of Poland http://ow.ly/1Ae01
112
19th April
@dcubs I want to see your Twitter K-Score. Create your account
herehttp://bit.ly/dbnE8H
113
19th April
I just published DCU MSc in Electronic Commerce Factsheet to
Scribdhttp://scr.bi/d6wtTv
114
19th April
Information about DCU's Masters in International
Managementhttp://scr.bi/beZwwr
115
19th April
This is an information guide for Students in Dublin City University To find out
more visit: http://www.dcu.ie/interna… http://scr.bi/9oo8Z1
116
19th April
I just published International Foundation Certificate Chinese to
Scribdhttp://scr.bi/a0nO2A
117
19th April
I just published International Foundation Certificate Arabic to
Scribdhttp://scr.bi/dctSBQ
118
19th April
I just published Aviation Management to Scribd http://scr.bi/9qqnlj
119
19th April
Just uploaded 'DCU student handbook 2010' to
SlideShare.http://slidesha.re/9Xvfe8
120
19th April
Just uploaded 'Dcu m sc_in_electronic_commerce_factsheet' to
SlideShare.http://slidesha.re/aOq6SD
121
20th April
Just uploaded 'Dcu executive mba' to SlideShare. http://slidesha.re/90PDW4
122
20th April
2 DCU student's will receive scholarships to go to Wuhan University,
Chinahttp://www.dcu.ie/international/docs/wuhan_university.pdf
123
20th April
2 DCU student's will receive scholarships to go to Wuhan University,
Chinahttp://scr.bi/aNWOWk
124
20th April
Just uploaded 'Wuhan university' to SlideShare. http://slidesha.re/ao18wZ
343
By 1 person
By 1 person
125
20th April
Just uploaded 'Accounting and finance' to
SlideShare.http://slidesha.re/9WzVAd
126
20th April
Just uploaded 'Bachelor of business_studies' to
SlideShare.http://slidesha.re/b0R0iU
127
20th April
Check out some of our photos from Dublin City University!!
:) http://bit.ly/coxCfc
128
20th April
Just uploaded 'Dcu business school_undergraduate_poster' to
SlideShare.http://slidesha.re/bnQZd1
129
20th April
What can Dublin offer you? http://bit.ly/zvOSS Consider Dublin City University!
www.dcu.ie/international
130
20th April
Just uploaded 'Dcu business school postgraduate brochure 2010' to
SlideShare. http://slidesha.re/byTboA
131
21st April
@MeldNoctNine Ireland is better ;) You should check out Dublin City
Universityhttp://www.dcu.ie/international/study_abroad/index.shtml
132
21st April
@roxannnesumanga Definitely Ireland ;) Dublin City University is Ireland's most
innovative University! www.dcu.ie/international
133
21st April
@MrFollowThez You should come to Dublin City University, Ireland's most
innovative University! www.dcu.ie/international
134
21st April
@rainydaykate Dublin is a great location for study abroad! Check out Dublin
City University: www.dcu.ie/international
135
21st April
@blackbarbie3721 Dublin of course! Check out Ireland's most innovative
University: Dublin City University www.dcu.ie/international
136
21st April
@dwilliamsmorgan Dublin of course! Check out Ireland's most innovative
University: Dublin City University www.dcu.ie/international
137
21st April
@NickKrammes What about Dublin City University, Ireland's most innovative
University! Check it out :) www.dcu.ie/international
138
22nd April
DCU and Teagasc offer new BSc in Horticulture
degreehttp://www.dcu.ie/news/2010/apr/s0410f.shtml
139
22nd April
Dublin City University was the big winner at Media
Awardshttp://blog.marketing.ie/?p=2672
140
22nd April
@Jeshiideru Check out Dublin City University, Ireland's most innovative
University! Find your course here http://bit.ly/a4gC9g
141
22nd April
@kathrynmitchel Dublin of course! Check out Ireland's most innovative
University: Dublin City University www.dcu.ie/international
142
22nd April
a DCU student from Beijing tells us about her involvement in the
Intergenerational Learning Project http://bit.ly/abyC7O
143
22nd April
Dublin City University Scoop Computing Coding Contest at
UCChttp://bit.ly/agDvlV
144
22nd April
@Genesiscmg Dublin City University would be an ideal place for you
bit.ly/bqvodt See what Dublin can offer you! http://bit.ly/zvOSS
344
By 1 person
145
23rd April
@Genesiscmg No problem :) If you have any questions, just ask!!
146
23rd April
Considering postgraduate study at Dublin City University? Why not apply for
The Ray Murphy Memorial Bursary http://ow.ly/1C4vF
By 1 person
147
23rd April
So you want to work in Ireland during your time studying
here?http://ow.ly/1C4z5
By 1 person
148
24th April
@chloe_rogg So your going to study in Ireland, where are you going?
www.dcu.ie/international
149
24th April
@VikariousLiving Come to Dublin City University, Ireland's most innovative
University! http://bit.ly/bqvodt Dublin is an amazing destination
150
25th April
Great Dublin City University Educational Trust
videohttp://www.dcu.ie/trust/video.shtml
151
26th April
Journalist of the Year among the many awards won by DCU students at student
media awards! http://bit.ly/djRFxF
152
26th April
@justVero Give in to temptation! Come to Dublin City University
www.dcu.ie/international
153
26th April
@redrosesnsun Don't forget about Dublin! http://bit.ly/9OANTj DCU is Ireland's
most innovative University http://bit.ly/bqvodt
154
27th April
DCU to host All Ireland Student Rugby Sevens, bringing together 21 Colleges
and University teams from across Ireland http://bit.ly/9M8sau
155
28th April
First Graduates of the International Bsc Degree : a collaboration by DCU,
Ireland, UOW, Australia and CU , USA http://bit.ly/b6UWGG
156
29th April
@bYASSYb You should come to Dublin City University Ireland's most innovative
University http://bit.ly/bqvodt Why Dublin?http://bit.ly/9OANTj
157
1st May
Why study in Ireland? http://ht.ly/1FKP3
158
2nd May
Dublin City University Engineering and Computing Postgraduate Open Evening
Wednesday 12th May 2010 http://ht.ly/1FTSV
159
3rd May
DCU Scoop All-Ireland Student Rugby 7s http://ht.ly/1Gk5i
160
4th May
Irish Mountaineer, Gerard McDonnell, honoured at DCU through scholarship
fund http://bit.ly/aDxCGe
161
6th May
Education Ireland tells us about Dublin City University's MA in International
Relations program: http://bit.ly/atEHrZ
162
6th May
Discover Ireland http://ow.ly/1HTFs
163
9th May
@achtung_johanna Dublin City University is Ireland's most innovative
University http://bit.ly/aZ0igr. You should consider it!! :)
164
9th May
@nekochan_ You should come to Dublin City
University! http://bit.ly/bqvodtWe're Ireland's most innovative University
165
9th May
@Miss_Jackson_ Dublin of course! http://bit.ly/9OANTj check out
www.dcu.ie/international
345
166
11th May
Why Study in Ireland? http://ow.ly/1JtQi
167
12th May
RT @studyoverseasGL: Study in Ireland - Ireland is an English-speaking country
with a long tradition of providing education for...
168
13th May
Study abroad in Ireland! Introducing DCU International
Officehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW8EVlHc63A
169
17th May
@SKL187 You should come to Dublin City University! Check out
www.dcu.ie/international
170
17th May
@JLev41 Ireland of course! Dublin City University has some great journalism
courses http://bit.ly/dD2JJI Check out www.dcu.ie/international
171
20th May
DCU announces High Achievers Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarships
for students from India and China http://ow.ly/1NuTb
172
21st May
DCU international has a fab new website! Check it out here
www.dcu.ie/international
173
23rd May
@memolibri Great choice! You should come to Dublin City University! Check
out www.dcu.ie/international Heres why http://bit.ly/9OANTj
174
23rd May
@DJJuanoo Ireland is better ;) You should come to Dublin City University. Check
it out www.dcu.ie/international :)
175
23rd May
@gianm_070994 Dublin of course http://bit.ly/9OANTj You should come to
DCU, Ireland's most innovative University! www.dcu.ie/international
176
23rd May
@Peacenotwar33 You should come to Dublin City University, Ireland's most
innovative University! www.dcu.ie/international
177
23rd May
@Madeline51h Of course you should study abroad! Check out Dublin City
University www.dcu.ie/international Why Dublin?http://bit.ly/9OANTj
178
29th May
@jylareyl You should come to Dublin City University www.dcu.ie/international
Dublin is a great place to study abroad! http://bit.ly/9OANTj
179
1st June
Here's some helpful information for those studying abroad in
Irelandhttp://www.dcu.ie/international/ireland.shtml
180
1st June
@andyveilleux You should think about coming to Dublin City University in
Ireland. Find out everthing here: www.dcu.ie/international
181
1st June
@ashMula You should come to Dublin City University!
www.dcu.ie/international Here's why you should study in
Dublin:http://bit.ly/9OANTj
182
1st June
@_Catherine_A_ Ireland of course! Check out Dublin City University
www.dcu.ie/international It's a great place to study abroad!
183
1st June
@_Catherine_A_ Yes, here's one of our journalism
courses http://bit.ly/cuD1FY and a full list of our
programmes http://bit.ly/caTI9X
184
1st June
@_Catherine_A_ There is some information here: http://bit.ly/dxGO2n but I
can send you an email with more scholarship info if you like?
185
3rd June
@honeybeekool Where are you going? have you considered Dublin? Check out
www.dcu.ie/international
346
By 2 people
By 1 person
186
3rd June
@non_timebo_mala Where you planning to go? have you considered Dublin?
Check out http://bit.ly/bqvodtHere';s why http://youtu.be/WVv0Nn12Jog
187
3rd June
Why choose Dublin City University as your study abroad
destination?http://www.dcu.ie/international/why_dcu.shtml
188
4th June
@oheyhobo Ireland is better ;) You should come to Dublin City University!
Check it out here www.dcu.ie/international
189
5th June
Sport at DCU http://vimeo.com/12234601
190
8th June
Study abroad in Ireland http://www.eurolearn.org/destinations/ireland/
191
15th June
Caught up in World Cup Fever?? DCU Lecturer finds a way for us to silence them
noisy vuvuzelas...check it out! http://bit.ly/aE9i9n
192
17th June
DCU and Arizona State University creating a new vision..http://bit.ly/aStYYc
193
18th June
DCU Business students attend World Expo in Shanghai.....http://bit.ly/96ejUJ
By 1 person
194
19th June
DCU launches first university-accredited digital marketing certificate in Ireland
..http://bit.ly/by3Luf
By 1 person
195
22nd June
Thinking of studying in Ireland...check out this really helpful guide for all you
need to know! http://bit.ly/d26sxi
By 3 people
196
24th June
Check out DCU President's latest blog "A university in the
community"http://bit.ly/cbuPZg
197
24th June
@LydonZA You should definitely come to Ireland! Check out Dublin City
University www.dcu.ie/international
198
24th June
@wherescookie Dublin of course! Check out DCU, Ireland's most innovative
University www.dcu.ie/international
199
24th June
@CHEEKAB00 You should come to Dublin. DCU is Ireland's most innovative
university! www.dcu.ie/international
200
25th June
The 37th European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics opened at
Dublin City University on June 16th http://bit.ly/c1A2To
201
29th June
Want to study English abroad? Check out @english_dcu Dublin City University
Language Services
202
29th June
@gafarazzi You should come to Dublin City University! We're Ireland's most
innovative University! www.dcu.ie/international
203
29th June
@sboviall08 It would be damn fun if you came to Dublin City University :) Check
it out www.dcu.ie/international
204
29th June
@EllieAragon Why go to the UK, when you can come to Ireland?! Check out
www.dcu.ie/international Here's why http://youtu.be/WVv0Nn12Jog
205
29th June
@GeekBelle What about the hot Irish men? Check out Dublin City University
www.dcu.ie/international
206
29th June
@athkat What about Ireland? You should look at www.dcu.ie/international for
info. I'm sure he would love it!
347
By 5 people
207
30th June
@steph90j Why aren't you considering Dublin!? Check out
www.dcu.ie/international
208
30th June
@GeekBelle Glad to hear it!
209
30th June
@EllieAragon True....but we do have Jedward! ;)
210
5th July
@Stanley_Jean Yes it's a great place to study abroad! You should check out
Dublin City University www.dcu.ie/international
211
5th July
Check out @theolynn 's latest blog about a DCU class trip to the Shanghai
World Expo http://bit.ly/9T9EfG
212
5th July
RT @EnglishDCU: New blog post on living in Ireland - A Saudi student's
perspective.. http://ow.ly/2744u
213
5th July
@Mshmoshaa Great idea! You should come to Dublin City University. We're
Ireland's most innovative university www.dcu.ie/international
214
6th July
@afesta11 You should come to Dublin City University! We're Ireland's most
innovative university www.dcu.ie/international
215
6th July
@xjeremyaf We speak English in Ireland :) Check out Dublin City University
www.dcu.ie/international
216
6th July
Microsoft funds DCU tech research students http://ow.ly/27qza
217
6th July
Joined Ireland's Twitter
directory http://twitireland.com #University #Study#Abroad
218
10th July
Software industry giant Microsoft and and Dublin City University in Alzheimer’s
R&D venture http://bit.ly/b8MsdU
219
14th July
Happy Bastille Day!
220
15th July
New President of Dublin City University
www.dcu.ie/news/2010/july/s0710b.shtml
221
15th July
President McCraith inauguration photos http://ow.ly/2c8Nn
222
16th July
Dublin City University aim to make a difference http://ow.ly/2cjDh
223
16th July
Interested in our new Digital Marketing Grad Cert? Register for our webinar on
Thur 22 July & talk to our course director http://ow.ly/2ckja
224
18th July
Dublin City University’s Ryan Academy announce €1m seed fund for budding
high tech firms. http://ow.ly/2d6nL
225
20th July
Dublin City University gets green light for new Nano-Bioanalytical Research
Facility http://ow.ly/2dMD1
226
21st July
Don't forget our Digital Marketing Graduate Certificate live webinar on
tomorrow at 11am. Don't miss out, register now http://ow.ly/2es7s
227
22nd July
Watch a recording of our highly successful live webinar on our Digital Marketing
Grad Certificate which took place today http://ow.ly/2fhOd
348
By 1 person
By 1 person
By 2 people
By 1 person
228
24th July
DCU lead €4m Galway Bay marine technology research http://ow.ly/2fYxK
229
28th July
DCU Receives Funding for Construction of Nano-Bioanalytical Research Facility
http://bit.ly/cQqxDx
349
Appendix 1.15: Facebook posts:
No: Date: Post
1
21st
Mar
2
25TH
Mar
3
1st
Apr
4
6th
Apr
5
6th
Apr
350
6
9th
Apr
7
9th
Apr
8
13th
Apr
351
9
13th
Apr
10
20th
Apr
11
20th
Apr
12
20th
Apr
352
13
20th
Apr
14
22nd
Apr
15
22nd
Apr
353
16
22nd
Apr
17
26th
Apr
18
28th
Apr
19
5th
May
354
20
9th
May
21
11th
May
22
13th
May
23
23rd
May
24
4th
June
355
25
15th
June
26
17th
June
27
18th
June
28
19th
June
356
29
23rd
June
30
25th
June
31
4th
Jul
357
32
7th
July
33
15th
Jul
34
20th
Jul
35
25th
Jul
358
36
28th
Jul
359
Appendix 1.16: Marketing Contacts we researched
Company:
2Market
3R Sales & Marketing
Active Difference Ltd
Alternatives Marketing Talent
AMAS
ASA Marketing Group
Atomic
Bluecube Interactive
BMW Group Ireland
Circulator.com
Clifford Marketing
CMC Creative
Dara Marketing
DataConversion Direct
Dialogue Marketing
DirectBrand
Essential Marketing Ltd
Generator Marketing
Iperior
Kia Motors Ireland
Knight Marketing
Marketing Network Ltd
NewAccess Media
Monitoring
Oak Tree Press
Platinum One Sports
Marketing & Events
vStream Digital Media
Contact:
Louise McDonnell
Peter Lawless
Ken Coates
Sandra Lawler
Aileen O’Toole
Heather Kennedy
Michael Nugent
Liam Looney
Cathie Clifford
Cathal McCarthy
Dara O’Reilly-Daly
Alan Fagan
Michael Killeen
Stephen Stynes
Emer Conlon
Chris Small
Greg Kerr
Aidan Doyle
Peter Knight
Padraig Smith
Stuart McHugh
E-mail:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]mccreative.ie
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Brian O’Kane
Maeve Buckley
[email protected]
[email protected]
Niall O’Driscoll
[email protected]
360
Appendix 1.17: Registered Attendees for the Webinar
Registered Attendees
Name
Email address
Mark Levins
[email protected]
Christian Itambo
[email protected]
John Curran
[email protected]
Usna Tunney
[email protected]
Robert Elliffe
[email protected]
Becky Hayward
[email protected]
James Tuite
[email protected]
Sarah Ehrenbrusthoff
[email protected]
Jonathan Lawless
[email protected]
Anthony
[email protected]
Paul Hegarty
[email protected]
Marie
[email protected]
Veronica
[email protected]
Thomas McMahon
[email protected]
Laura Kelly
[email protected]
Muireann Torsney
[email protected]
Colin Oliver
[email protected]
Mary Gallagher
[email protected]
David Kenny
[email protected]
Peter Farren
[email protected]
Grace Lavelle
[email protected]
Rory Slevin
[email protected]
Michael Cullen
[email protected]
Patrick Clowry
[email protected]
Barry Keane
[email protected]
Michael Corroon
[email protected]
Niamh Nic Clamha
[email protected]
361
Maria
[email protected]
Stephen Rynne
[email protected]
LD
[email protected]
Aisling Marlow
[email protected]
John Fanning
[email protected]
Paul O'Hare
[email protected]
Glenn Russell
[email protected]
Rachel Conaty
[email protected]
Patrick Cummins
[email protected]
Laura Grehan
[email protected]
Eimear O'Connor
[email protected]
Sarah Lynch
[email protected]
Kevin O'Brien
[email protected]
Michael O'Neill
[email protected]
Joe Geraghty
[email protected]
362
Appendix 1.18: Survey to obtain feedback on live webinar
363
Appendix 1.19: Transcript of live webinar
Date: 22nd July 2010
Venue: Q122, DCU Business School, 1st Floor
Host: Ms. Grace Lavelle (GL)
Presenter: Mr. Donal Clancy (DC)
About Donal
Mr Clancy is highly qualified with over 20 years experience in marketing and
is currently the Marketing Director at Lionsai. Donal is a market research
dualist and has worked with a broad range of FMCG, Public Sector and
Financial clients. He is also an academically published lecturer and has been
lecturing postgraduate students here in DCU since 2007.
GL: I‟d like to welcome you all along to this live webinar on the Graduate Certificate in Digital
Marketing which is offered here in DCU. I‟m just going to wait a few minutes for anyone that
are a bit late logging on and then we‟ll being the session. So I‟ll be back to you now in a few
minutes time.
(3 minutes later)
GL: So again I‟d just like to welcome you all to this live webinar for the new Graduate
Certificate in Digital Marketing which is a new programme offered here in DCU. The
presenter for this session is Donal Clancy who is also the Course Chairman. If you have any
questions that you wish to pose to Mr. Clancy, you can simply type them into the chat
function which you should be able to see on the right handside of your screen. So if you
simply type it in and make sure when you‟re sending your question that you click “Send to
Presenter” and this means that only Mr Clancy will be able to see your question.
GL: Then hopefully at the end of the presentation Mr Clancy will get around to answering
any of your queries and questions. And if we do happen to run out of time, Donal has no
problem answering any outstanding queries by email. So that seems to be everything so I‟ll
now leave you in the capable hands of Mr Donal Clancy.
DC: Thank you very much, and welcome to the introduction to the Graduate Certificate in
Digital Marketing. Em..... I‟d like to welcome along anybody who is interested in the course
and would like to find out more about it, and I‟d also like to welcome along anybody who has
logged in just to look at the WebEx technology which allows you to deliver lectures remotely.
So I‟m going to take you through the Graduate Certificate and the rationale behind the
delivery of the course and some details about the course itself. I just need to figure out how
to advance the slides here.......there we go.
364
Background
So my own experience was that I was working in a Marketing Department in a public sector
organisation & moved into the Advertising industry. I worked with Leo Burnett from 20062009 & when I went into the advertising industry in 2006, the digital channel was emerging
as another marketing channel & people were looking at it....as you know you had your
traditional marketing channels like tv, radio, outdoor, & transport & then digital was starting
up inside of that. In those days, a lot of connectivity was still in dial up, & all of it was tied to
landline. We didn‟t have mobile connectors or dongles, so laptops......you actually had to
plug them in in order to connect to the internet.
Download speeds were impossible & users were frustrated by delays caused by any
advertising so if you put an ad onto a site & somebody was working on a dial up connection,
they would get frustrated by the speed with which the pages would upload which was
caused by the advertising itself, which kind of led to this syndrome where you‟d be waiting a
long time for things to come through. I remember downloading a piece of software myself on
a dial up connection that took 21 hours.....em.....I had to leave it over a weekend & walk
away from the computer and let it download. So a very different environment!
So in 2006 there was a huge amount of focus on the broadband issue & if you go back to
the Communications Regulator you‟ll see they did regular reports at that stage in 2006/2007
about how broadband was being rolled out. Some of the reports have stopped & the reason
they‟ve stopped.... basically because it‟s not a problem anymore at the scale that it was back
in those years. By 2009 when I left Leo Burnett‟s, broadband penetration had exploded. You
had offerings from wireless & cable TV, as well as increasing landline competition......you
had the growth of hotspots for WiFi, laptops came with built in WiFi & a lot of people are now
using mobile phone dongles to connect.
So mobile broadband is becoming increasingly viable. There‟s a plethora of new
devices...not just laptops & computers but you‟re also connecting through phones, netbooks,
Wii-game controllers; kids are able to connect with each other over the internet and play
remotely from each other & by Quarter 4 2009, a landmark was achieved in the UK when
digital spend overtook advertising spend in the UK. We‟ve also reached another landmark &
that‟s the fact that laptop sales in Ireland are now higher than desktop sales. So there‟s a
graph just showing you the years from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2009 & you can
see in that period that the amount of broadband really did explode. And it wasn‟t just that it
exploded but the routes to access broadband also diversified.
A Mobile World
So that brings us to this kind of idea that we now live in a different kind of world. Sales of
PC‟s are falling, desktops are falling & everybody wants their devices to be mobile because
there is increasingly the opportunities to interact with the digital world in a mobile
capacity....to take it with you. A bit like a few years ago we all had the landline telephone in
the house & your telephone belonged to the house, not to the person. Now you have a
mobile phone that belongs to the person individually. You‟re getting a similar kind of
ownership with internet access.......so people.....their iPhone, iPad or laptop is an individual,
personal...like a selfish connection to the Web & as a result, we behave in a different way
than say if you were sitting in front of a desktop computer that other people use in the house.
365
So the way we interact with the digital world changes & we now need to explore how, where
& when we access the digital world.
Skills Deficit
So this presents us with a fact that marketing professionals were trained in a traditional
media landscape. Initially they tried to deal with the digital channel as another traditional
media channel but the cracks have begun to appear and are getting wider and wider. Digital
is different! Marketers are increasingly experiencing holes in their knowledge & they‟re
learning that digital is not another additional channel.......it‟s a new market paradigm, you
have to deal with this channel in a different way. And that means that the entire campaign
planning process has to change if you‟re going to incorporate digital, and if you‟re not going
to incorporate digital then you‟re going to miss on a trick.
So looking to the future, if we‟re facing a skills deficit now....given that the average
connectivity of broadband is 2MB‟s.....in the near future & it‟s quite near, it‟s only round the
corner, we‟re going to have widespread availability of really fast broadband.....up to 100MB‟s
will be normally available to people. And if you think about the difference between dial up &
2MB broadband, & you think about that scale of change going from 2MB to 100MB
broadband, it gives you some idea that this is a space where the innovation is going to
proceed at an even faster rate than has happened in the past. So if people are facing a skills
deficit now, that‟s only going to widen unless you do something about it. So digital marketing
is going to evolve exponentially & it‟s going to change the marketing industry profoundly.
Anyone failing to engage aggressively with digital marketing will find themselves sidelined in
my opinion.
Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing
So the Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing was conceived in order to address this skills
deficit. So DCU, we performed a review of core competencies required to enter this space, &
within DCU we have the Business School, DCUBS, which has established skills in teaching
marketing to the highest level & has developed strengths in E-commerce & Social Media
Marketing. We‟re also at the forefront in understanding consumer behaviour & market
research & we‟re looking at that increasingly as the way people behave in a digital context
because we consume differently in a digital context than we do in a day to day context.
But what we need there is complementary skills because in order to be an effective
marketer, you have to understand the creative process as it relates to the digital space. And
within DCU we have a renowned School of Communications with a very strong Journalism &
Multimedia Studies background & we said “OK we have these skills we can draw upon” & we
also have the DCU School of Computing who understand the mechanics of what happens
underneath campaigns as they‟re being managed......the tracking of what‟s going on.
So we looked at bringing these three School‟s together to create a course......and this kind of
gives you a graphic of showing that already there were some shared areas of cooperation.
But we decided rather than tying together existing modules & trying to cobble together a
course, we went back to scratch.........we designed this course from scratch and we brought
in the three school‟s together & we came up with what would be the ideal course to bring
people with marketing skills up to date for the digital environment.
366
Semester 1
So this then is beginning to be what the course looks like. In Semester 1......Semester 1 if
you like is where it‟s more of a traditional university environment where you will actually be
attending lectures, for 12 weeks, & what we have is four modules over these 12 weeks. We
have Digital Communications which is very much about the creative process that you go
through in a digital world.....how to evaluate good creative & what‟s the difference between
digital creative and traditional creative. The second module there is “Understanding the
Digital Consumer” & this is not just about consumer behaviour but also about market
research & how the market research industry is being revolutionised by it‟s interaction with
the digital environment. And when......for instance.....people answer a survey online, they
behave in a different way than if they answer a survey face to face........and we have to
understand what are the implications of that when designing research.
Third we have “Digital Marketing Management” & what that is is the campaign planning. So
it‟s looking at how we traditionally would have planned campaigns & how does that have to
change now to incorporate the digital element. And then the fourth module is the “Mechanics
of Campaign Management”, & this is the computing element. So what happens when you
navigate page to page or when people navigate through your website........what is the
difference in layout depending on whether you have an action box in the top left hand corner
or the bottom right hand corner......how does process flow work........looking at the tracking
and performance metrics.
One of the beauties of an online campaign is you can see what‟s happening
instantaneously, you can sit up at the PC & can actually begin to make changes to your
campaign in real time to reflect where you‟re being successful. Looking at Search Engine
Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, linking to other sites and through other sites & then
how the search process works......how webcrawlers actually operate and how do you
harness the way they operate in order for you to be successful.
We also have an element in here delivered by CLARITY which is a sensing research facility
& what they‟re looking at is how sensing.....how you walk through the world now you are
being sensed by devices all the time & how that provides opportunities for marketers, but
also how perhaps that could be intrusive on people & how do you manage that interaction.
Semester 2
Sorry just go back here. Semester 2 then is a much more flexible semester because by the
end of the first 12 weeks we will have given you the skills to be able to put together a full
campaign & what you‟re looking at here is digital marketing insights and foresights. That is a
seminar programme which will mostly involve online seminars which you can attend at your
own convenience & you don‟t physically have to attend them. So it means you don‟t have to
be present here on campus & the Applied Digital Marketing is a capstone project which
brings together all the skills. It‟s a group project so you will be working with other people in
the group but you don‟t again necessarily need to be on campus.....you can work remotely,
that‟s fine. So Semester 2 doesn‟t require people taking time off. Semester 1 you have 12
weeks in which you‟ll need a full day on Friday in this delivery. If enough people are
interested & if they e-mail me & tell me that taking a Friday off is not possible, what we‟ll do
is we‟ll look at perhaps an evening delivery as an alternative.
367
Assessment
So Assessment then......there are no exams in this course. It‟s very much a practical/skills
based course & because it‟s practical, we want people doing things. So we have designed
all the assessments to be practical/skills based projects. Some of them will be group work
because when you go into the work environment, you do have to work with other people. But
also, what we‟re recruiting onto this course are people who are experienced marketers & I
believe you will learn as much from your fellow students as you will from the lecturers
delivering this course. So by working with people who have real problems in the workplace,
you‟ll learn how to overcome those as a group together & that will help advance your
knowledge of the course.
As I say Semester 2....depending on how motivated you are......you don‟t have to take a full
semester to deliver that. You could have it delivered within two months & by the end of
February.....if you wanted to get the course behind you. Alternatively, if you want to take your
time over it you can take the full semester & deliver it in May or June.
Award
The Award.....we‟re the first university to enter this space so you‟ll have a university
accredited postgraduate certificate in digital marketing. So this is a HETAC Level 9 course
which is above a Bachelors Degree but below a Masters Degree. In the future, it may form
part of a progression towards a Masters Degree so you could have credits from this that you
could deliver towards a Masters Degree.
Entry Requirements
The entry requirements are to have......the traditional route would be to have an Honours
Bachelors Degree in Business or Marketing with three or more years relevant experience in
industry. Now if you have a non-business degree.........there are people for instance who
have come through a technical background & rise within their organisation & then find that
they go into a marketing job, but that they have quite senior level marketing experience & I
would welcome people like that onto the course. Or indeed those who have an equivalent
professional qualification......which isn‟t necessarily a university degree & we‟ll have a look at
those......and also I‟ve left the door open for people who have either very very longstanding
high level marketing experience or exceptional entrepreneurial flair........people who we
believe because of the fact that they‟re such good candidates will contribute to the
knowledge of the other students on the course. So if you haven‟t come through a traditional
university background, don‟t be put off by that. At least come & give me a ring & have a chat
and we‟ll talk about what your experience can contribute to the course.
Applications
Applications are through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) so the website is there
& the PAC code that you want is DC504. The fee for this course is €3,700 for the year & the
closing date is the 13th August. What I‟m hoping to have is about 25 people on the course &
we‟re about halfway there at the moment......so if you‟re interested I would say have a look at
applying now because we definitely will not allow more than 30 onto the course......so there
will be a close off. As I say if you‟re unable to take the Friday‟s off, e-mail me
368
separately.......you can pick up my details on the DCU website, & tell me that you‟re
interested in the course but can‟t get the Friday‟s off & I will certainly get back to you on that.
Further Information
So there‟s my own e-mail, [email protected], or you can phone me there at 01-700 8075.
Thank you for your attention & I hope you enjoyed this webinar.....it‟s an interesting
experience & now I‟m going to hand you back over to Grace.
GL: Thanks for that very insightful presentation Donal which truly gave us a greater
understanding of the programme. I‟d like to thank you all for attending & you‟ll receive a link
to the recorded version of this presentation in the next few days. So just in case you want to
recap on any of the information provided. So basically that concludes this session & thanks
again.
Em....just before we go if anyone has any remaining or outstanding questions they can just
type them in now into the chat function & Donal will be able to answer them.
DC: So if anyone has any questions as a follow up they can type them into the chat box on
the right hand side of the screen here there‟s a tab that says “Chat” & if you go into that
you‟re able to load a question and then we can answer them.
OK, we have a question here.....”How does the course compare with the Fitzwilliam & Digital
Marketing Institute?” Well the difference I would say is in terms of the accreditation that the
Fitzwilliam & Digital Marketing Institute course........when you go into industry & people are
asking you about the course you‟ve done, a university accredited course carries a weight
that you won‟t get from the Fitzwilliam or the Digital Marketing Institute courses. I don‟t want
to say anything against these courses & I would imagine for people who need to up skill
rapidly, they‟re quite useful but I suppose in terms of what you do with it afterwards........this
is where the university is providing you with systems that ensure quality control of what it is
you‟re getting.
OK I have another question here from someone based in Kerry who‟s asking can they do the
whole course online. At the moment, no, it‟s not designed to be delivered online & indeed it‟s
something that perhaps in future we‟ll be looking at but in this delivery....in the first
delivery.....we‟re going to ask people to come in on campus for the Friday and the Saturday.
GL: That seems to be all the questions there so if you have any further questions or think of
anything else that you‟d like to ask Donal, you can always contact him at
[email protected] So thanks again for attending!
********** END OF WEBINAR **********
369
DCU International Social Media Marketing Report 2010
Appendix 1.20: Social Media Marketing Report
1 Executive Summary
This report has been designed purely for the International Office in order to:




1.1
introduce them to the benefits of social media
explain the different social media platforms and tools available
provide a step by step approach to setting up the various accounts
offer recommendations on how to monitor these accounts and how they can be used to
complement their current recruitment practices.
Why Social Media?
Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report 2010 identified social media as a source of leads that
has become the most valuable over the last six months. Many companies remain sceptical about
social media and perhaps think that their clients don’t use these social networking platforms.
However, this is a major mistake.
Potential students are hanging out and spending their time on networking sites such as YouTube,
Twitter, and Facebook etc. Therefore it is imperative that the International Office is seen to have a
presence on these channels; enabling them to communicate on a broader scale with their target
market.
Everyone is online.
Source: Internet World Stats
Hubspot’s Report also found that 40% of the businesses that use social media for marketing
purposes have been successful in acquiring customers through those channels. While social media is
fundamentally about creating brand awareness; it is also a great tool for directly generating leads
that may turn into customers.
In the last few years traditional marketing techniques such as print advertising and direct mail have
become less effective. Customers no longer pay as much attention to these messages as they now
have the ability to assess the products and services they require on their own (Stelzner, 2009).
Due to this change, companies are realising that they need to refresh their marketing efforts to
concentrate more on inbound programs that permit customers to find them. One of the major
advantages of inbound marketing is that it is more cost effective than traditional outbound methods
and thus can save your business money at the same time as attracting potential customers.
Companies that move rapidly towards inbound marketing are likely to reap the great advantages of
this new era of marketing (Stelzner, 2009).
1.2
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Generated exposure for my business
81
Increased my traffic/subscribers
61
Resulted in new business partnerships
56
Helped us rise in the search rankings
52
Generate qualified leads
48
Reduced Marketing Expenses
45
Helped close business
35
0
20
40
60
Figures taken from Hubspot’s Report 2010
371
80
100
According to Hubspot (2010), 81% of marketers stated that their social media efforts have generated
enormous exposure for their business. Increasing traffic to their website was the second biggest
advantage, followed by the creation of new partnerships as a result of social media.
372
2
Setup
2.1
Focus
Having conducted intensive primary research which included a qualitative interview with our client,
DCU International Office, we have identified the three most important regions for the purposes of
our social media marketing campaign.




US
China
India
Canada
In a recent interview with Claire Bohan, Head of the International Office, she highlighted that US
students would be the most profitable in terms of revenue for DCU. They pay high fees and tend to
cost less in terms of the support and guidance that they will require during their period of study in
DCU. Also they fit into modules that are already being taught in the college.
The age range of our target market would vary from seventeen years of age to early twenties. Then
also we would be targeting the mature students (26 years - 50 years of age) that are considering
returning to the education sector.
2.2
Social Media Setup
2.2.1 Create Social Media Accounts
The first thing which we had to do before setting up any accounts was to check whether the name
we were wanting to create the account under, DCU International, was already in use by someone
else. To investigate this further we used the site http://namechk.com.
Twitter only permits usernames of 15 characters or less, thus “DCU International” was not a viable
name. As a result we chose a shorter name of “Destination DCU” to overcome this restriction.
We believe “Destination DCU” better described our digital marketing campaign and was more selfexplanatory than “DCU International”. Students might be misled by the name “DCU International”
and may infer from this that DCU have campuses all over the world. Therefore we would advise the
International Office to set up all their social media accounts under the name “Destination DCU” as
we feel it might be catchier for marketing purposes.
373
374
2.2.2 Managing Accounts
Social Media Platform
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
LinkedIn
Scribd
SlideShare
2.3
Username
DCU International
DestinationDCU
DCUInternational
DCUInternational
DCU International
DCUInternational
Password
Dcuintsmm
Destdcusmm
Dcuintsmm
Dcuintsmm
Dcuintsmm
Dcuintsmm
Install Tweet Deck and integrate various accounts for Twitter,
Facebook, LinkedIn
Once you have set up all your accounts across the various social networking platforms, managing all
of them can be quite an overwhelming task. One tool which we would strongly advise DCU’s
International Office to employ to help them with this task is Tweet Deck.
2.3.1 What is Tweet Deck?
Tweet Deck is one of the principal applications for Twitter, which allows users to
manage, update, and basically deal with all the messages, replies, retweets and
updates that are constantly streaming in (Payne, 2009). Another bonus of this application is that it is
free to download from www.tweetdeck.com. Tweet Deck acts as your own personal real-time
browser, enabling you to connect with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn,
Google Buzz etc (Tweet Deck, 2009).
Our Tweet Deck account to monitor DCU International’s various searches
375
2.3.2 Installation of Tweet Deck and the Sign Up Process
Tweet Deck can run on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Tweet Deck runs on the
Adobe AIR runtime and therefore to use Tweet Deck the first step is to install Adobe AIR to begin the
process. You can download the latest version of Adobe AIR from http://get.adobe.com/air/.
Once you have completed this then proceed to download the application from
www.tweetdeck.com. Version 0.34.3 was the most recent version as of 10th June 2010. Having
downloaded the application, the next step is to create your account.
2.3.3 Using Tweet Deck
Once you have installed Tweet Deck and configured it according to your own preferences new
tweets will arrive automatically. If you point your mouse over the avatar of any user, four options
will be displayed:
Reply
Reply
Direct Message
Other Actions: which allows you
to translate a message, add a user
to a favourite group,
follow/unfollow that user etc.
Re-Tweet
These ‘one-click’ options make using various social networks a more satisfying experience and easier
to handle your accounts (Twittercism, 2009).
376
Tweet Deck Icons
Source: Graveris, 2009
1. Tweet:
This icon opens up the Tweet box which permits you to send a message to Twitter or your other
social networking accounts. Each post must only contain a maximum of 140 characters. Tweet Deck
helps the user keep track of their character count and the whole Tweet window will change to red to
warn the user that they have surpassed the character limit. Tweet Deck also provides the Auto
Shorten URL option ,which if chosen, will automatically shrink the URL and insert the shorter version
into the text box. Tweet Deck also has a built in spellchecker.
Tweet window
2. All Friends:
This includes all your friends on the chosen platform; basically everyone you are following.
3. Replies:
This shows all the replies to any messages that you have posted.
377
4. Direct Messages:
A direct message is a private tweet that you can send to your followers. It is also limited to 140
characters and can only be viewed by the person you send it to. Clicking on this icon displays all the
direct messages that you have sent or received.
5. Favourites:
Tweet Deck enables you to add certain posts or tweets to your list of favourites which can be
displayed by clicking on the “Favourite” icon.
6. Groups:
This icon enables you to create a group and then add to it only the people which you would like to
see included in this group. Once you have created a group, Tweet Deck will only present tweets from
the users within that particular group’s column (Twittercism, 2009). The International Office could
set up different groups to track students from different regions.
7. Search:
The search feature is one of the most beneficial functions of Tweet Deck. You can use this icon to
search under a certain topic or heading and Tweet Deck will return all the tweets it retrieves in
relation to the topic in a single column.
For example, we have a search column set up for the words “study” and “Ireland” together. This
means that anytime someone writes a tweet with these two words, it will appear in the column.
378
These searches allow us to reply to relevant user’s public tweets in real-time even if they weren’t
directed at “Destination DCU”.
Tweet written by a girl considering Ireland as a study destination that appears in search results
This will help the International Office easily identify students that are thinking or talking about
studying in Dublin, and thus, they may choose to follow them.
2.3.4 Advantages of Tweet Deck

Pop-up notifications: You can have Tweet Deck running in the background and it can keep
you notified throughout the day without the need to be separately signed into each of your
various social media accounts.

Sync with many social networks: As well as Twitter, you can also use Tweet Deck to link with
your Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace accounts.

Has a built in link shortening function.

No limit on columns: You can create as many columns as you want for different messages,
updates etc. Tweet Deck can also be resized to your precise requirements: from a solitary
column to a full-screen multideck (Twittercism, 2009).

Contains built in Search Terms which you can personally customise. For example, DCU
International might use “Study in Dublin” as one of their search terms across Twitter and
Facebook.

Tweet Deck updates persistently while open thus there’s no need to refresh the page
(Twittercism, 2009).
379
2.3.5 Alternatives to Tweet Deck
There are many other tools out there that provide similar functions to Tweet Deck. Again it usually
comes down to the individuals’ preference, as they may prefer the interface of one of the alternative
applications over another or find one of the applications easier to manage than others.
Here are some of the most popular alternatives to Tweet Deck.



HootSuite
Seesmic Web
TwitHive




TwitBabble
Twitterriffic
Snitter
Spaz
2.3.6 Hoot Suite
Another tool which we have found very useful is Hoot Suite. Similar to Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite is
another Twitter toolbox. Hoot Suite allows you to organise numerous Twitter profiles, add multiple
editors, pre-schedule your posts, and also provides you with the capability to measure and analyse
your success through their performance analytics tools.
To create an account all you have to do is simply enter your Twitter username and password, and
add a profile for each Twitter account you want to manage. Hoot Suite allows you to have more than
one editor per profile which is extremely useful.
2.3.7 Advantages of Hoot Suite

Scheduling of Tweets
Probably the best advantage of Hoot Suite is that it allows you to schedule the precise time that your
posts will be sent at. This scheduling capability enables you to create a series of tweets and send
them out whenever you desire. This is brilliant for times where you may be away from the office or
mightn’t have access to the Internet. It means that you are constantly in touch with your target
audience. Scheduling tweets is a very simple and easy process; all you do is click the “send later”
button in your tweet box. This will then display a calendar where you choose the date and the time
which you want your tweet to be delivered (Russell, 2010).
380

No downloading required
One advantage that Hoot Suite has over Tweet Deck is that Hoot Suite is web based while the
latter is software based. Hoot Suite does not require as much computing power to run and the
user can access Hoot Suite from any computer without the need for downloading any
software (Clement, 2009).

Analytics Service
Hoot Suite provides you with the option to track your links,
view how many people clicked on them, and see when your
links have been re-tweeted. Hoot Suite’s analytics service is well
presented and simple to understand. Tweet Deck, on the other
hand, don’t have this analytics capability built into their
application.
One thing to note however is that in Hoot Suite the user can’t clear columns to get rid of the
tweets that they have previously read which makes it difficult for the user to differentiate
between the tweets that they have read and those which they haven’t. Hoot Suite does not
have pop up notifications which are very useful when using Tweet Deck and unlike Tweet
Deck, Hoot Suite does not automatically compress a link and rather the user has to do this
manually by clicking the “Shrink it” button (Google, SEO & Social Media Blog, 2010).
Thus it’s clearly evident that both Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite are fantastic tools for helping
users manage their social networks more effectively. Both have advantages and
disadvantages and the choice of which one to use will ultimately be based on personal
preferences.
381
3
Broadcasting
3.1
Twitter
3.1.1 What is Twitter?
According to the Twitter (2010) website, “Twitter is a real-time information network powered by
people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now”. Twitter poses
the question “what’s happening” and disseminates the answer across the globe to millions of users
instantaneously. Users post a series of “tweets”, which are basically short text messages of no more
than 140 characters in length that the user sends to their friends or “followers” (Tweeternet, 2010).
In essence, “Twitter is like a Text Message with a
BCC: To The World” (Hubspot, 2010).
The short nature of each tweet is the most prominent characteristics of the service, permitting
casual collaboration and rapid information sharing. Twitter allows you to share information
with people who you mightn’t normally exchange email or IM messages with, broadening
our circle of contacts to a rising community of like-minded individuals (Tweeternet, 2010).
Users can publish tweets using the Twitter website directly or alternatively via your mobile
phone or other handheld devices, or through third party applications we have previously
mentioned such as Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck.
3.1.2
Signing up to Twitter
Getting started with Twitter is quite simple. One simply visits www.twitter.com and clicks on the
“Get started now” option to set up your account.
382
Once you have clicked to sign up you must then proceed to fill in four fields; Full name, Username,
Password and E-mail. After you have successfully signed up, Twitter walks you through a few screens
to show you how to find people on Twitter that you may already know or be interested in.
Alternatively, you can proceed directly to your account page by scrolling to the bottom of the page
and clicking “Skip this step” (Twitter, 2010).
There is some additional information which must be entered on your account page. By clicking in the
“Setting” options you can enter some more details which will help your customers recognise your
company.
For example in creating a Twitter account for the DCU International Office we included the DCU logo
in the “Picture” settings to help our target market identify our brand, and we included some text in
the “Bio” to inform people about what DCU has to offer.
383
 Find highly relevant people to follow
We also searched for users that may be relevant to us, even if they don’t tweet about specific topics.
To do this we used the search box on the Twitter homepage to find people that were talking about
DCU, and also that were perhaps talking about studying in Ireland for a semester.
We also searched for people whose usernames included relevant terms and we used Tweetadder to
search people’s personal descriptions to find keywords. For example we searched for people who
used the word “student” to describe themselves. We could then follow relevant users.
We set up searches using keywords for international study such as “Study in Dublin”, “Study in
Ireland”, “DCU”, “Study Abroad” and “Junior Year Abroad” etc. When we came across interesting
messages in these searches we would consider following these potential students. When students
tweeted about “studying abroad” or that they were thinking of studying in Dublin, we would send
them a personalized message asking whether they have considered Dublin as their study
destination, and then provide a link to the DCU International homepage.
Here’s just a small sample of the relevant colleges or organizations that we have followed in order to
increase visibility of the DCU International brand.
384
 Post your first message
The next step is to post your first message on your homepage. The message must be within the 140
character limit that Twitter allocates. Once you have decided on what you want to say, you then
click on the “Tweet” button and your message will be instantly posted on your homepage.
Our first post was very simple and the main purpose of the message was to get Twitter users that
were considering studying abroad to check out the DCU International homepage. A screenshot of
our first ever post can be seen below.
385
After we posted our first message, we then looked for interesting stories from the educational
sector which might be relevant to our target market and also the industry we are operating in;
international student recruitment.
3.1.3
Using Twitter
@username
For a business such as DCU International, the most beneficial thing about Twitter is that it
allows you to exchange public messages with individual users. If you want your message to
reach a specific person you simply start the message with “@username” of the person who
you would like to send the message to, like this:
Therefore if Miss Jackson is following DCU International, the message will appear on her
Twitter homepage. People that are following both DDCU International and Miss Jackson will
be able to see the message on their homepage. The message will also be displayed in search
386
results, and people who visit DCU International’s homepage will see it amongst the other
messages in the outgoing timeline (Twitter, 2010).
Another advantage of Twitter is that it enables companies to see what is currently being said about
their brand. To locate the public messages that are directed to DestinationDCU or that mention
DestionationDCU, you merely go to your homepage and click on the tab labeled “@DestinationDCU”
which is displayed at the right hand side of the screen.
This enables the DCU International office to monitor when DCU is being mentioned as a study
destination, and it means that DCU International can respond directly to students who may have
queries about the courses offered in DCU or perhaps their eligibility to study in DCU. This facilitates
the building of strong relationships between students thinking about studying abroad and the
International Office. It also allows the International Office to respond to any misconceptions that
students may have and set them straight. Potential customers like to receive that personal touch so
this mechanism of sending messages to a specific individual is perfect.
387
Above we can see the tweets where Destination DCU was mentioned
DM or Direct Messages
Direct Messages are part of Twitter’s private messaging channel. These
messages are displayed on your homepage under the Direct Messages tab.
DM’s are not visible in either person’s public timeline or in search results.
Only the person to whom the DM was sent has permission to view the
message. The only drawback of the DM function is that you can only send direct messages to people
who are following you, and subsequently you can only receive them from people you are following.
To send a direct message to someone you simply choose the recipient from a drop-down
menu of the people you are following and then proceed to type in your message. If you wish
to send a direct message from your homepage you must start your message with “d username,
“ like this:
“d Ameliaaha Why not consider studying in DCU if you will be studying in Ireland next
year”.
RT or Retweet
To facilitate the sharing of ideas Twitter allows you to repost other peoples messages and also give
them credit for the initial message. This is referred to as re-tweeting (or RT) and usually looks like
this : [email protected]: Oroginal message, usually with a link. (Twitter, 2010). This is a very influential
way od spreading messages and ideas across Twitter in a rapid manner. Often when you retweet
someone else’s post, they find this quite flattering and may choose to follow you back, which helps
build greater connections.
Retweeting is common, and it’s a form of conversation on Twitter. It’s also a powerful way
to spread messages and ideas across Twitter quickly. So when you do it, you’re engaging in a
way people recognize and usually like, making it a good way to connect.
388
Trending Topics
On the right hand side of your profile page and also at the top of the main search page you
will see Trending Topics, which are “the most-mentioned items on Twitter at that moment”
(Twitter, 2010). These topics will be updated continuously, demonstrating the real-time
nature of Twitter and also highlighting the shifts in topics that people are finding interesting.
Twitter’s new Trending Topic algorithm which was introduced in May 2010 identifies topics
that are instantly popular as opposed to topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily
basis. This assists users in discovering the “most breaking” news items from every corner of
the globe. An important factor to note is that Twitter does not “prohibit” or “outlaw” any
topics from trending (Twitter, 2010).
As well as allowing you to see the topics that are trending worldwide, Twitter also enables users to
see what topics are trending in certain parts of the world. This will be extremely beneficial to DCU
International as they recruit students from every corner of the globe so this feature enables them to
see what is being discussed in many of the regions that International Students come from. You
merely click on “Change” under “Trending: Worldwide” and then you will be presented with a
number of different locations to choose from as you can see below.
389
#Hashtag
The purpose of a hashtag is to connect global Tweets around a particular topic. In essence, they are
tags that help people who are searching for identical content discover your tweets (Smarty, 2009).
Twitter messages don’t have a field that allows you to classify them. Therefore Twitter users created
the hashtag- which is basically just the # symbol followed by some text illustrating or naming the
topic (Twitter, 2010).
Thus when somebody, for example, searches for the hashtag “#study in Dublin”, they’ll receive all
the related messages to that topic. DCU International could use hashtags when they are launching
events or open days in the college e.g. #DCU International Open Day. When many people use the
same hashtag simultaneously, the topic will appear in the “Trending Topics” on the Twitter
homepage.
3.2
Tweet Adder
3.2.1
What is Tweet Adder?
Tweetadder is a software programme that allows you to search for and automatically connect with
other user’s on Twitter. It also enables you to automate tweets and send direct messages to your
followers. Tweetadder claims to allow users to “Find and Engage in Like-Minded Twitter Followers &
Automate Twitter Posts!” (Tweetadder 2010).
3.2.2 Use Tweetadder to add relevant users
Once your Twitter account is up and running, tools can be used to improve the effectiveness of your
campaign by increasing your number of followers and improving the efficiency of how you can
communicate with them.
390
The main Tweetadder screen
3.2.3 Installation of Tweetadder and the Sign Up Process
Tweetadder can run on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. There is a small cost
involved with buying a license to use the software however a free demo version is available and
provides a limited number of features.
The Free Demo can be downloaded from http://tweetadder.com/download.
391
Once you have downloaded the software the following features will be available to you:
Add Follows
250 Free Auto Follows
Send Auto Tweets
Send up to 10 Free Automated Tweets
Send Auto Dm’s
Automation
Send up to 10 Free Automated Direct
Messages
Free usage of the Automation
Features
You need to add a Twitter account to Tweetadder by entering your username and password. You can
add multiple accounts.
392
By buying and entering a licence and registration code, you can use Tweetadder with unlimited
features.
3.2.4 Using Tweetadder
Once you have installed Tweetadder and added your account(s), you can log on and begin using it
immediately for the following functions:

Search
Tweetadder provides a wide range of search methods that allow you to find relevant users to follow.
You can search by what people are tweeting about, their profile data, their location, their
language...etc. It is also possible to import a list of user ids that you wish to search for. The search
results are stored in a file that you can then review and delete unwanted results.
393

Follow
Tweetadder allows you to automatically follow hundreds of users at a time. It can follow the users
stored in your search results or a list of users that you have imported. Tweetadder does not impose
limits onto the number of users added but Twitter has some regulations in place to stop spamming
activity so there is a limit on the number of users you can follow per day. Tweetadder also allows
you to automatically follow back users who are following you.

Unfollow
While trying to grow a base of followers, it is sometimes necessary to delete users who are not
following you back (ie they dont have an interest in you). Seeing as you can only follow 2000 people
at a time, these users could be holding a place that would be better served by a more interested
party. There may be some key users that you wish to follow whether or not they are following you
back. For this reason Tweetadder has a “safelist” of users which will not be deleted.
Tweetadder allows you to automatically unfollow users that are not following you back, except
those who are on your safelist.
394

Messages
Tweetadder has a function that allows you to send direct messages to all of your followers, or only
to followers added in a recent time period (today or this week). This is useful for campaigns. You can
load these messages from a file or write them live. A cache of user ids is kept so that users only
receive a specific message once. This can be cleared if you wish to send the message more than
once.

Tweets
Tweetadder can be used to automate Tweets. A list of 140 character messages can be stored and
you can choose how often and between which times a new one should be published.
395

Replies
Tweetadder allows you to setup an autorelies so that you can choose one or more messages that
will be sent to a user after they mention you in a tweet (use an @username tag).

Automation
The Automation tab in Tweetadder allows you to control all of the features that can be automated,
such as autoreplies, and automatically following users back.
396
Other Actions: Tweetadder also allows you to cleanup your direct message's by automatically
deleting your direct messages. You can choose to keep your most recent messages and can choose
just to delete those that contain links (as they are most likely to be spam).
Statistics
Tweetadder also keeps statistical records of your activity and allows you to view this over different
time periods.
3.2.5 Advantages of Tweetadder
4. Automates processes that would be tedious and time consuming if completed manually.
397
5. Has a superior searching function than Twitter and other applications as it allows you to
search using many different criteria.
3.2.6 Disadvantages of Tweetadder
6. Tweetadder is subject to limitations imposed by Twitter.
7. Must be logged in for the software to work (unlike some internet based applications)
3.3
Facebook
3.3.1 What is Facebook?
Facebook is a popular free social networking website that permits registered users to create
profiles, upload photos and videos, post and send messages and basically allows them to keep
in contact with friends and colleagues. Facebook is available in 37 different languages and
according to WhatIs?com (2010) some of the dominant features of the site include:





Groups- allows users who have similar interests to find each other and interact.
Events- allows users to promote and publicise an event that is scheduled to take
place, invite other users to the event and keeps track of who can/cannot attend.
Marketplace- allows users to post, read and reply to classified ads.
Pages- allows users to create and promote a page that is created around a particular
topic.
Presence technology- allows users to see which of their contacts are currently online
and provides an ability to chat over the Facebook platform.
Each user’s personal profile contains many key networking components. The most popular is
the Wall which is basically a virtual bulletin board (WhatIs?com, 2010). The user or their
friends can post messages, videos, photos or links on this wall for all to see.
Another extremely popular function is the Photo Album. This allows users to upload photos
either from their desktop or perhaps from another device such as their mobile phone. An
interactive album feature enables the user’s “friends” to comment on each other’s photos
which helps generate user feedback and individuals can be identified in a photo through
“tagging”.
The Status Update feature is similar to Twitter and allows the user to post announcements to
their friends. These posts will appear in the Facebook newsfeed, which is distributed in realtime to all the user’s friends and contacts (WhatIs?com, 2010).
398
An important fact to consider when using any social networks is privacy. Facebook provides
a range of privacy options to its users. You can choose whether your communications are
visable to everyone, or only to your “friends”. Users can also decide whether or not they want
to be searchable (i.e. for people who are not connected to them to be able to find them),
which parts of their profile are public and who precisely can view their posts. If you wish to
communicate in private, there is the Facebook message function, where only the persons
sending and receiving the message has access to the content (WhatIs?com, 2010).
Facebook allows us to create dedicated pages for businesses. Therefore in creating a Facebook page
for DCU International, you must click on “Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business”, which is
displayed on the bottom right hand corner of www.facebook.com.
To create a Facebook Business Page you must first create a Personal Facebook account. The
reasoning behind this is that the Business page will be created and managed by your personal
account and you will also be required to access the Business page via your personal login. Therefore
our advice is to first setup your personal account and then add your Business page once this process
is finished.
3.3.2 Creating your Personal Account in Facebook
Steps
1. Go to www.facebook.com and click on the “Sign Up” icon which is displayed in green.
2. Fill out the registration form. You are required to fill in the above fields
which include First Name, Last Name, E-mail Address, Password, Gender and
your Date of Birth.
399
3. Once you have completed this you will then be sent a confirmation e-mail to the address
that you provided during the Sign Up process. Confirm your e-mail address by clicking on the
link contained within the e-mail.
4. You may then proceed to enter some information into your profile such as the company you
work for, the school you went to etc. This is completely optional.
5. After entering your profile information you must then choose a profile image which will be
displayed on your homepage and enables your friends to identify you.
6. The final step allows you to enter the city you live in and permits you to join the network for
that city. This step is also optional and can be omitted. Once you have either entered the city
you live in or clicked to skip that stage you will then be redirected to your Facebook
homepage and your account has been successfully created.
400
3.3.3 Getting your Business on Facebook
Facebook Fan pages enable business to interact with customers and prospects (Hubspot, 2010).
According to Hubspot (2010), 44% of companies using Facebook have acquired a customer from that
channel; therefore having a presence on Facebook is key for any successful business. Hubspot’s
research also found Facebook to be more successful for B2C as opposed to B2B relationships.
401
We will now document how to set up a Facebook Fan Page for a Business.
The first thing you must decide on is a name for your page. When creating a page for the
International Office we decided to name it “DCU International”. Also it is important to have the logo
of your company or brand ready to upload as your profile picture. This will ensure that you increase
brand visibility.
In creating a business page you will be presented with three options as can be seen above; Local
business; Brand, product or organisation; or Artist, band, or public figure. The most suitable option
here for the DCU International Office would be Brand, product or organisation. As there was no
specified field for “Education”, the closest we could find was “Professional Service”.
Once you have selected the category, you must then enter your Page name. Also you must confirm
that you are an official representative for the brand/organisation. Once you click on “Create Official
Page” you will then be required to enter the details of your personal Facebook account which you
created earlier.
402
403
Include a logo that will be displayed as the profile picture on your page and fill in any information
that you wish your fans to be able to view. Also you will have to set any age restrictions or country
restrictions on your page and also whether fans are allowed to automatically post on your wall or
whether all comments must be pre-approved by the page administrators.
Once you have gone through all the available settings you are now ready for action and can start
posting and obtaining friends as soon as possible.
3.3.4 Using Facebook

Post regularly
It is important to create meaningful posts rather than sales pitches. The aim is to build a relationship
with your target audience. Keeping the page up to date is pertinent but you must try and strike a
balance between too much interaction and too little interaction. We found that one meaningful,
valuable post per day was sufficient and it also meant that our followers weren’t becoming
frustrated by us clogging up their news feeds which can happen.
404
Being relevant is also very important when posting messages. For example, during the World Cup we
posted the following message offering advice to our followers on how to get rid of the noise of the
annoying vuvuzelas while watching the football. However what made this post even more relevant
was that it was a DCU lecturer that discovered the innovative way to solve this problem. Therefore
while we were posting about an event that was very topical at that point in time, we were also
promoting DCU simultaneously.

Use different types of media: Video and Photos
Incorporate both videos and photos into your posts which will visually enhance your page. Also by
creating photo albums of shots from around DCU, potential students will be able to clearly see what
the college looks like and the facilities that DCU has to offer; which may help them make their
decision when choosing which college to attend.
405
406
We also ran a “How well do you know Dublin” campaign to generate discussion and interest in our
page. On a weekly/fortnightly basis we would post a cropped image of famous Dublin landmarks,
asking our fans to see if they could guess what landmark it was in the image.
407

Generate Discussion
Generating discussion is always good which can be done through the Discussion Boards. Here’s an
example of some of the discussion topics we posted for DCU International.
408
DCU International can use the Discussion Boards as a great way to generate feedback and to see
what students like and dislike about the services offered at DCU.

Facebook Connect
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zucherberg, “Facebook Connect makes it easier for you to take
your online identity with you all over the Web, share what you do online with your friends and stay
updated on what they're doing. You won't have to create separate accounts for every website, just
use your Facebook login wherever Connect is available” (The Facebook Blog, 2008). On many sites
you now receive prompts for Facebook Connect, allowing you to transfer your Facebook profile
information,
friends,
etc
to
your
favourite
sites.
Facebook Connect allows developers to influence the power of Facebook’s social context in existing,
third-party websites. The platform offers flawless, one-click authentication, distribution back into
Facebook streams, and the full power of the Facebook REST-like API and FQL. It has been verified
that making use of Facebook Connect for authentication purposes dramatically increases site
exposure and the number of new members signing up (Microsoft, 2010).
By utilising the Facebook Connect API’s you obtain access to:


Identity: a user’s name, profile picture, location.
Friends: data about a user’s friends.
409


Distribution: all of the integration points within Facebook like news feeds
and notifications.
Integration: profile boxes, profile tabs, and publishers similar to apps on
Facebook.
Above you can see how Facebook Connect works with Tweet Deck. By connecting your
Tweet Deck account with your Facebook account anything you share on Tweet Deck will be
published on your Facebook page.
3.3.5 How can DCU International benefit from Facebook?

Branding and Building Awareness
Facebook provides DCU International with a platform to generate awareness of the DCU brand and
to promote DCU to their target audience. It’s all about getting the DCU name out there and making
people aware of it.

Drives Traffic to your Website
Having the link for the DCU International Office website on their Facebook page will increase traffic
to this site. Redirecting even a tiny fraction of Facebook’s large quantity of daily traffic to your site
could dramatically boost the level of qualified traffic on your site (Belicove, 2009).

Strengthens relations with potential customers
Facebook allows you to connect with potential students in a social rather than a business setting and
enables you to focus on creating a meaningful engagement as opposed to constant sales pitches.
410
According to research by Belicove (2009), 90% of customers expect the businesses and organisations
they deal with to have a presence on Facebook.

Monitor what competitors are doing
Through Facebook, DCU International can keep track of the Fan Pages of their competitors such as
UCD, Trinity, NUI Maynooth etc. Without a DCU International Fan Page then any of their competitors
can corner the market on Facebook and establish a loyal following before DCU does. It is crucial to
make your presence known and to avoid being left out in the cold by DCU’s other rivals who are
already exploiting many of these social platforms.

Feedback helps improve your business
In a social setting such as Facebook customers are more likely to feel free to express their opinions
and share information about good and bad experiences they have had with DCU International and its
competitors. Each time a fan interacts with DCU International’s page, they supply a great wealth of
information (Belicove, 2009).
3.4
LinkedIn
3.4.1 What is LinkedIn?
According to their site, LinkedIn is the world’s “largest professional network with over 70 million
members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and allows you to
swap knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a wider network of professionals” (LinkedIn Learning
Centre, 2010).
All Fortune 500 companies are represented on LinkedIn (Yoakum, 2010). Similarly thousands of
medium and small companies have a LinkedIn presence. In excess of 90,000 of LinkedIn members
are CEO’s and almost 90% of employers make use of LinkedIn for recruitment purposes and to
screen potential employees (Yoakum, 2010).
LinkedIn allows users to:
5) Establish your professional Profile
LinkedIn provides you with the keys to managing the online identity of your business. When you
Google your business, you never know what results will appear. LinkedIn profiles tend to climb to
the top of search results, allowing you to control the first impression customers or your target
audience may get when they search for your company online (LinkedIn Learning Centre, 2010).
411
6) Stay in touch with colleagues and friends
LinkedIn allows you to stay in touch with colleagues regardless of job or location. This will be
extremely useful for the International Office when building professional contacts with
representatives in universities all over the globe.
7) Locate experts and ideas
Tools such as Answers and Groups allow users to find and interact with experts through trusted
introductions. LinkedIn Search enables users to investigate the wider network by name, title,
company, location and other keywords that will assist you in finding the knowledge you’re seeking
(LinkedIn Learning Centre, 2010).
8) Explore Opportunities
LinkedIn helps you win new clients and create a professional reputation which in turn helps connect
you to sales leads and possible business partners.
3.4.2 Selecting the right type of LinkedIn account
Go to the LinkedIn homepage www.linkedin.com.
Enter the required information and then click on the green “Join Now” icon.
There are four different account types which you can choose from: Personal, Business, Business Plus,
and Pro.
412
3.4.3 Setting up a Company Profile
1. To begin first go to the “Companies” section on the LinkedIn homepage and from here you
must click on “Add a company”.
413
2. Enter basic information about your company such as a description, the type of industry it
operates in etc.
3. LinkedIn will provide you with a wizard to assist you in creating your company account. You
will be able to add in locations for your company, your company logo and a feed for your
company blog.
4. Once you have completed this process your company profile will be publicly visible. LinkedIn
will then go to work and pull information about your company from other areas of the site.
For instance your job listings, along with links to the pages of employees will now appear on
your profile.
This company profile will give possible candidates and also potential business clients’ valuable
information to help them determine if your company might be suitable for them (Ostrow, 2009).
414
3.4.4 LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups is a place where you can locate and join communities of professionals
depending on similar interests, experiences and goals. It allows you to keep in contact with
firms, schools, universities and companies that you are or were a part of; network with
professionals that may have similar interests; and work together as part of an online
community (LinkedIn Learning Center, 2010). LinkedIn Groups enable companies to expand
their brand’s reach and strengthen the brand with existing clients by offering increased value
through LinkedIn’s features (LinkedIn Learning Center, 2010).
3.4.5 LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn “Answers” feature allows users to browse, search, answer and post questions to
people within their own network and also the wider LinkedIn community. The “Home” area
of the “Answers” section displays a list of recent questions that have been posted from your
direct and extended network. LinkedIn allows you to organise this lengthy list of questions by
the proximity to your network (e.g. first or second degree connections) or alternatively by the
date that the question was posted. According to Eve Mayer Orsburn, CEO of Social Media
Delivered, LinkedIn Answers is a “great way to put yourself in contact with others who are
interested in that same topic” (Burnham, 2010).
This area also displays the week’s top experts, which are users that have demonstrated their
proficiency and knowledge by answering the most number of questions and receiving the
415
most number of “best answer” acknowledgements from the questioner. Experts are given a
green star on their profile to symbolise their status (Burnham, 2010).
Another part to Answers is “Advanced Answers Search” which enables users to search
questions and answers according to keywords, category and whether you would like the
search results to return unanswered questions. The “My Q&A” section maintains a record of
the questions you ask or answer, and the last Answer sections “Ask a Question” and “Answer
Questions” assist users in finding questions related to their area of expertise.
3.5 Blogging
3.5.1 What is a blog?
The term “blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog”, which is a phrase used to explain websites
that maintain continuous chronicles of information (Wordpress, 2010) A blog is essentially a journal
that can be accessed online. The process of updating a blog is referred to as “blogging” and the
person who keeps a blog is known as a “blogger”. Blogs are usually updated on a daily basis using
software that enables people with little or no technical ability to update and maintain the blog. Each
blog entry is posted in chronological order with the newest additions displayed most prominently
(Enzer, 2008).
416
Many types of blogging exists from personal blogging to political blogging to corporate blogging and
blogs can deal with one limited topic or alternatively can cover an entire spectrum of topics.
According to Wordpress (2010), most blogs typically have the same things in common:





A main content section which lists articles in chronological order. Sometimes articles are
grouped into relevant categories.
An archive of older articles.
A method for people to submit comments and feedback about the articles.
A list of links to other related sites which is often referred to as a blogroll.
One or more “feeds” such as RSS, Atom or RDF files.
3.5.2 Blogging Platforms
The top three free Blogging platforms according to Alexa analytics (2010) are Blogger, WordPress
and Drupal.
 Blogger
As well as being free, Blogger provide users with a user-friendly interface that includes drag
and drop widgets, customisable skins, analytics, and integration with Adsense that allows you
to monitor page views and earnings. 2010 has seen Blogger add the feature of stand-alone
and squeeze page technology to their blogs. This makes using the platform to host a website
with a blog even easier.
Also in 2009 they improved their customisable template feature, permitting outsourced free
templates to easily be uploaded with only a few clicks of the mouse. CSS is not required for
headers or other adjustments. Blogger also now enables the posting of pictures, videos and
posts straight from a mobile phone or other handheld device (Sugat, 2010).
 WordPress
WordPress was established in 2003 with a single piece of code to improve the typography of
everyday writing. From a handful of users back in 2003 WordPress has gone on to become
one of the largest self-hosted blogging tools in the world, used on millions of websites and
viewed by tens of millions of people each day (WordPress, 2010).
Everything the user sees on WordPress, from the documentation to the actual code itself was
constructed by the community and for the community. WordPress is an open source project
which means that there are thousands of people across the globe working on it (WordPress,
417
2010). WordPress does not involve a licence fee and you are free to use it for whatever
purpose you may wish.
 Drupal
Drupal.org might not be known by many but as a blogging tool its popularity is increasing at
a rapid rate. As well as many of the user-friendly features found in Blogger and WordPress,
Drupal also offers additional features such as:





Multi-user blogs that permit secondary users to contribute to a secondary blog that is
connected to the primary users account.
Online help
Outside App integration
Multilanguage
Compatible with many different operating systems such as Linux, Apache, Unix etc;
not just Mac and Windows (Sugat, 2010).
3.5.3 Blogging Terminology
 Archives
A blog is a great way to monitor articles on a website. Most blogs have either a monthly or
yearly archive, depending on the amount of content published. The front page of a blog often
displays a calendar of dates connected to daily archives. Archives can also be structured
around categories or you can also decide to organise your posts by author or alphabetically
(WordPress, 2010).
 Blogrolls
WordPress define a blogroll as “a list, sometimes categorised, of links to webpages the author
of a blog finds worthwhile or interesting”. These links are mostly to other blogs which deal
with similar interests. The blogroll is usually in a “sidebar” on the page or might be displayed
as a separate web page. WordPress has a built-in Link Manager so that users do not have to
rely on any other party when it comes to creating and maintaining their blogroll (WordPress,
2010).
 Categories
Categories allow us to organise our articles into groups which makes navigating through the
blog less difficult and confusing for readers. It also helps readers access the blogs they are
looking for in a speedier manner.
418
 Comments
Blogs have a function that allows readers to post comments at the end of blogs in response to
the post. These comments can be viewed by all other readers and is a great mechanism for
generating discussion around a topic and getting feedback.
 Syndication
Most blogs publish an RSS feed which is a feature of special software that automatically
looks for new content on a site and then post updates about that new content directly to the
user without them having to go looking themselves for the updates. Tools such as
“feedreaders” constantly check specified blogs to see whether or not they have been updated.
When new content has been added to a blog, they display the new post and a link to it, and
perhaps an extract of the post. New items are automatically found and downloaded for users
to read which means that they no longer have to visit all their favourite blogs and search for
updates themselves. Instead users simply have to sign up for the RSS feeds of the blogs they
wish to be notified about (WordPress, 2010).
 Trackbacks
Trackbacks are a type of peer-to-peer communication system that was created to deliver
notifications of updates between two websites through a Trackback ping. Trackbacks are
valuable for notifying a website that you have referenced its website on your own website,
and that it is well-liked by bloggers (Blogware, 2010).
 Pingbacks
The pingback is usually displayed on Person A’s blog as merely a link to Person B’s post. In
this manner, all editorial content over posts resides entirely with the individual authors
(dissimilar to the trackback excerpt, which can be altered by the trackback recipient). The
automatic verification process makes it more difficult to fake a pingback and introduces a
level of authenticity (WordPress, 2010)
 Excerpts
Excerpts are brief pieces of text that are posted to a blog’s main page instead of the entire text
of the article. They’re often followed by a “more” link that directs the reader to the article
page for that specific article where they have access to the full text (WordPress, 2010).
 Plugins
Plugins are impressive bits of programming scripts that add supplementary functionality to
your blog. These are usually features which either augment already visible features or add
them to your site (WordPress, 2010).
419
3.5.4 Sign Up Process
Step 1: Sign Up for a free WordPress account
Go to www.wordpress.com and click on the “Sign up now” icon to register for a WordPress
account. You will require a valid email to register.
Step 2: Enter Information to create your account
Here you will be asked to enter a username and password of your choice and a valid email address.
You must confirm that you have read the terms and conditions and then state whether you want to
create a blog or merely just a WordPress account.
420
Step 3: Enter information to create your blog
To create your blog you must enter the text you want to be shown in your domain name. For
example, DCU International Office may choose “dcuinternational.wordpress.com”, which is the
domain name that users will use to locate your blog. You must also insert a name for your blog. You
can also choose the language for your blog and also this section allows you to state whether you
wish for your blog to be made publicly available or only for private viewing.
Step 4: Your account is active
Once you have completed the “Create a Blog” stage you will see a screen that states that your
account is active. You will now receive an e-mail notification containing your login information to
activate your account.
Step 5: WordPress Dashboard
When you log into your blog you’ll immediately be directed to your user dashboard. From here,
users can configure their blogs theme (design), write posts, add users, edit your profile, update your
blogroll (Ginelius, 2010). The “Support” tab in the top right hand corner takes users to the online
help area of WordPress. The Dashboard Toolbar assists users when it comes to navigating through
their blog’s administration pages.
421
Step 6: Selecting a Theme
Users can choose from many of the free templates and themes available through your WordPress
dashboard. Click on the “Appearance” option on your dashboard and then select “themes” to view
the various options available to users. You can try out several different themes and pick the one
that’s most fitting in relation to the content of your blog.
422
Step 7: Start Blogging!
You can now enter your first post. Make sure to include a title and text for your post and then it’s
simply a matter of hitting the “Publish” button.
423
4 Social Bookmarking
4.1. What is social bookmarking?
Social bookmarking involves saving bookmarks to a public website and “tagging” them with relevant
keywords (Educase, 2010). In order to create a compilation of social bookmarks, you register with a
social bookmarking site which allows users to store bookmarks, add tags of their choice and
designate individual bookmarks as either public or private. Visitors to social bookmarking sites can
search for resources by keyword, person or popularity and they can also view the public bookmarks,
tags and classification schemes that members have created (Educase, 2010).
One of the most popular social bookmarking sites of recent times is Digg.
4.2
Digg
Digg is a social news site. The basic concept of Digg is that users “digg” articles that they like or agree
with and “bury” articles which they don’t agree with. Digg displays the best content online, as voted
on by their users. There are no editors at Digg, rather they provide a platform where people can
collectively establish the value of content and this is changing the ways in which we consume
information (Digg, 2010).
All articles, news, videos and images have been submitted by the online community. Once an item
has been submitted, other people can view it and they “Digg” what items they like the best or that
most interests them. If your submission is of high quality and receives a lot of “Diggs”, it is published
on the Digg homepage for millions of viewers to see (Digg, 2010).
4.2.1 How Digg works? (Digg, 2010)
1) Discover
Submit your favourites:
Find an article, image or video and then submit it to ww.digg.com. Once you have done this your
submission will then be displayed in “Upcoming Stories” where other Digg members can view it and
Digg it if they like it.
424
Build popularity:
Once a submission has received quite a high number of “Diggs” it is deemed “popular” and it
appears on the homepage of its relative category. If the submission becomes extremely popular it
will be listed in the Top 10. Alternatively if the submission doesn’t receive enough “Diggs” it will
disappear from the “Upcoming” section.
Locate new media on Digg:
Digg allows you to monitor submissions as they come in with Swarm, Stack, Big Spy or Arc. These are
real-time Flash visualisation tools that are found in Digg Labs. One can also check the homepage of
certain topics to view the new items that are popular or subscribe to RSS feeds of specific topics or
search terms.
2) Select
Digg:
425
Take part in the editorial process by “Digging” the items which you like the most. Doing this, you will
be adding to the popularity of that given submission. You can also construct a history of “Digging”
which your friends can see.
Bury:
When you come across an article or item that is of a poor quality or not related to the stated topic
you can choose to “Bury” that item. Through this Digg manages to eliminate spam out of their
system and allow the good content to surface to the top.
3) Share
Build a network:
Invite people you know to join Digg and then add them to your list of friends. This allows you to view
what your friends are “Digging” at the moment, allowing you to search and share news together.
E-mail:
Send your friends e-mails about the stories and items that you have found on Digg. This should
increase participation from non-Digger’s and also makes them aware of this social news platform.
4) Discuss
Comment:
Share your thoughts and views by commenting on stories/images/videos etc. Also you can “dig” and
“bury” comments made by other users.
Other popular social bookmarking sites include:




Reddit – 16,500,000 Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank- 302
Stumble Upon- 16,000,000 Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank- 204
Yahoo Buzz- 14,000,000 Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank- N/A
Delicious- 5,500,000 Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors, Alexa Rank- 342
Figures taken from eBiz MBA (2010)
426
5
Media Aggregators
5.1
Podcasts & Vodcasts
5.1.1 What are podcasts/vodcasts?
Podcasts are audio files that are automatically delivered straight to your PC, and are then
transferred to an iPod or other MP3 player (Palomar College, Academic Technology Resource Center
2010). Vodcasts on the other hand relate primarily to video files. Podcasts and vodcasts are based on
subscriptions, similar to a magazine and only the information that you’re interested in is delivered.
Often the creator of a podcast or vodcast will create a series of episodes which can be subscribed to.
The user can choose what they’d like to listen to and then subscribe to these podcast/vodcast
“channels” which are then downloaded to your computer. Whenever you sync your MP3 player with
your computer, the podcast/vodcast will be transferred to your MP3 player automatically.
Whenever you subscribe to a particular podcast/vodcast, anytime that you go online; the
podcasts/vodcasts will automatically be updated for you. To download and listen to them you will
require a free retrieval programme (also referred to as a media aggregator), which is a program
designed to automatically access an online podcast file and download the audio or video file
connected to the feed (TopBits, 2010).
One of the greatest advantages of podcasting is that it unites the best of radio, portable music
players, and satellite radio in one easy-to-stream file format (TopBits, 2010). Podcasts and Vodcasts
allow the creator to relay any number or messages, thoughts or ideas to the user. They can be used
for a range of reasons from simply relaying news to marketing.
5.1.2
How can DCU International use Podcasts/Vodcasts?
Opportunities exist for individuals and groups, as well as organisations to use podcasting. Companies
can utilise podcasting to help create brand awareness in the global marketplace. They can be used
for commercial as well as non commercial purposes.
For the DCU International Office podcasting or vodcasting offers the opportunity to relay news to
current students and potential students. Regular podcasts or vodcasts can be created throughout
the college year which highlights the different events taking place around the college. An example of
this would be to create a vodcast celebrating the Chinese New Year which would have DCU students
around the campus saying Happy New Year in Chinese. Other opportunities for regular podcasting
and vodcasting exists, such as having existing international students create a weekly update on their
experiences studying at DCU.
These would help showcase DCU to international students
427
5.1.3 How to create a podcast?
Absolutely anyone can create a podcast as you don’t need to have a formal broadcasting education
or any previous experience in relation to this type of media.
Step 1: Plan your podcast
The first step before all others is to decide what your podcast will be about. In terms of DCU
International they may want to create a podcast purely relating to Visa Requirements, Costs Involved
with Living in Ireland, New Courses Offered, or many other topics.
Take some time to consider how long your podcast will be, how often you will post new shows and
what your typical show outline will look like. These are very crucial decisions that will influence your
time commitment and the type of web hosting you will need (Van Orden, 2010). Another good
suggestion from Van Orden (2010) is to spend some time listening to other podcasts and taking note
of how they’re structured, their length and the segments used in each shows which may provide you
with some interesting ideas for your own podcast.
Step 2: Producing your podcast
The basic equipment you will need to produce your podcast is:







A PC running Windows XP
512 MB of RAM
2-3 GB of Free Hard Drive Space
Soundcard
Mic Input and Headphone Output jacks on your PC
Headphones
Microphone
Firstly you’ll need a software package to record and edit your podcast. We would recommedn using
Audacity which has become extremely popular in the podcasting arena and is free to download. It
contains all the basic features you’ll require to record and edit your shows and it runs on both PC
and Mac.
You will also need an MP3 encoder to convert your podcast into MP3 format after it has been
created. Converting your audio to MP3 format reduces the size of the file and makes it easier for
others to download and listen to. iTunes has a function for converting podcasts into MP3 and this
software is also free to download from the Apple website. In order to upload your podcast to the
internet you will need a file transfer programme such as SmartFTP.
428
Step 3: How to publish your podcast
Now you must convert the file so that it is suitable for podcast use.
Select the podcast by right clicking on it which should activate a menu from which you will
choose “Convert Selection to MP3”. The file will then start to convert. Once the file is
finished converting you will then need to add information to the MP3 ID tags.
An MP3 file includes information about the artist, genre, album etc., which is stored in ID3 tags.
iTunes use these tags to organise your MP3s.You can use ID3 tags to hold vital information about
your podcast in your MP3 file. You want to ensure that any listener can view the information in their
media player on their iPod and know what your podcast is about and where it came from. This is
why it’s very important that your ID3 tags should include at least your podcast’s name and your
429
website. This means that when the listener plays the podcast on their MP3 player, the name and
web address will be displayed on their screen.
It’s very simple to modify the information in the ID3 tags in iTunes. You merely right click
on the file you want to change and choose “Get Info”. Then click on the Info tab and fill in
the data appropriately. If you fail to use tags properly then your file will probably get lost
amongst all the listener’s other MP3 files.
It is also important to embed an image into your MP3 file that will be displayed in the iTunes
store. Click on “Artwork”, then choose “Add” and then you can upload whichever image you
want your listeners to see. We would recommend using an image of the DCU logo here.
Once you have created your images and your feed optimised for iTunes and the iTunes Store, you
can submit your podcast to the iTunes Store podcast directory. iTunes Store will review your podcast
and if it meets their criteria they will include it in their directory.
First click on “Podcasts” from the iTunes dashboard as you can see below.
430
Then you can click on “Submit a Podcast”, which should be located
at the bottom of the box to the left of your screen.
5.2
Slide and Document Sharing
5.2.1 What is SlideShare?
According to their website, SlideShare is “the world’s largest community for sharing business
presentations and documents”. It’s an excellent tool for marketing your business, locating customers
and collecting leads (SlideShare, 2010). Using SlideShare you can upload your PowerPoint,
OpenOffice and Keynote presentations, and your Word, Open Open Office documents. One of the
greatest benefits of SlideShare is that the transcripts of the files which you upload will be indexed by
internet search engines and increase the search engine ranking of your presentations and
documents (SlideShare, 2010).
SlideShare is based around a lively professional community that frequently comments and
downloads content. Content also spreads virally through Social Networks such as Twitter, Facebook,
LinkedIn etc and through blogs. SlideShare allows anyone to search for and view presentations and
documents on topics that they are interested in. SlideShare is constantly growing in popularity and
recently has been receiving in excess of 17 million monthly visitors (St Pierre, 2010).
5.2.2 Submitting a presentation/document
Step 1: Create a SlideShare account
Firstly you must create a SlideShare account for your business.
431
Once you click on “Sign Up” on the homepage you will then be required to enter a
Username, Password and Account Type, in this case it will be a “Company” account.
432
Step 2: Upload your File
This step involves the uploading of your presentation or document to SlideShare’s servers.
Throughout the process, a blue progress bar keeps you updated on the percentage of the file
that has been uploaded.
You will then see message displayed on screen informing you that your file has been
uploaded and published successfully.
Step 3: Tag and describe your file
You must then enter details that will help describe your document and make it easier for users
to locate. Such details include a title, a description of the file, tags, category and privacy
settings which will state whether everyone has the right to access the document or whether
you only want the document to be assessed by people that are following your company on
SlideShare.
433
Step 4: Embed your presentation onto your blog/webpage
SlideShare allows you to embed your presentation or document into your webpage or blog.
You simply go to the SlideShare page for the document and on the right hand side you will
see a text box entitled “Embed”. If you take the code from that box and paste it into your
webpage/blog, your slideshow should become embedded on the page.
434
5.3
Scribd
5.3.1 What is Scribd?
Scribd was launced in March 2007 and according to their site it is “the largest social publishing and
reading site in the world” (Scribd, 2010). Scribd allows you to transform any document-such as a
PDF, Word and PowerPoint-into a web document and instantly connects you with thousands of
readers and information seekers. Users of the site contribute to the conversations in the way of
comments (scribbles), ratings and other sharing features. Users can also choose to read documents
in whichever manner they prefer including on the Scribd website, mobile devices, through
downloads or they may choose to print the document (Scribd, 2010). Scribd is changing the face of
the publishing industry by eliminating printing, distribution and storage costs and is utilising the
power of the web to unite readers and authors of content regardless of physical or format
limitations (Scribd, 2010).
5.3.2 Submitting a document to Scribd
Step 1: Create a Scribd Account
Scribd allows you to log in with your Facebook details so there’s no need to go through the entire
sign up process again.
435
You must then give permission to Scribd to access your basic Facebook profile information by
clicking on “Allow”. Scribd now takes all DCU International’s profile information from Facebook and
uses this information to populate The International Office’s Scribd profile.
Step 2: Submitting a document
Click on the “Upload” button which you should see at the top of your screen.
Click on the “Upload” button again to select the files you wish to upload from your hard drive.
436
You must then agree to Scribd’s Terms of Service and Copyright Policy, stating that the work you are
uploading is your own work.
Once you click “OK” your document will automatically begin uploading.
Step 3: Describe your document
You will have to choose a category that your document relates to and then add relevant tags to your
document. In the “Description” box you should give a brief synopsis of what’s contained in your
document. Once you have input all this information, click on the “Save” button and you can also
share this document on DCU International’s Facebook page if you so wish.
437
5.4
YouTube
5.4.1 What is YouTube?
YouTube was established in February 2005 and has since become one of the most popular web
portals in the world. YouTube allows users to upload video content and also to search through their
vast library of video content using keywords and has really taken the notion of viral videos to new
heights (Nations, 2008).
YouTube is a great tool for businesses, enabling companies to get their name and offerings out there
with no expense incurred. It’s extremely beneficial to deliver new information about new
products/services and it serves as a very affordable method of advertising (Feldman, 2007).
5.4.2 Creating a YouTube account
To create a YouTube account you will need to sign up at www.youtube.com. Here you will
see the option on the top right hand side to “Create Account”. After clicking on this you will
then need to choose a username, password, and enter basic information. Once you’ve entered
all the required information you click on the “Sign Up” button and your account has been
successfully created.
438
Searching through the millions of videos is simple and
users can browse through the various categories (as can be
seen on the left) , search by keyword or alternatively they
can check what video has been the most popular that day.
If you have a particular interest in one user’s video you
can subscribe to that user’s future videos (Rankin, 2007).
5.4.3 Uploading a Video
Before you attempt to upload your video you must ensure that the video is no longer than ten
minutes and less than 100MB in size. In the upper right hand corner of any YouTube page
you will see “Upload Videos” which you should click on.
You can then click on the “Browse” option to find the video which you wish to upload and
then click on the “Upload Video” button to begin the uploading process. While the video is
uploading the user should enter as much information as they can on their video in the relevant
fields. This includes information like Title, Description, Tags and Category. The more
information you include, the easier it will be for users to locate your video. Be sure to click
on the “Save Changes” button to guarantee that the updates you’ve made have been saved.
While YouTube is a public platform, you can choose to make your videos available only to a
small group of friends and business associates. When you upload your video you can pick
439
between “Private” or “Public” depending on who you want to have access to your video
content.
440
6
Monitoring
6.1
RSS Feeds
6.1.1 What are RSS feeds?
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a method to easily distribute headlines and update news and
content to a broad array of people (Software Garden, 2004). Until not so recently, in order to keep
track of changes to a site you had to “bookmark” that site in your browser and manually go back to it
on a continuous basis to check whether anything new had been added. RSS changes this and
provides a way of obtaining relevant and recent information sent directly to you. It saves you time
and effort and ensures you get the necessary information quickly after it was published (Problogger,
2010)
Before setting up RSS feeds one of the first things you’ll need is a news reader. This is software that
monitors the feeds and allows you to read any new article that has been added. There are various
different types of readers, some which are accessed using a browser and others which are
downloadable applications (BBC News, 2010).
6.1.2 Setting up RSS feeds using Google Reader
Step 1: Create a Google account
If you don’t already have a Google account you must create one.
Step 2:
Once you have your Google account set up then head to the Google Reader homepage at
www.google.com/reader. Then login using your Google/Gmail account details.
441
Step 3:
When you log into Google Reader you will see a screen divided into two parts: The Feed
Management Pane and the Reading Pane.
Allows you to
add and
organise your
RSS
subscriptions
Provides tips
on how to
use Google
Reader
Step 4:
To subscribe to an RSS feed simply click on the “Add a subscription” button underneath the Google
Reader logo in the upper left corner.
Enter the name of the webpage you want to subscribe to and then click on the “Add” button.
442
Select the feed from the search results which you wish to subscribe to and then click on the
“Subscribe” button.
443
In the bottom of the feed management pane you can see a list of all the feeds that you’ve subscribed
to. To move from one feed to another simply click the name of the feed in the Feed Management
pane and then you can proceed to read this feed in the Reading pane.
One of the most crucial things to remember is that once you have read an item or scrolled past it, it
will disappear from your feed display. If you would like to save an article to read at a later date you
can click on the “Add star” button at the end of the article.
Any items which you add a star to will be available when you click on “Starred items” in your profile.
444
6.3
Google Alerts
6.3.1 What are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is probably one of the most influential Google service for companies who want to stay
ahead of their rivals. Google Alerts provides users with instant email notifications whenever
something occurs in their industry or relating to the topics they have identified as important to them
(Digital Inspiration, 2006)
The services emails you when new web pages are published that are relevant to the search you
enter for the alert. It will not catch every single new web page, but it does catch a lot of them,
especially the ones from better known websites.
6.3.2 Setting up Google Alerts
Step 1: Go to Google Alerts site and complete the form
Go to http://www.google.com/alerts where you fill find a few pieces of information to fill out to
register to get alerts emailed to you about particular results for various search terms that you are
interested in.
You simply enter the terms you would like to be notified about and whether you would like to be
alerted “as-it happens”,”once a day” or “once a week”. You then enter your email address and click
on the “Create Alert” button.
Step 2: Confirm your email address
Google will send a confirmation email to the address that you provided. You must click on the link in
their email in order to verify and activate your account.
445
446
7
Social Networks Advertising
7.1
Facebook Ads
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zucherburg (2007), Facebook Ads is “an ad system for
businesses to connect with users and target advertising to the exact audiences they want”
and “represents a completely new way of advertising online”.
Facebook Ads allow you to:
4) Connect with real people
o
Reach over 400,000,000 active Facebook users
5) Devise and create your own ad
o
o
o
Enables you to simply create either image or text based ads
Advertise your page or an event
You can choose between either pay per click (CPC) or cost per impression
(CPM)
6) Optimise your ads
o
o
o
Monitor your advancements with real time reporting
Acquire an understanding of who’s clicking on your ads
Make alterations to improve ad performance
Step 1: Design Your Ad
Decide on the title of your ad (which can be up to 25 characters in
length) and write up the main content of the body of your ad (max
135 characters). Include an image alongside your ad if you wish.
As you enter this information, Facebook will present you with
a preview of what your ad will look like as you can see to your
left. You must also decide whether you want users to be
447
directed to the company’s Facebook page or perhaps the company’s website. In this stage
you can also choose whether you want to target by age, gender or location.
Step 2: Decide on your Target Market
DCU International must filter their targeting to ensure that they are reaching the right
people and that their ads are not being wasted on people who would have no interest in
studying in Ireland. We would recommend that the International Office engages in
“Educational Targeting”, thereby directing their ads and specific colleges and universities.
The International Office will have a wealth of knowledge which will be useful when choosing
which educational institutions to target. They’ll be aware of:



Colleges with strong links to DCU
Colleges that provide similar courses to DCU and thus makes studying abroad for a
semester possible.
Colleges that have historically sent a lot of students to DCU to study abroad.
448
To select certain colleges by name, you can select either “College Grad” or “in College”.
From this two boxes should appear and in these boxes you can type in the names of up to 20
colleges or universities.
Step 3: Campaigns and Pricing
Come up with a name for your campaign. Once your campaign is set up, you must decide on
a daily budget and your schedule. The minimum spend per day is $1.00. The International
Office must therefore analyse their marketing budget and see what proportion they’re going
to assign to social media, and thus to Facebook Ads specifically.
You must decide what type of pricing system you require. Will you pay only when someone
actually clicks on your ad, or will you pay every time anyone sees your ad. Set the maximum
that DCU International is willing to pay per click or per 1000 impressions. Facebook provide a
“Suggested Bid Range” which displays what other advertisers are paying to reach the market
you are targeting.
Step 4: Examine and Evaluate Your Ad
The last step when it comes to creating your ad is to step back and review it. Check for any
spelling or grammatical errors and ensure your targeting and budgeting is set correctly. Once
you are satisfied with your ad you can enter your credit card information and click on “Place
Order”.
449
7.2
Google Adwords
7.2.1 What is AdWords?
Adwords is a text based system for advertising on Google’s site and also on its partner sites.
Using Adwords, you can create your own ads, select keywords to help target your ads to
your audience, and manage the cost of your advertising by choosing a cost per click plan
which means that you will only pay once someone actually clicks on your ad (O’Reilly, 2005).
7.2.2 How does it work?
Basically Adwords works by having companies buy certain keywords. When users go to
Google to conduct a web search, they enter in their search terms or keywords. Google will
then show not only the search results, but also relevant ads from companies that are using
AdWords. These ads usually appear on the right hand side of your screen and also in the
shaded bars that are displayed above the search results (AllBusiness.com, 2010).
As stated earlier, your ads aren’t just displayed on Google pages but also on websites that
take part in the Google AdSense programme which permits sites to show Google AdWords
on their sites. Every keyword has a value which is based on its popularity. Certain keywords
may cost $5 or more per click, while other keywords may only cost between 5-10 cents
(AllBusiness.com, 2010).
The higher the advertiser bids on a keyword, the higher up their ad will be shown in the
rankings, and there’s more of a chance that internet searchers will see your ad. Ranking
equates to visibility, although it’s important to note that you do not have to place the
highest bid or appear at the top of the rankings in order for your audience to view your ad
and click on it (Anuskiewicz, 2006).
DCU International must decide on a maximum spending amount. Once this figure has been
reached Google will stop displaying the company’s ads. DCU International’s goal will be to
obtain the lowest cost-per-click (CPC) and the highest quality clicks for their budget.
O’Reilly (2005) recommends taking two things into consideration before signing up for
AdWords:
1) Is AdWords necessary for your business?
For example, conduct tests using the keywords related to your business/industry. If
DCU International is already appearing in the top 5 search results then this
expenditure would be better used for alternative marketing purposes.
450
2) Is it worthwhile?
First of all DCU International must make a budget highlighting how much they can
afford to spend on AdWords.
7.2.3 Setting Up Google AdWords
Step 1: Preparation before Set Up
Before you begin to set up your campaign there is specific information that you must have in
advance. You will need the following:

A website

Company name

E-mail account

Your tax ID or VAT details (for company account)

A credit card to activate your account (usually there will be a $10 setup fee)
You will also need some sample text for your first advertisement. It’s good practice to look at
other companies in your industry and analyse what they’re saying in their ads. This ad can be
changed at a later date and is merely required in order to initially setup your account. Your
ads can contain a headline of 25 characters, the main body of your ad is used to describe
your service in 70 characters or less, and then finally you include your domain name or the
page you want the ad to direct the user to.
Step 2: Begin the Setup Process
Go to the Google AdWords homepage at www.google.com/adwords and click on the “Start
Now” option.
If you already have an existing Google account you can use this to log in. Alternatively you
can create a new Google account by providing a username and password.
451
Step 3: Choose the Starter Edition
As DCU International are new to the AdWords process we would recommend beginning with
the Starter Edition as this edition is easier to get to grips with and then you can always
change to the Standard Edition when you become more familiar with the terms and
concepts.
You will also be asked to enter small pieces of information such as your Country, Telephone
Number and Location.
Step 4: Setting up your advertisement
DCU International will be able to target their ads towards specific countries. This will be very
useful as the staff in the International Office will have a clear idea of what regions they
would like to recruit more students from and also the areas where they feel there is a lack of
awareness of DCU as a considered option for studying abroad.
452
You can also configure the settings so that your ad will be displayed for searches in other
languages. This is very important as many international students would not be searching in
English, but rather the language of their home country.
Step 5: Writing your ad
You must write a title, two lines of descriptive text and a display URL. The ad should grab the
users’ attention and also include a call to action; e.g. “Click here to view our broad range of
courses”.
453
Step 6: Decide what keywords to include
There will be a lot of competition for popular keywords and thus the cost per click for these
words will probably be quite expensive. Using unique, highly targeted keywords will result in
a lower CPC. Deciding on the right keywords to use will be extremely important for the
International Office. Also Google AdWords has a tool that will help you select appropriate
keywords for your site which is very useful.
Step 7: Pick currency
The next step is to choose which currency you wish to use for your campaign. We would
recommend using the Euro as the chief currency for your campaign.
Step 8: Choose your budget
The figure you set for your monthly budget is the maximum amount that you can be charged
for a given month.
Obviously the higher your budget is, the more impressions your ad will receive. However
unless you have developed an effective ad, there is no guarantee that a user will actually
click on your ad regardless of the budget you have spent.
454
AdWords also has a recommended budget based on the cost of the keywords you’re bidding
on and their advice can be extremely valuable when determining how much money to
allocate for your campaign.
455
8 Recommendations for Client
8.1
General Recommendations

Don’t approach social media with the view of broadcasting information about your
company in the form of sales pitches but rather look at social media as a platform
for engaging and building relationships with potential customers.

Another recommendation we have for DCU International is the importance of
constantly being listening out for any mention of your brand. For example, we set up
searches in Tweet Deck so that we are immediately informed of anytime somebody
tweets or posts anything about DCU. This will enable the International Office to
personally address any concerns that some students may have about studying in
DCU and also dispel any myths that aren’t true. It enables the International Office to
provide a customized service that is unique to each individuals query or request.

Use a warm and friendly tone when posting and responding to followers.

Post links to articles and videos that you think International Students might be
interested in or find helpful, even if they’re not directly related to DCU. This will
show that you actually have the well-being and experiences of the students in mind
and are not constantly sending out sales pitches to try and recruit more students to
DCU.

Use social networks to post pictures from International Open Days, and the people
working behind the scenes in the International Office. This again will help potential
students identify with DCU and the people that are tweeting and responding to
them on a regular basis. Posting pictures of the campus will also help students that
are considering DCU get an idea of what the college has to offer.

Avoid spam. Don’t send unsolicited messages to people who are not interested in
studying abroad. Make sure that anyone you contact directly has clearly expressed
an interest in studying abroad for a semester and thus your message may be of
importance to them.

Social networks are real-time platforms and thus any students with queries will
expect an almost instantaneous response. Thus we would advise the International
Office to hire an individual whose sole responsibility is for updating
Twitter/Facebook etc and responding in real time to avoid potential students
becoming disgruntled when they have to wait a long period of time for a response
456

Keep a record of your daily responses, problems that have been solved and positive
exchanges with potential students.

Add your Facebook, Twitter, blog URL’s to email signatures, business cards,
promotional materials etc.

Have someone responsible for posting and responding to messages on a daily basis.

Integrate all your social networks. For example on your blog you could have
Facebook and Twitter badges which link to your accounts on these various
platforms.

Monitor and pay close attention to increases and decreases in your number of
followers on various platforms.
457
8.2
Platform Specific Recommendations

Include in your Bio the names of the people who will be tweeting
from
that
particular
account
(for
example
[email protected]), and also contact details and
email addresses. This will help build a stronger relationship with
potential students as they can now put a name to the person they
are being contacted by and communicating with; rather than
sharing messages with “DCU International” and not knowing
anything about the people that are running the account.

While it is not necessary to follow everyone that chooses to follow you,
it is important that you attempt to respond to the majority of the
messages directed to you. Otherwise potential students may become
upset that their voice is not being heard and this may cause them to
view DCU in a negative light.

Set up searches for key terms and to monitor what is being said about
DCU.

Use a tool such as TweetDeck or HootSuite to help monitor your Twitter
account.

Use Twitter as a platform to ask for feedback.

Use third party tools to analyse how many hits the International Office
main homepage is getting from Twitter and also analytics tools such as
www.klout.com (which can be seen below.)
Twitter:
458
Facebook:
Linked In:

Keep content current to encourage interaction

Don't constantly try to sell to your fans

List your Events- Create an events page that lists any seminars or
talks that DCU International are holding and invite all of your
friends and tell them to bring their friends. This can also be used
for online events such as webinars. "You can even see how many
RSVP and get feedback from attendees" (Kabani 2007)

Emphasis mobile updates: "Ultimately most internet based
promotions are going the way of mobile, and it is in every
business’s best interest to take advantage of that trend including
on Facebook" (O'Neil 2009)

Create a business profile- we only have a personal account and a
group, doesn’t look as professional.
459
Social
Bookmarking:
Slideshare:

Join groups related to your industry.

Engage in discussions relating to relevant topics.

Familiarise yourself with the different sites and the most popular
pages. This will help to identify where your target market is and
what they are currently interested in.

Submit quality content that will interest users.

Don't over sell your website or it will appear to be spam.

Upload static useful content as well as new content, course
information, promotional presentations, webinars...etc (Sinha,
2010).

Use a catchy first slide to spark people’s attention (Sinha, 2010)

"Spread the word". Post links to content on Twitter, Facebook,
LinkedIn (Sinha, 2010).

Engage with other slideshare users, subscribe to their content and
comment and interact with them (Sinha, 2010)

Reply to comments (Sinha, 2010)

Thank people who favourite you (Sinha, 2010)
460

Make your profile as complete as possible and include a logo,
picture, address and URL (Humbarger 2009)

Make sure that the document titles, descriptions and tags are
complete (Humbarger 2009).

Keep the blog updated with regular posts but don’t post merely
for the sake of posting content- only post quality content that is
actually relevant at the time.

Stick to blogging about topics that are specifically relevant to your
industry.

Choose a simple theme that does not distract the user from the
actual content on the page.
Blogging:
461

Get industry experts to contribute to your blog. Also perhaps ask
past DCU international students to blog about their experiences.
462
Appendix 1.21: Project Product Description
PROJECT PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Project:
DCU International Office Technology Based Student Recruitment
Release:
Date:
21st April 2010
Author:
Rob Elliffe
Owner:
Rob Elliffe, Niamh Nic Clámha, Grave Lavelle
Client:
DCU International Office
Document Ref:
DOC_01
463
1
Project Product Description History
1.1
Document Location
This document is only valid on the day it was printed.
1.2
Revision History
Date of this revision:
Date of next revision:
Revision
date
Previous
revision date
Changes
marked
Summary of Changes
n/a
1.3
Approvals
This document requires the following approvals.
Name
Signature
Title
Date of Issue
Version
Theo Lynn
Supervisor
30th April 2010 Initial
Cathal Gurrin
Supervisor
30th April 2010 Initial
1.4
Distribution
This document has been distributed to:
Name
Title
Date of Issue
Version
Andrew Bonello
LINK Researcher
30th April 2010
Initial
Claire Bohan
DCU International Office
30th April 2010
Initial
464
2
Table of Contents
Page
1
Project Product Description History
1.1 Document Location
1
1
1.2 Revision History
1.3 Approvals
1.4 Distribution
2
Table of Contents
2
3
Title
2
4
Purpose
2
5
Composition
2
6
Derivation
2
7
Development Skills Required
2
8
Customer’s Quality Expectations
2
9
Acceptance Criteria
3
10
Project Level Quality Tolerances
3
11
Acceptance Method
3
12
Acceptance Responsibilities
3
465
3
Title
DCU International Office Technology Based Student Recruitment
4
Purpose
The purpose of this project is to research and implement technology solutions which can
assist both the recruitment of international students to DCU and aid internationals students
in making the decision to study at DCU.
5
Composition
The major projects to be delivered by the project are





International student market research
Social media marketing campaign
Analysis of current DCU International Office technology usage
Recommendations for DCU International Office for technology usage
Implementation of recommendations
6
Derivation
This project has been derived from a need which has arisen in the DCU International Office
to become more technological aware and increase the number of International Students at
DCU.
7
Development Skills Required
The skills required in this project are a mix of business and technical. An understanding of
research methodologies is needed along with the technical skill set to develop a website,
smartphone application and run a social media campaign.
8
Customer’s Quality Expectations
The DCU International Office expects at all times that the university will be represented
professionally through the social media campaign and all dealings with international
students will be carried out in a professional manner.
Technology developed should have the same look and feel as DCU branding. Social media
names and accounts created should following existing standards
466
9
Acceptance Criteria
The project will be accepted in the form of a final report which will be examined by
the DCU International Office. The technology based elements will be demonstrated
to the International Office to show their functional behaviour matches the
requirements.
10
Project Level Quality Tolerances
Where technology could not be implementation for whatever reason
recommendations should be included in the report.
11
Acceptance Method
The DCU International Office will confirm that all the project deliverables have been
approved. DCU International Office staff will be trained in any new technologies which have
been developed and social media accounts will be handed over.
All research findings will be present to the DCU International Office.
12
Acceptance Responsibilities
Acceptance on the project will be confirmed by Claire Bohan from the DCU International
Office and Andrew Bonello of LINK who are partners on the project.
467
Appendix 1.22: Project Plan
PROJECT PLAN
Project:
DCU International Office Technology Based Student Recruitment
Release:
Date:
30th April 2010
PRINCE2
Author:
Rob Elliffe
Owner:
Rob Elliffe, Niamh Nic Clámha, Grave Lavelle
Client:
DCU International Office
Document Ref:
DOC_02
Version No:
Initial
468
1
Plan History
1.1
Document Location
This document is only valid on the day it was printed.
1.2
Revision History
Date of this revision:
Date of next revision:
Revision
date
Previous
revision date
Changes
marked
Summary of Changes
First issue
1.3
Approvals
This document requires the following approvals.
Name
Signature
Title
Date of Issue
Version
Theo Lynn
Supervisor
28th April 2010 Initial
Cathal Gurrin
Supervisor
28th April 2010 Initial
1.4
Distribution
This document has been distributed to:
Name
Title
Date of Issue
Version
Andrew Bonello
LINK Researcher
28th April 2010
Initial
Clare Bohan
DCU International Office
28th April 2010
Initial
469
2
Table of Contents
Page
1
Plan History
1
1.1 Document Location
1
1.2 Revision History
1.3 Approvals
1.4 Distribution
2
Table of Contents
3
Plan Description
4
Plan Prerequisites
5
External Dependencies
6
Planning Assumptions
7
Lessons Incorporated
8
Monitoring and Control
9
Budgets
10
Product Descriptions
11
Schedule
470
3
Plan Description
The purpose of this project is to research and implement technology solutions which can
assist both the recruitment of international students to DCU and aid internationals students
in making the decision to study at DCU.
The project team is made up of three students from the M.Sc in Electronic Commerce
(Business) in Dublin City University. The three Rob Elliffe, Niamh Nic Clámha and Grace
Lavelle bring both business and technical experience to the table.
The project will begin in January 2010 where a six month social media campaign will be
started. Running alongside the social media campaign primary research will be carried out
on a number of different areas such as international student movement, technology
awareness of international students, analysis of current DCU International Office website
and technical offerings. This research will be carried out before May 2010. From June 2010
the research will be analysed and analysis carried out which will lead to both the
specification for a smartphone application for use by international students who wish to
come to DCU and also a redesign of the DCU International Office website. Also from June
2010 the project will aim to showcase the use of Webinar technology for promoting DCU
course offerings via a virtual open day.
It is the expectation of the team that we can deliver on all the above by the end of July 2010.
4
Plan Prerequisites
The project plan required full assistance from the DCU International Office for the duration
of the project as the team will progress with the project. The International Office will need
to allocated resources, being one person, to be the coordinator for the International Office
with the project team. This person will then carry on the social media and data updates
element of the project when it is handed over.
5
External Dependencies
It is not envisaged that there will be any external dependencies.
471
6



7
Planning Assumptions
It is assumed that we the project team will remain as it is currently structure and
each member will work daily on the project.
It is assumed that we will have access to the necessary hardware on which to
implement the technical aspect of the project.
It is assumed we will work together daily
Lessons Incorporated
n/a
8
Monitoring and Control
We will meet with both Andrew Bonello of LINK, who will be out main interface into the
International Office, weekly to discuss project progress where we will agree deliverables. At
various stages throughout the project we will deliver reports on our work to date and
findings. Any design interfaces or technical elements of the project with will be agreed with
Bonello and the International Office prior to their implementation.
The project team itself will meet twice a week outside of its normal planned work activity to
discuss the project progress. These meetings will be on a Monday and Thursday. During the
meetings progress will be discussed, new workloads agreed and previous work reviewed.
All output produced by the project will be stored in a central repository.
9
Budgets
The project will run from January 2010 to July 2010 and will have a limited budget. It
is envisaged that a small budget will be available for online digital marketing such as
Google AdWords.
10
Product Descriptions
The major projects to be delivered by the project are





International student market research
Social media marketing campaign
Analysis of current DCU International Office technology usage
Recommendations for DCU International Office for technology usage
Implementation of recommendations
472
11
Schedule
To ensure we are able to execute each planned element of the project, we have created and
will stick rigidly to a schedule, outlined in the Gantt chart below. Bi-weekly meetings will be
held to go over each team member’s objectives for the following days and to ensure
everyone is working on schedule.
473
Bibliography
& References
474
Bibliography & References
Books and Print Journals
Bonello, A., Dongo- Monyongo, S., He, J. and Kenny, D. 2009. International Student Advantage.
Masters Practicum. Dublin City University
Burchell, B. & Marsh, C. 1992.The Effect of Questionnaire Length on Survey Response. Quality and
Quantity. 26, pp233-244.
James, J. M. & Bolstein, R. 1990.The Effect of Monetary Incentives and Follow-Up Mailings on the
Response Rate and Response Quality in Mail Surveys. Public Opinion Quarterly. 54, pp 346-361.
Kaiser, S. 2006. Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists. Victoria: Site Point Pty. Ltd.
Viney, D. 2008. Get to the Top on Google: Tips and Techniques to Get Your Site to the Top of the
Search Engine Rankings - and Stay There. UK: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
Internet Articles and Resources
AdAge. Profiling the Facebooks of the World [Online]. Available from:
<http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=144415> [Accessed 22 July 2010].
Alexa. [Online] Available from:
http://www.alexa.com [Accessed 11 July 2010]
AllBusiness. Advertising on Google: How Ad Words Can Work For You [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing/advertising-internet-advertising/2644-1.html>
[Accessed 09 June 2010].
Anuskiewicz, N. 2006.How to Win with Google Ad Words [Online]. Available from:
<http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/win-google-adwords>
[Accessed 14 July 2010].
BBC. 2010. News feeds from the BBC [Online]. Available from:
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/3223484.stm>[Accessed 14 July 2010].
Belicove, M. 2009. 10 Ways A Facebook Fan Page Can Help Your Business [Online].Available from:
<http://www.entrepreneur.com/microsites/websmarts/article204492.html>
[Accessed 10 July 2010].
BharatStudent. About BharatStudent [Online].Available from:
<http://www.bharatstudent.com/help/about.php> [Accessed 18 July 2010].
Bhargava, R. 2010. SBF: How to Promote Your Business On Flickr [Online]. Available from:
<http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2010/03/how-to-promote-your-business-on-flickr.html>
[Accessed 19 July 2010].
Bodnar, K. 2010. B2B Social Media lessons from Domino‟s “Pizza Turnaround” Campaign [Online].
Available from:
<http://socialmediab2b.com/2010/01/dominos-pizza-turnaround-campaign/> [Accessed 20 July 2010].
475
Bonny,A. 2009. Choosing A Business Name [Online]. Available from:
<http://entrepreneurs.suite101.com/article.cfm/choosing_a_business_name>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Bowlby, S.M. 2008. 15 Key Elements All Top Web Sites Should Have [Online]. Available from:
<http://freelancefolder.com/15-top-site-elements/>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Burcher, N. 2010. Facebook usage statistics: March 2010 [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.nickburcher.com/2010/03/facebook-usage-statistics-march-2010.html>
[Accessed 20 June 2010].
Burnham, K. 2010. How to use LinkedIn Answers [Online].Available from:
<http://www.computerworlduk.com/management/online/new-media/how-to/index.cfm?articleid=3155>
[Accessed 12 July 2010]
Cellular News. Smart Phones Displace Computers for More College Students [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.cellular-news.com/story/44084.php> [Accessed 13 July 2010].
Chow, S. 2010. Kaixin001.com [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.china-online-marketing.com/news/china-tech-companies/social-networking/kaixin001com/>
[Accessed 14 July 2010].
Chung, M. 2008. The impact of cultural difference when entering the Chinese market [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.chinasuccessstories.com/2008/04/08/chinese-culture-difference-guanxi/>
[Accessed 20 July 2010].
Clement, M. 2009. Hootsuite v TweetDeck [Online].Available from:
<http://markclement.typepad.com/markclement/2009/12/hootsuite-vs-tweetdeck.html>[Accessed 25
June 2010]
Codex. 2010. Writing a Plugin [Online]. Available from:
<http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_a_Plugin/>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Composta, E. 2009. Social Media Marketing in China [Online]. Available from:
<http://startups.com/questions/1060/social-media-marketing-in-china>[Accessed 20 July 2010].
ComScore. India‟s Social Networking Market Sees Global Brands Gain Prominence in 2008 [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2009/2/India_Social_Networking>
[Accessed 18 July 2010].
Creative Research Systems. Survey Design [Online].Available from:
<http://www.surveysystem.com/sdesign.htm> [Accessed 14 July 2010].
Dagan, D. 2008. Three-click rule defunct, says Nielsen Norman usability group [Online]. Available
from: <http://www.thatdanny.com/2008/11/16/three-click-rule-defunct-says-nielsen-norman-usabilitygroup/>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Davies, C. 2009. ITV misses out as Susan Boyle conquers web. The Guardian [Online]. Culture and
Music section. 26 April 2009. Available from:
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/apr/26/susan-boyle-youtube-itv> [Accessed 20 July 2010].
476
Department of Education and Science. 2004. Internatioinalisation of Irish Education Services, Report
of Interdepartmental Working Group, November 2004, [Online].Available from:
<http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/des_irish_ed_services.pdf>
[Accessed 05 July 2010]
Digg. 2010. [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.digg.com> [Accessed 10 July 2010].
Digital Inspiration. 2006. Google Alerts Tutorial To Help You Stay Ahead Of The Curve
[Online].Available from:
<http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/11/google-alerts-tutorial-to-help-you.html> [Accessed 10 July 2010].
Digital Marketing Institute. [Online]. Available
from:<http://digitalmarketinginstitute.ie/2010/03/09/social-media-training-course-2/> [Accessed 10 July
2010]
eBiz MBA (2010) Top 20 Most Popular Social BookmarkingWebsites [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-bookmarking-websites> [Accessed 12 July 2010].
Educase. 2010. 7 Things you should know about social bookmarking [Online]. Available from:
<http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7001.pdf> [Accessed 09 July 2010].
Education Ireland. International Students in Higher Education in Ireland 2009/2010 [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.educationireland.ie/index.php?option=com_rokdownloads&view=file&Itemid=100355&id=
29:international-students-in-higher-education-in-ireland-2010-final> [Accessed 02 June 2010].
Entner, R. 2010. Smartphones to Overtake Feature Phones in U.S. by 2011 [Online]. Available from:
<http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/smartphones-to-overtake-feature-phones-in-u-s-by2011/> [Accessed 13 July 2010].
Enzer, M. 2008. Glossary of Internet Terms [Online].Available from:
<http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html#B> [Accessed 15 June 2010].
EuroDroid. Samsung Smartphone demand to rise by 50% this year [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.eurodroid.com/2010/05/samsung-smartphone-demand-to-rise-by-50-this-year/>
[Accessed 12 July 2010].
Facebook Press Room. [Online]. Available from:
http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics [Accessed 07 June 2010].
Facebook. [Online] Available from:
http://www.facebook.com/ [Accessed 26 July 2010].
Faller, G. 2010. Has Ireland dropped the ball on attracting international students? Irish Times
[Online]. 26 January 2009.Available from:
<http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/education/2010/0126/1224263110710.html>
[Accessed 20 February 2010].
Felerino, H. 2010. Website Redesign 101 - Top 10 Things to Ask Before Tweaking the Codes
[Online]. Available from: <http://ezinearticles.com/?Website-Redesign-101---Top-10-Things-to-AskBefore-Tweaking-the-Codes&id=3929519>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Gaffney, G. and Pagendarm, P. 2003. Website Redesign a Case Study [Online]. Available
from:<http://www.infodesign.com.au/ftp/redesigncasestudy.pdf >
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
477
Google, SEO & Social Media Blog. 2010. Should I switch from TweetDeck to Hootsuite
[Online].Available from:
< http://seo.blogs.webucator.com/2010/06/06/should-i-switch-from-tweetdeck-to-hootsuite/>
[Accessed 23 June 2010]
Google Translate. [Online]. Available from:<http://translate.google.com/#>
[Accessed 6 July 2010].
Graveris, D. 2009. Learn how to use TweetDeck effectively and save time [Online].Available from:
<http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/tutorials/learn-how-to-use-tweetdeck-effectively-and-savetime/>[Accessed 10 July 2010]
HEA. Student Statistics [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.hea.ie/en/statistics> [Accessed 20 June 2010].
HESA. [Online].Available from:
www.hesa.ac.uk [Accessed 21 June 2010].
Hoffman, A. 2009. The Power of SEO [Online].Available from:
<http://www.brandiron.net/blog?tag=seo> [Accessed 02 July 2010].
Hubspot. The State of Inbound Marketing 2010 [Online].Available from:
<http://www.hubspot.com/Portals/53/docs/resellers/reports/state_of_inbound_marketing.pdf>
[Accessed 02 June 2010].
Humbarger, T. 2009.Using Slideshare to Promote Your Business [Online]. Available from:
<http://tomhumbarger.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/using-slideshare-to-promote-your-business/>
[Accessed 05 July 2010].
Internet World Stats. 2009. [Online].Available from:
< http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm> [Accessed 10 June 2010].
IUA. Irish Universities Study: Report on International Students in the Irish Universities, Round 1 of the
Irish Universities Study 2010” [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.educationireland.ie/component/rokdownloads/news/32-iua-report-on-intl-students2010.html> [Accessed 02 June 2010].
Kabani, S. 2007. Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote your Business for Free [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.marketingzen.com/top-10-ways-to-use-facebook-to-promote-your-business-for-free>
[Accessed 05 July 2010].
Klout [Online] Available from:
http://klout.com [Accessed 27 July 2010]
Lagorce, A. 2010. Samsung targets more market-share gains in 2010 [Online] Available from:
<http://www.marketwatch.com/story/samsung-targets-more-market-share-gains-in-2010-2010-02-14>
[Accessed 13 July 2010].
Lillevälja, J.M. 2009. World Map of Social Networks [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.dreamgrow.com/world-map-of-social-networks/> [Accessed 03 July 2010].
LinkedIn Learning Center. Groups [Online].Available from:
<http://learn.linkedin.com/groups/> [Accessed 22 June 2010].
Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center. Chinese Business Culture [Online]. Available from:
<http://chinese-school.netfirms.com/guanxi.html> [Accessed 20 July 2010].
478
Loveday, L. and Niehaus, S. 2010. Web Site Strategy - Template [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.wd4roi.com/bonus-materials.html >
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Lukoff, K. 2010. China‟s top four social networks: RenRen, Kaixin001, QZone and 51.com [Online].
Available from:
<http://social.venturebeat.com/2010/04/07/china%E2%80%99s-top-4-social-networks-renrenkaixin001-qzone-and-51-com/> [Accessed 13 July 2010]
Lur, X. 2009. Who dominates Twitter? Young Adults, Females & The Less Affluent [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.techxav.com/2009/10/11/who-uses-twitter-not-teens-females-the-less-affluent/>
[Accessed 02 June 2010].
Marginson, S. 2006. Dynamics of national and global competition in higher education. Higher
Education (2006) [Online]. 52, pp 1–39.Available from:
<http://www.education.monash.edu.au/centres/mcrie/docs/hed-2006-national-and-globalcompetition.pdf> [Accessed 03 June 2010].
McManus, R. 2010. China‟s Top 3 Social Network Sites [Online] Available from:
<http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/china_top_3_social_network_sites.php>
[Accessed 13 July 2010].
McNamara, B. 2009. Wooing more foreign students, Irish Independent [Online]. 11 August 2009.
Available from:
<http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/wooing-more-foreign-students-1856134.html>
[Accessed 19 February 2010].
Methekohy, M. 2010. YouTube Statistics [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.viralblog.com/research/youtube-statistics/> [Accessed 20 July 2010].
Microsoft. 2010. What is Facebook Connect [Online].Available from:
< http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ee702803.aspx> [Accessed 09 July 2010]
Naik, P. 2010. Samsung bada OS Review [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.techtree.com/India/Reviews/Samsung_bada_OS_Review/551-112210-598-9.html>
[Accessed 13 July 2010].
Nations, D. 2008. YouTube Profile: What is YouTube? [Online].Available from:
<http://webtrends.about.com/od/profi3/p/what-is-youtube.htm> [Accessed 20 July 2010].
Nielsen, J. may 1995a. Usability Testing of WWW Designs Blog [Online]. Available
from:<http://www.useit.com/papers/sun/usabilitytest.html>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Nielsen, J.1995b. Traditional Usability Test of Running System [Online]. Available
from:<http://www.useit.com/papers/sun/screentest.html >
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Nielsen, J. 1999. Ten Usability Heuristics [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html >
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Nielsen, J. 2009. Discount Usability: 20 Years [Online]. Available
from:<http://www.useit.com/alertbox/discount-usability.html>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
479
Nielsen, J., Coyne,K. and Tahir, M. 2001. Make it Usable [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,33821,00.asp>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
OECD. Education at a Glance 2009.[Online] Available from:
<http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/41/25/43636332.pdf> [Accessed 03 June 2010].
Open Doors. Open Doors 2009 Report on International Educational Exchange Institute of
International Education [Online].Available from:
<http://www.opendoors.iie.org/en/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Open-Doors-DataTables/2009/~/media/Files/Corporate/Membership/Open-Doors/Open-Doors-DataTables/2009/Study-Abroad/Leading%20Destinations.ashx> [Accessed 22 June 2010].
Orkut. [Online] Available from:
http://www.orkut.com/About [Accessed 13 July 2010].
O'Neil, N.2009.9 Rules of Facebook Promotion Every Small Business Should Know [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/07/facebook-small-business/>
[Accessed 05 July 2010].
O‟Reilly Net. What are Ad Words [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.oreillynet.com/network/2005/07/22/WhatAreAdWords.html>
[Accessed 07 June 2010].
Ostrow, A. 2009. How to build your company‟s profile on LinkedIn [Online].Available from:
<http://mashable.com/2009/08/03/linkedin-company-profile/>[Accessed 10 June 2010]
Pingdom.com. Twitter: Now more than 1 billion tweets per month [Online]. Available from:
<http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/02/10/twitter-now-more-than-1-billion-tweets-per-month/>
[Accessed 03 June 2010].
Porter, J. 2003. Testing the Three-Click Rule [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.uie.com/articles/three_click_rule/>
[Accessed 6 July 2010].
Posey, C. How to Use Social Bookmarking to Promote Your Small Business [Online]. Available from:
<http://homebusiness.about.com/od/internetmarketing/a/social_bookmark.htm>
[Accessed 05 July 2010].
Problogger. 2010. What is RSS? [Online]. Available from:
< http://www.problogger.net/what-is-rss/> [Accessed 12 July 2010
Quantcast. Twitter Demographics [Online].Available from:
<http://www.quantcast.com/twitter.com#demographics> [Accessed 02 June 2010].
Randfish. 2007. 12 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name [Online]. Available from:
< http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-domain-name>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Rankin, B. 2007. What is YouTube? [Online].Available from:
<http://askbobrankin.com/what_is_youtube.html> [Accessed 13 July 2010].
Rao, L. 2010. ComScore: Android Continues To Gain Smartphone Market Share [Online]
Available from:
<http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/08/comscore-android-continues-to-gain-smartphone-market-share/>
[Accessed 12 July 2010].
480
Regus. A global survey of business social networking 2010 [Online].Available from:
<http://www.regus.presscentre.com/Resource-Library/Social-Success-1cf.aspx>
[Accessed 20 June 2010].
Russell, J. 2010. TwiTip Reader Review: Hootsuite [Online].Available from:
<http://www.twitip.com/twitip-reader-review-hootsuite/> [Accessed 02 July 2010].
Samsung. What is bada? [Online] Available from:
<http://www.bada.com/samsung-launches-open-mobile-platform/
http://developer.bada.com/apis/docs/commonpage.do?menu=MC01140100>[Accessed 12 July
2010].
Saran, C. 2010. Interview: Top CEOs are too old to tweet, says Forrester Research CEO [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2010/06/10/241516/Interview-Top-CEOs-are-too-old-totweet-says-Forrester-Research.htm> [Accessed 18 June 2010].
Scocco, D. 2010. What is Social Media? [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.dailyblogtips.com/what-is-social-media/> [Accessed 05 June 2010].
Scribd. 2010. About Scribd [Online].Available from:
<http://www.scribd.com/about> [Accessed 02 July 2010].
Sheng, J. 2008. Comparison of tuition costs of higher education around the world [Online].
Available from:
<http://hubpages.com/hub/Comparison-of-cost-of-higher-education-around-the-world>
[Accessed 03 June 2010].
Sinha, R. 2010.How to use SlideShare to promote your business [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.slideshare.net/rashmi/slide-share-business-final >
[Accessed 05 July 2010].
SlideShare. 2010. What is Slideshare? [Online]Available from:
<http://slideshare.zendesk.com/entries/55597-what-is-slideshare> [Accessed 23 June 2010].
SMS GupShup. About SMS GupShup [Online].Available from:
<http://www.smsgupshup.com/about> [Accessed 18 July 2010].
Solis, B. 2010. Defining Social Media: 2006-2010 [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.briansolis.com/2010/01/defining-social-media-the-saga-continues/>
[Accessed 20 June 2010].
Stelzner, M. 2009. Social Media Marketing Industry Report [Online].Available from:
<http://marketingwhitepapers.s3.amazonaws.com/smss09/SocialMediaMarketingIndustryReport.pdf>
[Accessed 15 June 2010]
St Pierre, D. 2010. What is SlideShare and how can it benefit you? [Online].Available from:
<http://www.cybergenica.com/blog/?p=562> [Accessed 05 June 2010].
Sugat, A. 2010. Top 3 Free Blogging Platforms [Online].Available from:
<http://blogs.suite101.com/article.cfm/top-3-free-blogging-platforms> [Accessed 10 July 2010].
TechCrunch. A Map of Social (Network) Dominance [Online] Available from:
<http://techcrunch.com/2009/06/07/a-map-of-social-network-dominance/> [Accessed 18 July 2010].
TechTree. 1 Million Samsung Waves Sold in a Month! [Online] Available from:
<http://www.techtree.com/India/News/1_Million_Samsung_Waves_Sold_in_a_Month/551-112268893.html> [Accessed 14 July 2010].
481
The Nielsen Company. 2009. Twitter Grows 1,444% Over Last Year; Time on Site Up 175% [Online].
Available from: <http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/nielsen-news/twitter-grows-1444-over-last-yeartime-on-site-up-175/> [Accessed 20 June 2010].
The Nielsen Company. 2010. Smartphones to Overtake Feature Phones in U.S. by 2011 [Online].
Available from: <http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/smartphones-to-overtake-featurephones-in-u-s-by-2011/> [Accessed 13 July 2010].
TopBits. 2010. Podcasts [Online]. Available from:
< http://www.topbits.com/podcasts.html> [Accessed 15 July 2010].
Trochim, W. 2006. Nonprobability Sampling [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/sampnon.htm> [Accessed 17 July 2010].
Turnbull, G. 2005. What is Flickr (and Hot Tips for Using It) [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/mac/2005/08/02/flickr.html>[Accessed 19 July 2010].
TweetDeck. [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.tweetdeck.com> [Accessed 02 June 2010}.
Tweeternet. What is Twitter and why does it keep following me around? [Online]. Available from:
<http://tweeternet.com/> [Accessed 03 June 2010].
Twitter. About Twitter [Online].Available from:
<http://twitter.com/about> [Accessed 02 June 2010].
Twittercism [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.twittercism.com> [Accessed 10 July 2010].
Twittercounter [Online] Available from:
<http://www.twittercounter.com> [Accessed 27July 2010].
UNESCO. Global Education Digest 2009: Comparing Education Statistics Across the World [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.uis.unesco.org/template/pdf/ged/2009/GED_2009_EN.pdf> [Accessed 03 June 2010].
University World News. GLOBAL: What defines an international student? [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20090917182725104>
[Accessed 15 June 2010].
Verbik, L., Lasanowski, V. 2007. International Student Mobility: Patterns & Trends [Online].
Available from:
<http://www.wes.org/educators/pdf/StudentMobility.pdf>[Accessed 22 June 2010].
Wauters, R. 2009. China‟s Social Network QZone Is Big, But Is It Really The Biggest? [Online].
Available from:
<http://techcrunch.com/2009/02/24/chinas-social-network-qzone-is-big-but-is-it-really-the-biggest/>
[Accessed 10 July 2010].
Web Design from Scratch. 2010. Web 2.0 How-To Design Style Guide [Online]. Available from:
<http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/web-design/web-2-0-design-style-guide/>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
WebEx. [Online]. Available from:
http://www.webex.com/ [Accessed 12 July 2010]
WebStar Content. The Best Social Media Quotes [Online].Available from:
<http://www.webstarcontent.com/foundersblog/the-best-social-media-quotes/> [Accessed 25 June
2010]
482
Wharton. Social Media Marketing in China: The Future or Just a Fad? [Online] Available from:
<http://www.knowledgeatwharton.com.cn/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&articleID=2124&languageid=1>
[Accessed 13 July 2010].
WhatIs?com. Facebook [Online] Available from:
<http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/facebook.html>[Accessed 03 June 2010].
Wilhelm, A. 2010. Twitter Statistics: The Full Picture [Online]. Available from:
<http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2010/02/22/twitter-statistics-full-picture/>
[Accessed 02 June 2010].
Wordpress 3.0.1 [Online]. Available from:<http://wordpress.org/download/>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
Yoakum, J. 2010. Special Report: The Advantages of using LinkedIn [Online].Available from:
<http://www.mba4success.com/pages/opinion/opinion_content.php?ID=631>
[Accessed 22 June 2010].
Yoast. Wordpress SEO The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For Your Blog [Online]. Available
from:<http://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/>
[Accessed 5 July 2010].
483
Fly UP