New KSU Web site to cost $100,000

BBy MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Kentucky State University has decided to redesign its Web site at a cost of $100,000.

Public Relations Director Akiia Robertson said KSU signed a contract in October with SkyWorld Interactive, Stoneham, Mass., for the work. SkyWorld has designed sites for universities such as Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bryn Mawr.

A Web site committee composed of Robertson, another member from her department and three employees from computer information services made the decision with KSU Interim president Bill Turner's approval to hire SkyWorld after considering other companies.

"We went through a bidding process and we received eight bids," Robertson said. "We narrowed it down to three companies who came to campus and did presentations and from that we chose SkyWorld."

Robertson said it was important to choose a company with experience in creating sites for other universities, because the Web site serves as a marketing tool for recruiting students and a supplemental tool for students in addition to other functions. KSU's Web site is currently done in-house.

"Some companies just do a template and then you have to put the information in, but with SkyWorld they will be assisting us with everything from writing to the photos to the technological aspect," Robertson said. "SkyWorld will be helping us redesign the site. They are going to spend time on campus doing focus groups with students, professors, staff, alumni, etc. as well as take photos of campus that will help the user get a feel of what KSU is all about when they log in. Also, they are going to help us target our audience by helping us answer the questions of who are we recruiting? What are our competitors doing? What do we need to include on our homepage? etc. Therefore, they are helping us create a look and feel for KSU by helping us decide what information we need and how to present it."

SkyWorld Representatives will be at KSU in the next couple of weeks to begin work.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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