New perspectives

Craig Cole (left) and Justin Wilder (right) find the perfect angle to capture the Marine and Natural Sciences building, with the drone floating overhead.

Kayla Ebner, Managing Editor

It is no secret that the beauty of the Roger Williams’ campus is greatly admired by anyone who visits. From the Shell Path all the way down to the Mount Hope Bridge, a quick walk through campus is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. In order to show prospective students and other visitors what RWU is really about, the marketing team has made some changes to the website to make the users’ experience more seamless and visually-pleasing. The new website launched in June of this year — just in time for fall applications.

Associate Vice President of Marketing Lynne Mello explained that the website creates a very important first impression for someone who may potentially be looking to attend the university.

“The website it really the first touchpoint that a lot of people have with the university,” Mello said.

She emphasized the importance of having a great website no matter which device someone may be using. According to Mello, about half of the traffic to the website comes from a mobile device. This makes it crucial for the website to be fully functional and simple to navigate on any device. Upgrading the technology aspect of the website was one of the marketing team’s biggest goals throughout the renovation process.

Another important step was to put the RWU brand front and center on the website. When opening the website on a computer or cell phone, the first thing a person will see are the words “WHERE ARE YOU HEADED?” in bold, capital letters, followed by “Find your path and discover your passion.”  According to Mello, the purpose of this was to show users what the university stands for, what its purpose is, and what sets RWU apart from other schools.

Continuing with the technological upgrades, the website also has a looping video in the background on the front page of the website, showcasing both the Bristol and Providence campuses, student activities, academics, and sports. Mello recognized the rise of popularity in video content and shared that there are plans for even more video footage to hit the RWU site.

Recently, Craig Cole, founder of Craig Cole Drone Enterprises, was brought to the university to take high quality drone footage of the campus. He is an FAA certified Remote Pilot who graduated from RWU in 2015, and has now been working with drone footage for a year and a half.

Using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, Cole and Justin Wilder, multimedia producer/editor at RWU, worked together to capture aerial footage of the campus buildings, student activities, and beautiful ocean views.

“The drone is unique for our location,” Mello said. “One of the first ways we’ll use that drone footage is on the website for the desktop view. It gives it a lot of energy and action.”

Putting together a project like this requires collaboration across all departments. From the Math Department to Gabelli School of Business, the marketing team has been working toward covering what is happening on campus across the board.

Director of Editorial Services Rob Hancock emphasized the main point of the website renovations.

“We’re just really focused on trying to create a sincere view of what life is like at Roger Williams,” Hancock said.