Everyone communicates.

Now learn how to do it effectively and efficiently.


Recap of Recent Trainings

Digital Accessibility

Illinois Extension's accessibility committee provides guidelines for ensuring our digital content is accessible to all. See the website resource collection.

Communication Policies

The CAN-SPAM Act and What It Means for Extension Communications
Learn the seven requirements for direct marketing emails and how campus’ Webtools help us meet those requirements.
Website | Best Practice Guide.

Copyright and Attribution Policy for Extension
Growing up, we learned not take what wasn't ours. That's basically what copyright laws mean. Copyright laws protect the creators of intellectual property from the unauthorized use of their content. Violations have cost the organization hundreds of dollars. We break down the law and provide practical advice on doing good work in the field. Training Recap | Best Practice Guide.

Required Statements for Extension Materials
Funding for Extension includes federal funds and grants, state funds and grants, local municipalities (both allocations and tax levies), and private donations. With this complex funding structure comes specific requirements for print and digital documents. Website | Best Practice Guide

Engaging Our Communities via Translation Services
Translation services help ensure Extension opportunities are available for all. Review the services available, the process to request help, and the difference between translation and interpretation. Website | Training Recap

Digital Emails and Newsletters using Webtools

Laws govern digital marketing and communications. This is one of the most important trainings an Extension staff member can take. Walk through the requirements you must follow when emailing the public.

Creating Mailing Lists in Webtools Group Manager
Group Manager in Webtools allows you to organize your customer lists and gives you an easy, automated way to meet CAN-SPAM guidelines. Learn to create groups and the corresponding opt-out groups. Website.

When to Use Unsubscribe vs Opt Out
The CAN-SPAM Act requires organizations to provide subscribers an easy, one-step method to be removed from commercial mailings. Webtools Group Manager does all the work for you. Using practical Extension examples, this training reviews when to use opt-out and when to use unsubscribe to manage your groups. Training Recap.

Using Skin Designer and Email+ to Create Newsletters
Consistent branding is important to establishing Extension's brand identify and alignment with campus. This training reviews the CAN-SPAM Act requirements, the newly released Extension Webtools Skin Designer, and creating engaging emails. Training Recap.

Using Skin Designer and Email+
Campus requires that all Extension headers use the official Extension skin for all emails through Webtools. 

Advance Webtools Techniques for Newsletters

Deciphering Webtools Reports
Webtools allow you to analyze the success of your email marketing. Download reports on open rates, bounced emails, time of opening, and so much more.

Creating and Organizing Custom (Short) URLs
Short URLs provide a public-friendly web address that's easy to remember. Short How-To Training Video | Tips for Using Short URLs | Tips on Organizing All Those Short URLs

Writing and Grammar

Writing Your Staff Bio
Don't leave people guessing who you are. Follow this step-by-step outline to create a professional online bio. Bios help improve our ranking with Google so more people can find us. It also builds your credibility as an expert and provides an easy way for others to introduce you. Website | Training Recap.

Writing Press Releases
This formula will turn writing releases into the best part of your day. This training also reviews common style errors that keep papers from using your content. Website | Best Practice Guide.

Understand What Makes People Act
There are two reasons people fail to act, according to Annie Niemand, research director for the University of Florida's Center for Public Interest Communication: They either don't understand what you're asking of them or they don't care. This workshop focuses on writing that inspires people to care enough to act on what we write. Check out these additional storytelling guides:

Writing Emails People Will Read
One-third of all work emails that require attention go unread. Only 5% of readers make it to the end of an email, so all the things you think people are learning; they're not. The average reader spends 12 seconds on each email. Let's change that. Previous Training | Training Recap.

Best Practices for Grammar, Punctuation, and More

Design and Branding

Visual Branding Rules | Using Canva Templates
Branding is more than a logo and color palette. Branding is positioning your company to make a favorable impression so that potential customers think of you when making a buying decision. That said, the visual representation of our brand matters so that people can instantly recognize us as University of Illinois Extension. Training Recap.

Branding Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them
You have more to do than figure out which Block I goes on what color background. We'll review the branding requirements, including first look at the new campus primary colors. Training Recap.

Design Awesome Event Flyers
Not many of us are designers, yet our daily tasks may require us to do design work. This training helps staff use Canva to design event flyers that capture attention and drive registration. Training Recap.

Annual Report

Annual Report Process
This session will outline data points for 2022, production toolkit assets, and submission deadlines. Website |  Training Recap.

Gathering Content and Writing Annual Report Stories
Learn strategies for organizing content and writing stories for the annual reports.


Who is Seeing Your Stuff? Let Google Analytics Inform Your Content Strategy
More than 11 million Extension web pages are accessed each year, but are people visiting your pages? Learn to access and interpret your website traffic to create actionable steps to make positive changes. Training Recap.

Deciphering Webtools Reports
The Report tab in Webtools holds secrets that will improve your audience engagement. Understanding how (or if) your clients are engaging with your e-newsletters allows you to do more of what's working and less of what's not. Training Recap.


Changing Video Guidelines for Social Media Platforms
They've done it again. As platforms try to gain viewers, each social media company is changing their video guidelines. Learn the current guidelines for each platform. Training Recap.

Become a YouTube Star: Learn to Create Engaging Short Videos
Short videos with bite-size information are growing in popularity. Whether it's a recipe demonstration or a how-to on gardening care, effective videos can capture your audience's attention. Training Recap.

Creating Webinar Recordings
Hide the presenter's video thumbnail in recordings of Zoom meetings.

Saving a Zoom Registration Meeting to Your Outlook Calendar
Don't miss another important webinar. Learn to save your meetings to your Outlook calendar.

Website Editing

Creating Website Sliders: The How and the Why
Sliders add interest and provide easy ways for readers to find the content they want. Done incorrectly, they can make your website look unprofessional and confuse the user. Learn to size photos consistently, write optimum titles, and layer sliders.

Creating Website Events
It's important we use our best marketing practices each time we create a website event. It's not enough to just list the time and place for an event. Messy graphics sometimes discourage people from attending.

Website Editing: Removing Text Formatting, Adding Photos, Adding PDF in Drupal
Our website platform, Drupal, isn't hard, but it isn't easy, either. Learn what industry research tells us about word choice, placement of photos, use of bolded text, and so many other tricks of the trade. Training Recap.

Adding Photos on Extension Drupal Websites
Follow these simple steps when uploading photos on Extension websites. Learn how to work around the photo caption glitch.

Event Marketing

Creating and Using QR Codes
Webtools makes it easy to create QR codes. This training walks through the creation process, discusses when to use these, and how to manage your team's codes so they aren't lost if the owner leaves Extension. Training Recap | Short How-to Video

Take the Photo
It's too late to get that picture you need after everyone's gone home. Learn which eight photos you should take at your events. 

Think in Terms of Experiences, Not Events
Everyone keeps asking how to get more millennials to our events. Understand one thing: they want experiences that are entertaining