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Update on strategic positioning for February 2022 | Internal Communications, Issues Management & Campus Initiatives on the Horizon

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

News  •
Internal  •

The winter has brought forward many sunny and warm days, which I greatly enjoy. It has also brought many opportunities to problem-solve and utilize our MarComm-wide interdisciplinary talents! We look forward to the projects that allow us to engage with campus partnersgetting to brainstorm, collaborate, and create together. Even when the topic at hand is difficult, working with each of you, our incredible partners, brings us joy and lights up our creativity in new and fun ways. Some of the latest examples of our work together are highlighted in this update. 

MyDU – Early Adoption Campaign 

As we prepare to transition away from PioneerWeb and to our new portal, MyDU, you will see a large amount of communication aimed at supporting stakeholders through the transition. MyDU will be a true intranet for DU—a one-stop shop for events, class registrations, news, employee information, and more. We are currently scheduled to be able to give staff a sneak peek at MyDU in April and students will join in on the fun shortly after in June.  

PioneerWeb will be discontinued July 1, which means our team is ramping up for a quick early adoption and transition timeline. And I'm requesting your help. As you see information regarding MyDU adoption, please share it within your networks and communication channels. By us all working together, we are confident we can have high numbers of early adopters, making the transition less cumbersome for our campus community involved. In the end, DU will have a robust and supportive portal, allowing us to reach new internal communication heights and enhance the overall experience here at DU.   

The Bridge | Refresh & Takeover Edition 

I want to thank each of you who participated in our Bridge Refresh survey, which ran November through February. Now that we have our communications team in place,  we are eager to take our chief internal communications resource for faculty and staff to the next level. Our Bridge team is busy analyzing the results of the survey now, and I cannot wait to see The Bridge refreshed in just a few weeks. We want to make sure we are sharing good news and announcements from all your departments and units, so please don’t be shy in sharing your news with our team!   

Speaking of The Bridge, did you catch our Bridge Takeover, published on February 10? This is the first time we’ve devoted an entire Bridge edition to one theme, and the result was fantastic. Not only did our communications team help spread the word about our Trio of strategic initiatives: For the Difference, the Kennedy Mountain Campus, and the 4D student experience, but they compiled information relevant to faculty and staff and made it personal for them. We’ve tried our best to make sure these initiatives are visible to external audiences, and we are pleased to be reaching our internal audiences too. Here’s to the first of many Bridge Takeovers in our future! 

Performance Evaluations & Merit Cycle Update 

Performance evaluations for the 2021-2022 short cycle will begin on April 1 and continue through May 18. In collaboration with the HRIC unit, we will begin communicating reminders to faculty and staff about their next steps in just a few weeks. We are currently putting together Q&As to make this new cycle alignment as smooth as possible for DU employees. If you’ve gotten any questions from your communities, please send them to Shira Good or Gretchen Pressley, so we can weave them into the messaging moving forward to ensure relevant information is getting out to support our community through this phase. In the end, having one performance cycle across the University will create better efficiencies, budget alignment, and recognition. We appreciate your support in communicating this important alignment to your communities.  

Crisis Communications & Issues Management 

Unfortunately, every organization has issues that must be addressed and crisis events that need immediate triage and support. Fortunately, DU has been investing in planning and infrastructure around issues management and crisis communication over the last 12 months, and we are more prepared than ever to collaborate as a team and support the DU community. 

That said, not everything runs like a well-oiled machine just yet, and one of the holes noted in our process is early identification or warning. The sooner we learn of a situation–or even a potential situation–the better. To help with this campus-wide effort, please reach out to Shira Good to alert our team to any emerging situation. Our team will connect quickly with other units and individuals, providing true wraparound support for you and all those involved. 

Not sure what to send? We provide support for many types of emerging issues such as staff departures and arrivals, event concerns or mishaps, social media issues, and tragic situations such as student deaths. We can also help with a situational assessment if something feels amiss but not a present situation, determining to what degree communication and support might be necessary now or in the future. 

Please help us by connecting with us early and often regarding any issue you may be facing, or that you suspect is on the horizon. Together, we will work through it and ensure we provide the highest level of support to all those involved. 

If you find that you would benefit from a shoulder partner for upcoming work on your plate, please do not hesitate to connect with us. While we are moving forward on many initiatives, we are happy to be your thought partner on anything you may have in the near or distant future. And, as always, please feel free to reach out to me, Shira Good (, or Johanna Blickenstaff ( with any questions you might have regarding our communications, marketing, or strategic positioning efforts.