Central Community College Case Study

Universal Information Services is in the business of Empowering the PR Professional by creating opportunities based on the evaluation of their results. This case study illuminates the challenges and opportunities Central Community College addresses through the use of our news monitoring and PR measurement services.

Central Community College PR Case Study

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Scott Miller

Scott Miller is the Senior Director of Communications for Central Community College in Nebraska, a multi-campus community college serving a 25-county area in central Nebraska. As part of its mission, Central Community College strives to advance communities through public and private partnerships to create future civic contributors, economic developers and sustainability leaders. Scott is responsible for external communications as well as story development with internal stakeholders. In his own words, “My primary PR objective is to tell the CCC story to a wide variety of appropriate audiences through a myriad of platforms. These include traditional media, social media and the CCC website.”


The challenge

Universal Information Services is in the business of Empowering the PR Professional. This case study outlines the challenges Central Community College addresses through the use of news monitoring and PR measurement services, and how Universal helps CCC to evaluate their community impact in a region where each student has other institutional choices.


How Universal helps Central Community College

Central Community College monitors print, web and broadcast media with Universal, but for Miller, the standout service is the print content.

Universal Information Services offers a deeper state-level reading of daily and weekly newspapers than other services, monitoring more than 20,000 print publications. This includes every newspaper in Nebraska, where Central Community College is based. News stories are clipped electronically and delivered to the client as an easily viewed PDF.

“Universal finds CCC-related stories in the smaller newspapers in Nebraska and makes us aware of them through the daily recap,” Miller says.

This is particularly useful, Miller notes, as many of these newspapers reserve stories for online subscribers or don’t have an online presence at all. With online paywalls, seeing your news may only be possible through a set of services that include comprehensive press clippings. And in many rural communities, the newspaper is often the only media outlet available.

Miller uses the daily coverage reports from Universal to see where the Central Community College story is being told. Miller, then, takes this coverage and creates “The Weekly News Roundup” to inform the community college’s internal audience about how and where the school is being talked about in the news. With CCC campuses spread across central Nebraska, it would be easy for an employee based in Columbus to miss a story out of Lexington. But with news clips from Universal, Miller is able to collect, review and distribute the most important news stories across the Central Community College region – and, in doing so, ensure that everyone remains informed.


How Universal captures print coverage for Central Community College

  1. The Universal client solutions manager first meets with the Central Community College communications team to discuss, broadly, what they are looking for and how monitoring services can help them achieve their goals.
  2. Next, Universal helps CCC narrow its search strategy. What are some specific keywords that Universal editors should look for? Is there a certain geographic area you’re interested in? Are there any stories or keywords or geographic areas that you DON’T want to see? This step is meant to tailor the search to precisely the client’s needs, in order to capture all the stories they are interested in without including too much irrelevant “noise.” All of this search strategy criteria is compiled and recorded for posterity.
  3. Universal’s trained search strategist then takes this guidance from the Central Community College team and translates it into Boolean logic. This expertise allows for creativity in crafting the search. Instead of just duplicating the keywords requested by the client into the system – as a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor might do – the Universal team can think critically about how else these topics might be worded or presented in the media.
  4. Next, Universal’s team of editors gets to work. These professional readers – with more than 100 years of experience between them – scan newspapers, page by page, looking for stories that fit the client’s criteria. The computer will help point out relevant keywords found in stories, but the human eyes can determine the appropriate context.
  5. Last up is the three R’s: review, revise and repeat. Universal urges CCC and all of its clients to think of their search strategy as a living thing that is always evolving, instead of as a stagnant set-it-and-forget-it thing. Once print media results are delivered to the client, give them a good look. Are these the types of results you were expecting to see? If so, then the search strategy is on the right track. If not, the Universal team will work with you to adjust. Repeat the process and continue fine-tuning until the results are spot-on.


Do people really still need print news?

Across the industry, some argue that there is less of a need for print news, and thus print media monitoring, as more news goes online. However, Universal helps remove the hurdles that many readers run into with online news stories.

Says Central Community College’s Miller: “I appreciate Universal Information Services much more in recent years as more and more newspaper websites are going to subscription-based arrangements. The downfall with that is that the reader is unable to read a story if they don’t have username and password arrangements. Universal has a link to a PDF that I can share with my internal and external audiences without any barriers.”


In summary

From the world’s largest PR firms to the smallest nonprofit organizations, Universal Information Services works to empower all clients with the public relations tools, news monitoring and media evaluation reports needed. Universal is unique in that it provides complete media monitoring and PR measurement for print, TV, radio, web and social media, creating customized services around the true needs of its clients. Like Central Community College, Universal helps all clients stay completely informed while tracking the reach and impact of their communication efforts.


To learn how Universal Information Services can help your company or organization, reach out to us by emailing news@universal-info.com, or schedule a quick demo of our services.

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