Dr. Serrano (R) and Ms. Canas-Llamas (L) present Mr. Donato a certificate as one of the resource speakers of the workshop.

To intensify the implementation of the @ccessUP Flagship Program under the UP Open University (UPOU) 2016 - 2019 Strategic Plan, the UPOU Information Office conducted the “Workshop on Increasing Accessibility, Visibility and Web Presence” on 7-8 November 2017 at the Hive Hotel, Quezon City. The workshop was attended by 24 Designated Information Officers (DIOs) and Social Media administrators representing various offices of UPOU.

For the first part of the workshop, Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Director of the Information Office and the Multimedia Center at UPOU, shared a strategy for a successful online marketing. Part of her discussion was the use of Attract-Convert-Transform or ACT framework by Shama Hayder Kabani in creating a good marketing message. Dr. Serrano also reiterated UPOU’s social media campaign entitled #OUPossibilities which is aligned with the objective of @accessUP which is to ensure the accessibility of UPOU programs by all sectors of the society. She also gave the participants a hands-on activity on ‘social media goals’ to be shared and applied in their respective offices.

The second session, on Media Relations, was organized in coordination with the UPOU Alumni Foundation, Inc. (UPOUAFI). Mr. Jerry Donato, Entertainment Sub-Editor of The Philippine STAR, and UPOUAFI President, served as the resource speaker. Mr. Donato discussed what media relations is and what entails a good relationship with the media. He also shared style guides and best practices, sourced from Ms. Ann Oriondo, former Assistant Editor of Allure and Newsmakers, in creating news articles, capturing photos for publications, and detailing points for consideration when pitching to the media. For Mr. Donato, media relations is about human touch as well as creating and building friendships.

The third session focused on Web Accessibility where Mr. Tomas B. Cabagay, Jr., Information Systems Researcher III of UPOU, shared a study co-authored with Ms. Anna Canas-Llamas on the common problems encountered when posting web content and how to ensure websites are accessible even to differently-abled people. The session ended with suggestions to develop style guides for website content and uniformity.

The last session dealt with Social Media Management by Asst. Prof. Myra Almodiel, UPOU Program Development Associate for Social Media and Ms. Anna Canas-Llamas, Information Officer II. On behalf of Asst. Prof. Almodiel, Ms. Canas-Llamas shared how to effectively use social media to help UPOU achieve its goal of widening its reach, and shared a social media calendar and schedule for the university that everyone can contribute to. As a means to ensure the sustainability of these initiatives, the Information Office will be conducting monthly “Lunch and Learn” sessions.

The two-day workshop is also part of the API 2017 Project under the Information Office entitled “Planning and Development of Policies and Guidelines for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in UPOU Websites and Portal as part of Quality Assurance Framework.” (LPPetrasanta)