Communicating with a student is difficult, but when you need to get a message across to the entire campus, things get even tougher. How can you ensure everyone receives the information?
Try these tips for communicating with your students:
1. Communicate across multiple channels.
Research shows that people process information differently. Some contacts may respond to an email blast, while others may need a text message, a phone call, or an in person reminder for a message to stick. The more channels you use to communicate, the more people you’ll reach.
2. Make your message consistent.
Messages should be standardized. Distribute a written memo instead of relying on word-of-mouth communication, or implement automated phone calls rather than using a manual phone tree. This will ensure that all recipients receive identical information.
3. Know what to do in an emergency.
Develop an emergency communications plan. Determine who will be responsible for sending messages, and how they will be transmitted. (You’ll also need a backup plan in case certain methods become unavailable—a loss of Internet access, for example.)
Hold “drills” to ensure others know what to expect. With a tested system in place, communications will be one less thing to worry about during a crisis.
4. Communicate regularly.
Consider developing a communications calendar. When your campus holds events to engage students, schedule automated phone calls beforehand, or email messages with time and location information. When people get in the habit of hearing from you, they’ll know where to turn for the latest updates.
5. Ask for and respond to feedback.
Ask your students what works—and what doesn’t—with your communications strategy. Do this through face-to-face meetings, web surveys, or online profiles or mobile apps where users can modify their preferences. Make it easy for recipients to select the communications method (and if possible, the language) that they prefer. If users have control over the communications they receive, they’ll be much more likely to engage.
6. Make sure students know where to turn for help.
If students have questions, need clarification, or want to confirm their attendance at an event, provide a clear point of contact for them to call.
It may be helpful for all of your campus’ communications to originate from a single sender. If you’re sending emails, make sure recipients add your address to their accounts’ “safe senders” lists. Include contact information at the end of each message, making it easy for people to reach you.
Implementing one or all of these tips will improve your campus communication. When everyone feels informed, they’re more likely to stay involved.
To further streamline communications, consider using messaging services offered by One Call Now. One Call Now offers routine and emergency notification services to schools, businesses, healthcare providers, religious organizations, property managers, and more. Automated voice, text, and email messages can be recorded and released at any time, reaching contacts within minutes. Best of all, real-time reporting lets you track who’s received your messages—ensuring your students stay safe and informed.