Back to School! Improve Campus Communications with Mass Notifications

Campus communications for colleges and universities are necessary not only to keep day-to-day operation flowing, but also for the safety of your students and stakeholders.

This has become increasingly important as some campuses have become targets for violence rather than havens for students. With so many threats – from severe weather to active shooters – school officials must have a plan for communicating with their students, faculty, staff and stakeholders in a variety of critical situations.

Follow these tips to improving your campus communications as the new semester begins.

Know your Audience

The young adults currently enrolled in college are digital natives – communicating through multiple channels has basically become second nature. Your students are already an engaged audience, so be sure you keep them engaged with relevant information.

Research shows that people process information differently. That means that some audiences may respond to an email blast, while others may prefer a text message or phone call. Use this information to your advantage: the more channels you can use to communicate, the more people you’re likely to reach.

If message recipients have questions, need clarification, or want to confirm their attendance at an event, provide a clear point of contact for them to call. Send Word Now’s Get Word Back feature provides recipients the ability to respond to messages and gives school officials real-time updates.

It may be helpful for all of your campus’ communications to originate from a single sender, say, your Dean or your Student Union Director. If you’re sending emails, make sure recipients add your address to their accounts’ “safe senders” lists. And don’t forget to include a contact name, email address, or phone number at the end of each message. Making it as easy for people to reach you as it is for you to reach them completes the communication cycle.

Communicate Regularly

You may want to consider developing a communications calendar to help make communications as automatic as possible. For example, if your campus holds monthly events to engage students, you could schedule an automated phone call the night before the event, an email message with time and location information, and a variety of check-in methods to remind students of exciting prizes and games. When people get in the habit of hearing from you, they’ll always know where to turn for the latest updates.

Uses for Mass Communication on Campus

There are any number of ways to leverage mass communication platforms in a campus setting. With so many needs a responsibilities, it is important to prepare for and address potential threats and create communication response plans well in advance. Here are some critical uses to consider:

  • Campus safety: Students are constantly on the go. The ability for school officials to communicate critical updates immediately, whether recipients are on or off campus, will provide additional measures to keep people safe and informed.
  • Event updates: On-campus concerts? Major testing events? Any type of activity in the area that affects a large portion of the campus population is the ideal usage of mass communication. You can segment your audiences between students and teachers and even by dorm or class to be sure communications are targeted and messages are relevant.
  • Payment updates: Having trouble getting those payments in from parents (or students?). Try sending a personalized text message with reminders and updates around payments! If you’re able to offer a link directly to a payment portal, your chances of getting paid skyrocket.
  • Parent communications: Keeping active information about parents is something that students may not be interested in. Bypass the student communication channel and get right to the decision makers with a database of parent contact information.

These are only a few of the ways that you can incorporate a trusted mass notification system into your campus operations strategy. Emergency updates are crucial, but the daily activity on campus moves much more smoothly when you’re able to provide instant updates to a segment of your campus population. Learn more about creating the ideal communication strategy for your school when you contact the professionals at OnSolve at 866-939-0911 or fill out our online contact form for a quick call back. Inform your audiences and protect your school — through any type of event.

Speak to the campus safety experts at OnSolve today!