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.
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.
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.
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:
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.