Right Message, Right Medium, Right Now – Introducing “Announcements”

“With so many communication technologies available today, how can university administrators keep up?”

This was a question asked yesterday by Katherine Mangan from the Chronicle. We were talking about how institutions can manage the unprecedented changes resulting from new social, mobile and digital technologies.

While research is mixed on which medium is most effective to reach admitted and current students, the reality is everyone has their own communication style preferences. We cannot generalize (as many people do) that students today only use text messages, or never check email.

To Text or Not to Text?

In the 2012 Noel-levitz E-expectations trends report, students ranked text-messaging as one of the least effective ways for colleges to invite you to speak with an admissions representative. Email on the other hand was ranked as the most effective way, but we constantly hear from schools how poor their email open rates can be.

While we agree Facebook and SMS aren’t an “email killer”, we believe each student has their own communication preferences and should be reached in a way they feel most comfortable with.

What Students Have Told Us

During our product focus groups, students said they didn’t necessarily want to be “texted” from an admissions counselor, but they were interested in receiving SMS texts with important deadlines and announcements from a school they were interested in.

That’s why we’ve designed Announcements in a way that lets students opt-in or out of various communication channels for colleges they have been admitted to or enrolled in. Not only do students have the ability to choose which medium works best for them, but institutions can send one message from Schools App and reach students through Facebook, SMS, iPhone push notification, and yes, even email.

Right Message, Right Medium

The screenshots below show how institutions now have a multi-channel communication strategy within one product platform, and all of the analytics to see which messages are being heard.

We’re excited to launch this product with a handful of clients this summer including Eastern Michigan, Pace, and Gannon University.

By empowering schools/students to send/receive targeted messages based on their community associations within Schools App, we hope to solve some of the current problems with social, mobile and email messaging to students.


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