COVID Communications Toolkit: Optimize Your Fall 2020 Communications
Part three of a three-part series that offers strategies, guides, checklists, and helpful tips on how to optimize your Fall 2020 communications plan. View part one, which provides a self-assessment, best practices, and a messaging checklist for planning for fall here. View part two, which provides a Student Communication & Engagement Strategies guide, here.
How to optimize your Fall 2020 communications plan
In part one of our COVID Communications Toolkit, we talked about the top considerations as you continue to communicate with your students about the fall. In part two, we stated how important it is to take note of your key audiences and messages. Now, in part three, we’ll discuss how to get the most out of your Fall 2020 communications plan.
In order to fully optimize your Fall 2020 communications with students, you can begin by creating a messaging timeline. Then, you’ll need to carefully consider how to choose the right communication channel. Finally, you may benefit from a list of best practices to optimize the messages in your Fall 2020 communications plan.
Create a messaging timeline
If you grabbed our Student Communication & Engagement Strategies guide, you’ve already given thought to the types of information each segment of your audience will need. Creating a messaging timeline is an extension of this task.
You’ll want to consider each audience you’ll be communicating with. Then, you might think about what they want to know now, in the near future, and later on. Further, you should also think about what you want to know during these times. This creates a mutual, two-way relationship with students. You’re helping them both by telling them what they need to know while also gaining the information you need to know.
This timeline will help you streamline and optimize your Fall 2020 communications. Even better, it will give you a bird’s-eye view of when to communicate what information to students. In turn, your messages will be timely, relevant, and personal.
Optimize messages to students
A strong communications plan must include purposeful messages. When needed, messages should drive students to complete a certain action. Usually, one call to action per message is ideal. This will help students remain focused on one task at a time without feeling overwhelmed by a lengthy to-do list. Also, it's important to acknowledge when students complete what they've been asked to do. This can help ease students' stress levels.
Your messages will undoubtedly create student data. It is important to use this data wisely. Note each message's open rates and completion/response rates along with student feedback. This will help you continue to improve your message plan.
For more tips on how to optimize your messages to students, check out our blog.
Choose the right communication channel
In part one of our COVID Communications Toolkit, we talked about how the sender of your messages should be chosen with care. Likewise, the channel through which you send your messages should be chosen wisely.
Each message channel has its own set of benefits. The channels you select to send your message largely depend on what you hope to accomplish. For example, if your message needs to be personal to each student, social media wouldn’t be the best channel choice. However, two-way texting, a phone call, or email might be because you can personalize each message for each student.
Check out the Choosing the Right Communication Channel guide below or click the image to the right to download it.
Learn more about how to optimize your Fall 2020 communications
To fully optimize your communications to students, you may consider using a blend of automated and manual outreach informed by the data you collect over time. For example, using automation to answer a student's frequently asked question can save you time. Meanwhile, a student who needs more personal support, such as needing help to remove an account hold, will require personal follow-up. Signal Vine's Blended Messaging® approach combines automation and manual messaging to save your staff time, all without sacrificing quality in the interactions you have with students. You can read more about Signal Vine's Blended Messaging® approach here.
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