Recap: Your Institution's COVID Communications Plan
Recap: Your Institution's COVID Communications Plan
We realize that some institutions may be encountering some obstacles to a smooth beginning to the fall semester. Undoubtedly, this is due to COVID-19 and the endless list of to-dos that come with it. For instance, registrars’ offices might be struggling to reach students who haven’t signed up for classes yet. Financial aid offices, too, might be feeling like they're building a bridge as they’re crossing it. This is why now is the time for all of these institutional departments to build their COVID communications plan for the fall.
As we have mentioned in our three-part COVID Communications Toolkit, we believe that communications done through texting is the most effective way to keep students engaged. We also know that personalized texting can promote students staying on track for their academic career.
Why being proactive enhances a COVID communications strategy
For most students, entering a new environment – such as a college campus – can be intimidating. One of the factors that could contribute to this is the unknown. In other words, students who are entering new environments “don’t know what they don’t know.”
Thus, students – depending on their motivation level – seek out information, but they might not know which department to go to. Also, they might not know what questions to ask. Therefore, it’s up to staff members to tell college students about what they may not already know. This includes things such as how many credit hours they need towards their degree, or where they're living on campus.
In the COVID era, getting information out to students sooner rather than later will keep students motivated in a time when they are already baffled by what comes next in their academic careers. In other words, your proactivity will increase your school’s student engagement and will push students farther along towards academic success.
Signal Vine's approach to COVID communications
Faculty and staff may feel bombarded with students' questions. On the other hand, students may feel anxious to get answers. If faculty and staff release all of the information for all of students' possible questions, information overload will ensue. This information overload, in turn, will lead to a decrease in student engagement.
Strategizing your communications for targeted audiences, therefore, will reduce information overload and achieve an increase in student engagement. Thus, a mix of automated and manual messages–which can be created through Signal Vine's approach to texting called Blended Messaging®–is what we believe is crucial to a school’s and a student’s success in the COVID era.
How Blended Messaging® increases student engagement
Blended Messaging® doubles as a time saver for staff members, as well as a powerhouse tool to leverage increased student engagement. This tool is able to create personalized text messages that are sent to individual students. Blended Messaging® also allows staff to send out general information to larger groups of students when needed.
Personalized text messages allow staff members to reach out to specific groups of students who each have unique needs. For instance, first-year, nontraditional students may not need guidance in the same area that traditional, fourth-year students might. These personalized texts are part of a segmentation strategy, a core component of successful text campaigns.
Segmentation is one of the chief components of an effective COVID-communications strategy, as we noted in our three-part series of COVID Communications toolkits. In turn, personalized texts will promote segmentation, which will increase student engagement.
For instance, on-campus students won't get the same messages as off-campus students through personalized messaging. Instead, these two student groups will get information that is relevant to each of them. Therefore, these students will more likely to pay closer attention to the information sent to them. This is what personalized messaging and segmentation achieve. Thus, segmentation is a pillar for a successful COVID-communications strategy.
Request a demo with us if you would like to learn more about Blended Messaging® and how it can improve your COVID communications plan for fall. Also, learn how you can be more proactive and target each students’ needs by accessing each of our three COVID Communications Toolkits.
Our first toolkit focuses on how a school can best build their COVID communications strategy for the fall. We also go over how to achieve this, which is by solving headache problems that COVID produces. For instance, we realize that some problems that have arisen are those such as student engagement or retention. Access our first toolkit here if you would like to learn more.
Our second toolkit narrows in on the key to a successful COVID communications strategy at an institution. We believe this entails building student engagement through personalized messaging. For instance, the information that graduating seniors need this fall will not be the same information that incoming freshmen need. If you are curious about how to increase student engagement on a large scale, access our second toolkit here.
Our third toolkit covers how to create an effective timeline for sending informative messages. It also touches on optimizing messages for your school’s students. It also mentions what messaging channels are best for different facets of your communications strategy. Click here to access this COVID communications toolkit in our COVID strategy series.
Communicating effectively with your campus communities is of paramount importance right now
If you’d like to learn how Signal Vine can help, please join us for a demo.