Whether you’re trying to keep parents up to date on everything happening on campus, attract prospective families, or engage your school community, good communication is crucial for any school looking to reach new goals. With 347.3 billion emails sent and received every day, cutting through the noise and getting the right message to the right people at the right time can be challenging. Here are some of our top tips for upgrading your school communication and making sure your message is heard.
Reach Families Where They Are
Be honest – the first thing you do in the morning is likely reach for your phone. People are on their phones more than ever, with over 56% of all web traffic coming through mobile phones as of July 2023. It makes sense then that your best chance of reaching your target audience is by prioritizing mobile communication. While your families might not always be at their computers, they’re always on their phones, whether they’re at work, the gym, or even the airport.
With dedicated school apps like FACTS Family App, you can send push notifications directly to your families’ phones with important information. Early dismissal? Special dress code for Spirit Day? Give families quick reminders that they won’t need to search through their inboxes to find. Apps serve as one-stop-shop for users, too, so parents can check report cards, attendance, and more while waiting in line at the grocery store or DMV – all without touching a computer.
Become of a Part of Families’ Daily Routines
When you check your phone first thing in the morning, you probably run through a list of things to check. From the weather app to your banking app, you’ve got a routine in place that you follow every day. One of the best ways to communicate with your families is to become a part of that routine, which can be simpler than you think with the right tech. With FACTS Family App, users can subscribe to your school’s calendar feed and sync it to their own personal calendars, fully integrating your school’s messages into their daily routines.
Once synced up with a personal family calendar, parents will be able to quickly see when sports practices or school plays are occurring, ensuring that no important event is ever missed. Families can even personalize and color code their calendars for different students to stay even more organized. This is another great way to reach families in places they already are and deliver your message without adding an additional step to an already busy schedule.
Use Data to Focus Your Efforts
We know that regardless of what role you serve in your school, you likely wear quite a few hats. You’re busy, and repeating information over and over can take up way too much of your time. Save time and minimize frustrations by utilizing data to see where to concentrate your school’s communications. The FACTS Family App provides detailed data about where users are spending their time on the app and what content they’re engaging most with.
Having insights on user behavior is a powerful tool because it lets you see exactly where your most important information is most likely to be seen. When you need a message to be heard, you’ll know exactly where to put it in the future. Data like this can also be helpful to understand what areas of your app aren’t being used to their full potential or what areas need further development or updated content.
Keep Community Engagement Simple
School communities aren’t only made up of students, staff, and parents – but it might be a little more difficult to reach people that aren’t in these groups. Many schools are lucky to have very engaged communities that attend school fairs, plays, and sporting events, and keeping them informed of what’s going on is important, too. The same goes for alumni, who often want to engage with their former schools but aren’t sure how to get started.
Tech to the rescue again! With FACTS Family App, you can easily build forms through a simple drag and drop process that can then be posted across the social channels your school community and alumni already follow. Instead of having to sort through their email for info or look through your website, people can share links with their families and friends to buy tickets to the school play or even sign up for an alumni newsletter. A fun bonus? These quick forms can give you valuable contact information that will come in handy for future fundraising.
Tailor Different Platforms for Different Audiences
One of the most important forms of communication schools engage in every day is with prospective families. While there are tons of ways that schools make these connections, one of the first ways that prospects receive communication from your school is through your website. Websites should be created with prospective families in mind, not your current families. This is your first chance to make a great impression on new families, and it’s crucial that your most important points are immediately conveyed.
When thinking of how to approach this communication, simplicity is always key. Prospective families need to be able to easily see how to make an inquiry or set up a meeting with a member of the school. People spend an average of 53 seconds on a website and aren’t afraid to log off even quicker if finding the information they need is frustrating. Make sure your most important information is easy to find, as well as up to date. With tools like FACTS School Site, schools can easily build and update their sites on their own, even without development experience.
We hope these tips have been helpful in thinking about the right communication strategy for your school and what tools can help make it possible. Now it’s time to put your plan into action!