Tell Me How to Talk to You: Institutional communications in a noisy era
Times have changed.
It used to be that university administrators had no problem sharing important information with students. “Social networking” largely took place at students’ mailboxes. Students’ “primary phones” were the ones in their residence hall rooms. (Their “secondary” ones? That would have to be the phone booth in the parking lot.) And you could always speak directly to the entire student body at weekly mandatory chapel services.
Today, communicating with students isn’t always quite so straightforward.
It’s not that the university can’t send messages to its students. We have more means of doing that today than at any point in our 123-year history. It’s that we don’t always know which means of communicating a given message will stick with students. With parents. With alumni.
Some students go their entire careers without touching the phone in their residence hall. They don’t bother with the university voicemail system. A quick look in the recycling bins by the student mailboxes shows where many university communications go immediately after a student swings open the little silver door. E-mails get deleted, forgotten, ignored. Bright, bloated bulletin boards are breezed past.
It’s a noisy world. It’s a hurried world. And it’s tough to be heard—even when your message is critical.
Maybe you can tell us. What’s the best way for the university to reach your student with important information?
While we’re at it, what’s the best means to communicate with you? Let us know below.
There’s a sentence you don’t hear every day anymore: We’re listening.