It's no secret that the communication landscape has taken a large leap forward in recent years, and that's especially true for college students. As digital natives, today's "traditional" students have grown up in an era where the internet and smartphones are as commonplace as textbooks and lectures. And not all students who are entering higher education are from this generation! No matter their ages or backgrounds, all of your students are immersed in a digital-forward world outside of the classroom, and you can rest assured they'll bring the expectations from those experiences with them when they step foot on your campus.
Your next class will undoubtedly be made up of students with diverse backgrounds, but they'll share one characteristic no matter their ages or experiences: Today's students have unique communication preferences that institutions must understand and cater to — and it goes beyond just checking off a digital box.
Communication Preferences Among University Students
Even though there are specific communication platforms that have grown in popularity among students, the truth is that platform preference will always evolve; popularity will always ebb and flow. What's hot today might not be tomorrow, and vice versa.
What applies to every communication platform is that students are desperate for connection and engagement that transcends individual mediums. In 2023, students are more eager than ever to form meaningful relationships and share experiences. The shift in communication styles reflects this need for authentic, empathetic interactions, regardless of the specific platform being used.
We know that students are no longer just passive recipients of information — they want to know the information, what action to take, and when. But more importantly, they want to know why they should take the action. They also want to feel like their unique experiences and challenges are acknowledged and supported when needed.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Gen Z communication preferences is that simply having a digital platform or texting feature is enough. However, the reality is that technology is only as effective as the human connections it facilitates. At Mongoose, we understand this and have designed our digital communication tools for students to enable more meaningful, authentic interactions.
Aligning Mongoose’s EdTech Solutions With Students’ Preferences
Our CEO, Dave Marshall, often emphasizes the importance of understanding and adapting to the evolving communication preferences of today's university students, something we've come to understand very well in our work with 4,000+ teams and across 950+ higher ed institutions. Ture, we are a company that provides a digital communication platform, but Mongoose's mission extends far beyond offering a product; we aim to revolutionize how colleges and universities motivate, engage, and grow individuals and communities through the following strategies.
Acknowledging the Student as Whole
Today's students bring their complete identities, expectations, and experiences into their roles as learners. Our platform and service strategy centers around these holistic expectations and high standards. We are dedicated to keeping up with advancements in user experience, both outside of the higher ed space and on campus.
Facilitating Continuous Engagement
Our most successful clients maintain a high level of responsiveness and personalization, not just during the recruitment phase but throughout enrollment and beyond. Mongoose's platform is designed to support this continuity, helping institutions meet students' high expectations for consistent, meaningful engagement from when they first consider a college to when they explore ways to support their alma mater post-graduation.
Empowering Higher Ed Staff
Today's higher ed staff are change-makers dedicated to empowering the leaders of tomorrow. Still, higher ed is perhaps more disconnected than it has ever been. Understanding this, our solutions are designed to support staff in their roles, helping them to drive change and live their own institutional missions.
Looking Beyond Trends
In the rapidly evolving digital communication landscape, focusing on the latest trends to build your university communication strategy can be tempting. However, at Mongoose, we believe that it's essential to look beyond these trends and focus on timeless approaches to communication and connection that transcend specific platforms or outlets.
No matter the medium or platform, there are fundamental principles that will always be relevant. It's essential to keep them in mind as we navigate this ever-changing landscape together.
No matter the platform or channel, genuine communication is key. Today's students are savvy and can easily discern when a message is inauthentic. We can build trust and foster meaningful connections with students by emphasizing honesty and transparency in our communications.
Custom, personalized, and engaging interactions help create a dynamic where students feel seen, heard, and valued. This sense of individual attention can profoundly impact their engagement and overall experience.
Consistent communication is crucial in maintaining connections and building trust. By delivering clear, reliable messaging across different platforms and stages of the student lifecycle, we can reinforce our commitment to students' success and demonstrate our far-reaching support.
In a world where digital platforms and trends are continually changing, empathy remains a constant. It's a universal principle that transcends specific platforms, making it a cornerstone of effective communication and connection. It's about more than just sending a message — it's about fostering a supportive and understanding environment where students feel heard, seen, and valued.
Get Help Developing Your University Communication Strategy Today!
While it's important to understand your audience’s communication preferences, the purpose of communication will never change: the desire to build meaningful connections. Our understanding of this truth is not just a footnote in our strategy; it's the driving force behind everything we do at Mongoose. We provide solutions that look beyond trends to build genuine connections between institutions and students.
Want to stay ahead of the curve in the evolving world of student communication? Subscribe to our FYI podcast to learn actionable insights from higher ed leaders who share Mongoose's dedication to a student-centered, empathetic approach to communication.