An impactful communication strategy and it’s execution are important elements of any higher ed engagement. Lena Miltiello and Jenn Diethorn from Mongoose’s Client Success team joined Mike Kochczynski for a For Your Institution Live episode to discuss key ways to engage audiences in the upcoming academic year.
Their main piece of advice?
Focus on the three P’s: Proactivity, Personalization, and Privilege.
Lena and Jenn emphasized the importance of being proactive in communications to help prevent potential missed deadlines by sending reminders to students.
“People don’t know what they don’t know,” says Jenn. "They don’t know your specific policies and procedures. Think, ‘If I’ve never been through this process before, what do I need to know?’”
“We know how important these timelines need to be in all of our communications,” adds Lena.
Get ahead of timelines by sending careful, proactive communications. Ask if students, their families, alumni, etc. understand your institution’s policies, benefits, deadlines, and more before you assume they know it all.
On a similar note, all communications should be personalized.
Specifically, messages should clearly name the recipient and include who the sender is and their affiliation with the institution.
“Make sure you tailor your communications for the platform. An email should look different from a text message,” says Jenn. “Text messages area one-to-one touchpoint. It should be a way to engage in conversation. Let them know that you’re actually a human on the other end.”
Jenn and Lena also stressed the importance of recognizing privilege, specifically in with the use of acronyms and how they might confuse your recipients.
“It doesn’t hurt to ask and verify the students understand next steps too,” says Lena.“The financial aid process is a lot to get through, you never want to make those assumptions.”
“You don’t always know your students’ situations. Remember to treat people as individuals and approach students from a place of learning and guidance,” says Jenn.
Ultimately, impactful communication requires proactive planning and a human touch. Institutions have seen more success with texting, as well as their other communication channels, by planning ahead and identifying key touchpoints in an academic/fiscal year.
Whether it’s add/drop, calendar year-end giving, or commencement, texting with clear, personalized messages will lead to success for your institution.
Watch the full FYI episode with Jenn and Lena below.
Interested in joining the fun live? Register for FYI here.